Class II Doubled Die Error

Class II Doubled Die Error

Class II Doubled Die Errors





When dealing with error coins, it is important to know every little detail about each error.  The more you know about errors, the more errors you will be able to find.  The doubled die error is one error where knowledge is everything.  If you already know everything about the doubled die coin you are looking for, you will be able to find it much quicker than if you knew nothing about it.  There are 8 classes of doubled die errors.  Each doubled die error coin can be placed into one of these 8 classes.  Each class represents a different method for which a doubled die can be created.  This post is about the class II doubled die error coin.  The Class II doubled die is also known as distorted hub doubling.  

To quickly refresh your memory on how a doubled die error coin is made, the first step is when the artist creates the image to go on the coin. This is then transferred to the master hub. The master hub is sent to the hoping press where they create a master die from it. This in turn, is used to create the working hub. Last, the working of is used to create a working die. The working dies are used to create the coins.  This process good to know and understand if you want to be successful at finding error coins.

Something else to keep in mind is the shape of each hub and die. What I mean by this is one is convex and one is concave. The master hub is convex meaning the image is raised. This raised or convex image is used to create the master die. When this raised image presses against the other piece of metal it creates a concave image. You should always keep this in mind when trying to understand the minting process.

When it comes to the class II doubled die error, understanding the minting process is important. Class II doubled die errors are called distorted hub doubling because of the way the doubling occurs. We now know some class 2 doubled dies occurred from something other than a distorted hub, but the name has stuck.


How Class II Doubled Die Errors Are Created


class II doubled die error 1971 s

The image above is of a 1971-S Lincoln Cent featuring class II doubling.


As I stated earlier, there is a process for which each hub and die is made. The working hub is used to create a working die. If you think about this process, you can understand how class II doubling occurs. Each working hub is convex (has a raised image). In the past, each hub would be pressed against each die multiple times to get the full image. A working hub was used hundreds of times and created hundreds of different working dies before being discarded. The convex image on each hub would become distorted after creating several dies. This is where the name “distorted hub doubling” came from.  

Over the years independent research has determined there are other reasons why this doubling may occur.  Each hub would be squeezed against each die multiple times when creating a die. This method we refer to as “multiple squeeze”technique. The Mint now uses a “single squeeze” technique to create dies.

In the old days, between these squeezes, the annealing process was used to help imprint the image. Each die would be heated and cooled to help transfer the image. There was no guarantee that the die would be paired with the same hub that made the first impression, therefore it’s easy to see how an error could occur. If the second image was created by a newer hub, you would get a smaller more precise image over the distorted image creating an error.

A class II doubled die error could also occur during the annealing process. During this process when the metal is heated and cooled, the metal changes shapes. As we know, metal expands when heated and shrinks when cooled. With the metal changing shapes like this, a misaligned image is possible. If the metal expanded on the working dies and didn’t return to its original shape, the hub and die would not perfectly align and doubling would occur.


class II doubled die error 1960 overdate


In the picture above you can see the variety from 1960 that many collectors love.  This is the small date over large date variety.  The die pairs were not paired back up correctly, so you have a misaligned image when the second impression was made.  This leaves 2 distinct images.  

The End of Class II Doubling or Distorted Hub Doubling 


Class II doubled die error can be created in different ways. It was first thought to only be made from an overused hub with a distorted image pressing against a die. However, over the years researchers have found other ways in which class two errors can occur.  This type of error can occur from mismatched hub and die pairs also.  Either way, the Class II  doubled die error is created from a misaligned image during multiple  hubbings.  

Since multiple hubbings are necessary to create a class II doubled die error, the Mint has  virtually eliminated all class to doubled die error coins.   In the  late 90’s, the Mint began using a “single squeeze” method for making dies.  So when a die is made, the hub and die only make contact one time.  This way there is no chance for a misaligned image on the second hubbing because there is no second hubbing.  So this is possibly the end of the Class II doubled die error.  The Mint would like to eliminate all errors but considering the millions of coins they produce every year… it just seems impossible.  

Understanding how these errors occur will greatly help you in your search for error coins.  You must know what to look for or you will never find an error!  If you know everything about each error you are looking for, you will have a better chance of finding that error coin.  

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