Shane and Joanne S. ask: We have a question for you regarding a 1909 wheat penny. Do you know what the value of this penny being a double die in ms-60 condition? It is not in the black or red book, only want an un-biased opinion. Is there someone we should contact for an honest appraisal? Thank you
Double dies are the result of an improperly made die. All the coins minted from this die would be identical, therefore there would be other specimens in existence. I have no knowledge or records of the existence of a 1909 double die. If it exists, it would be a new discovery and there would be more than one example.
There is another type of doubling called “shelf doubling” which can occur when the collar that holds the coin in place comes loose causing the coin to move (chatter) when the coin is struck. This type of doubling would be unique to that coin only. This phenomenon is fairly common and the mint workers are always going around tightening the collars in each working coin press. It has a totally different look than a true double die. The shelf doubled pieces look as if the devices have slid a bit, that’s the “shelf part”, but a double die exhibits at least two distinct, complete images. Unfortunately, shelf doubling, though interesting, doesn’t bring a premium in the numismatic market.
Severe errors are another story. Multiple struck coins, for example, could bring $15 and up.