Charles B. writes: I was going through some coins last night and found a wheat penny that appears to have been double struck. On the front the words ONE CENT are parallel to Lincoln’s face and are printed backwards. Below that on his bust are the words United States of America, not all letters are clear but you can see what it says. On the back you can see part of the date and the lower part of Lincoln’s coat. It was offset when it was struck because there is a deep groove around the coin. You can not make out the date because of the groove and the feather is imprinted on the date on front. I would like to know what kind of value this might have. Thanks for your help.
There are two ways this can happen to coins:
1. Brockage – which is a mirror image of one side of the design impressed on the other. This can happen if a coin remains on either the obverse or reverse die after striking. The next blank receives the image from the coin, not the die. If the stuck coin is only partially covering the die then the next blank receives only part of the mirrored impression. Full brockage examples are more desirable to collectors of error coins. Values for copper Lincolns, approximately: US$15.
2. Two coins and a block of wood – this is obviously a “put up job” and is shunned by collectors. Check for damage to the rim or unevenness in the flan. Carefully done brockage fakes will fool all but specialists in this area.