The 1969-S Doubled Die Penny
The 1969-S Doubled Die Error Coin
If you are familiar with error coins, you have most likely heard of the doubled die error. If you have ever heard of the doubled die error… then you might have heard about the 1969-S doubled die penny. This penny is one of the most famous doubled die error coins that has ever been minted at the U.S. Mint.
The 1969 penny that we are speaking about is actually the 1969-S doubled die obverse Lincoln Cent. The S is for San Francisco, the place the coin was minted. This coin is an error coin that almost all collectors want to own. The Cherrypickers’ Guide has the 1969-S Lincoln Cent listed at $150,000 in MS-65 condition! That’s a lot of money for a single penny!
One of the reasons for this coin carrying such a hefty price tag is it’s dramatic doubling that it boasts on it’s obverse side. Check out this picture below that shows the intense doubling on the 1969 doubled die penny.
This doubled die was discovered in 1970 and it immediately made the front page news in Coin World on July 8th, 1970. As you can see, the doubling on this coin is very dramatic. The doubling is so dramatic, many people believed this coin to be a counterfeit. The United States Secret Service attempted to track down all of the 1969-S doubled die coins because they too thought the coins were fakes! By the time this variety was found to be legitimate, there had already been 5 of these beautiful error coins destroyed!
How to Tell if you Have The 1969-S Doubled Die Penny
If you have a 1969 penny, you should first check to see if it has the S mint mark on the coin. You will find the mint mark directly below the date of the coin.The next step to determine whether you have this coin or not is to look at the coin under magnification. You can purchase a loupe at eBay or Amazon for a great price! While looking at the coin under magnification, you will be able to see the doubling very clearly if you have the correct coin. You can actually see the doubling without the loupe in many cases. This doubling is the most important part of determining whether you have the 1969-S doubled die penny or not. You must look closely to determine if there is any difference between your coin and the coin in the picture on this page. Since the coin is a doubled die, there can not be any inconsistencies between your coin and the coin in the pictures. The doubling must be identical. A doubled die coin and a coin that has machine doubling can look similar to the untrained eye. Something that will help you is to read my page on the doubled die error coin. Another tip that will help you in the identification process is to look at the mint mark. Many times, if the mint mark is doubled along with the letters and numbers on the coin, there is a good chance that it is machine doubling. During this time period, the mint mark was put on the coin at a different time, so it would be hard for them to both be doubled the same way. There have been reports of a few doubled die’s that also had strike doubling, but I have not personally seen any of these coins yet. That doesn’t mean they are not out there though!