DESCRIPTION 1955 Lincoln Cent. FS-101. Doubled Die Obverse. MS-64 RD (PCGS). CAC.
This is a breathtakingly beautiful, conditionally scarce example of perhaps the most popular of all Lincoln cent varieties. Bathed in a blend of medium orange and pale rose colors, the surfaces are fully lustrous with a soft satin finish. The dies imparted sharp to full definition throughout the design, the all important obverse doubling readily evident to the naked eye. The eye appeal is extremely strong, a few small marks here and there are easily overlooked and are all that seem to preclude an even higher grade.
Some years ago, not long after the first 1955 Doubled Die Obverse cents were discovered and popularized by James Ruddy, Dave Bowers inquired at the Mint and learned that about 40,000 examples were struck. At that time a press inspector noticed the defect, and destroyed pieces that had been accumulating in a bin behind the press in question. Some 24,000 others had already been mixed with the output from other presses and were on their way to be bagged and sent to the Federal Reserve system. There was no thought that these would have any special value, as at that time there was hardly any numismatic interest in what we call Mint errors today. Such pieces of various denominations, when they did surface, were generally called "freaks." Distribution of the estimated 24,000 pieces was to banks in the greater Boston area, in western Massachusetts around Pittsfield, and in the Southern Tier area of New York State, the district encompassing Endicott, Johnson City and Binghamton. Beginning in 1958, Dave Bowers and Jim Ruddy, then associated in the Empire Coin Company in Johnson City, started making a market for such pieces, advertising for them in different newspapers. At the same time, these were offered for sale retail, at prices generally from $7.95 per coin upward. Later, the price went way upward. Today it is estimated that about 3,000 to 4,000 1955 Doubled Die Obverse cents exist. All pieces have the reverse die misaligned about 5% counterclockwise from the normal 180 degree rotation. As there are many counterfeits, purchasing an example certified by a leading service, as here, is mandatory. We are confident that this piece, scarce with Choice full Red quality, will easily find its way into an advanced collection of Lincoln cents and/or popular 20th century Mint varieties.PCGS# 2827
.NGC ID: 22FG