1922 No D Lincoln Cent. FS-401, Die Pair II. Strong Reverse. AU-55 (PCGS). CAC.

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1922 No D Lincoln Cent. FS-401, Die Pair II. Strong Reverse. AU-55 (PCGS). CAC.
A richly original example, both sides are bathed in bold tobacco-brown patina. Definition is sharp for both the variety and the assigned grade, the reverse retaining nearly complete striking detail. Satiny in texture and predominantly smooth, this is a conditionally scarce example of an elusive and challenging Lincoln cent variety.

The most desirable of the three die pairs known for the 1922 No D Cent, Die Pair II is missing the mintmark due to overzealous polishing of the obverse die. This was done in the Mint to efface clashmarks, the polishing inadvertently removing the mintmark and also softening the detail to all other devices on the obverse. The reverse die is a fresh one, however, which explains the much sharper reverse definition that characterizes examples of this die pair. Indeed, Die Pair II is widely regarded as the only "true" No D variety of the 1922-D, as explained by our own Q. David Bowers, in his Guide Book of Lincoln Cents:

"When dies were first used they produced regular 1922-D cents. Then, they weakened as the die became worn from extensive use. It is thought that the D was completely ground off of one die -- that being from pair No. 2 -- when it was relapped or resurfaced to reduce surface roughness and extend its life. Cents of 1922-D struck without a mintmark always have a very weakly detailed obverse in other areas as well. The reverse can range from weak to fairly sharp, depending upon the die."
The ANACS staff, writing in The Numismatist, July 1982, consolidated comments and research by others, and described the specific characteristics of die pairs used to strike 1922 cents with a weak or missing D. Die pair No. 2, with no D visible, was described as starting with a fresh pair of dies. The two dies clashed (met in the coining press without a planchet between them), causing clash marks on both sides. According to the ANACS scenario, the obverse die was lightly dressed or filed, to remove the clash marks, and in the process the D was removed completely. The reverse die was discarded and replaced by a new one. Thus were produced 1922 cents with no D whatsoever.


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