Class I Doubled Die Error

Class I Doubled Die Error

Class I Doubled Die Errors



Error coins are valuable little misfit coins that every collector wants to own.  One of the most famous errors that can occur on a coin is called the doubled die error.  This error is created during the die making stage of the minting process.  The die has a doubled image on it, which is in turn transferred to the coin when the coin is minted.  This is what we call a doubled die error coin.  There are several different ways in which a doubled die error can occur.  There are actually 8 different classes for doubled dies, which are named for the ways the error was created.  This page is about the class I doubled die error. 

The class I doubled die errors are probably the most famous out of all the doubled die errors.  This class of error coins contains the famous 1955 doubled die Lincoln Cent.  The class one doubled die error is also called Rotated Hub Doubling.







Class I Doubled Die Errors:

Rotated Hub Doubling



The class I doubled die error coin is famous because of the dramatic examples that have been found.  The Lincoln Cent Collection contains several of these famous and very expensive examples of class I doubling.   A few examples are : 

  • The 1955 Lincoln Cent Doubled Die
  • The 1969-S Lincoln Cent Doubled Die
  • The 1970-S Lincoln Cent Doubled Die
  • The 1971 Lincoln Cent Doubled Die
  • The 1972 Lincoln Cent Doubled Die


I could go on and on because this class of doubling is found on several coins.  Let’s talk about how they are created.  

Just as we said earlier, the name represents the way the doubling was created.  This class is called rotated hub doubling.  The hub, which is used to make the die, was rotated when being made.   This could happen in different ways.  When labeling a coin with this type of doubling, we also must pay attention to the direction of the rotation.  

The hub is pressed against a metal rod to transfer the image onto it.  This metal rod, once it contains the image, is now called a die.  However, the hub might not transfer the entire image onto the die on the first contact.  Sometimes they must make contact multiple times before the image is fully shown on the die.  This is where the error can occur. 

In 1955, the famous 1955 doubled die obverse Lincoln Cent was created.  The United States Mint didn’t want this extreme error to occur again so they changed the way the dies are made.  They placed little groves or “lugs” around the hub and die so that they would lock together when they made contact.  This is why there are no more extreme cases of doubling as with the 1955 doubled die Lincoln Cent.  


1955 doubled die close up date class I doubled die


When labeling a coin with this type of doubling we also include the direction of the rotation. The coin can either have CW or clockwise rotation or CCW counter clockwise rotation.   This picture of the 1955 doubled die above shows CCW rotation.  This coin is labeled as 1955 DDO-001  1-O-I-CCW   FS-101 (21.8).  







Now when you see a coin with a label like 1-O-I-CCW, you know the CCW stands for Counter Clockwise rotation and the I is for Class I doubling.  This will greatly help you along your journey to getting rich off error coins!

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