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Press Release - March 2, 2006
Rare Doubled Die Nickel Hits the Auction Block!
Dallas, Texas: "The Doubled Die 1916 is the key date to a complete Guide Book collection of Buffalo nickels," said Greg Rohan, President of Heritage Auction Galleries. "It is even tougher than its closest competitor, the 1918/7-D. Both varieties are rare because their significance was not recognized for many years after their production, by which time most survivors were circulated."
"There was little reason to save a 1916 nickel in Mint State," Rohan continued, "since its mintage of nearly 63.5 million pieces was the highest of the type aside from the 1936 and 1937. One must wonder how many collectors over the years received an example, noticed the wide die doubling on the date, then spent the piece because the 1916 was a 'common date.' The variety did not appear in the Guide Book until the 1978 edition. As a result, the two leading grading services, NGC and PCGS, have certified a total of just 13 pieces across all Mint State grades, some of which may be resubmissions."
"The sharp example we're offering," Rohan stated, "a 1916 5C Doubled Die Obverse AU58, shows slight wear on the hipbone, which prevents an Uncirculated grade. The subtle multicolor toning is attractive, and offers lilac, powder-blue, and tan tints. Neither side reveals any reportable marks, and the overall appearance is pleasing. The obverse die doubling is strongest on the 6 in the date, but the other three date digits are also widely doubled, with a lighter impression from the initial hubbing. All three feathers are die doubled at their bases. LIBERTY is not die doubled, since the pivot point for the Class V doubling is within that legend. The absence of die doubling on LIBERTY probably delayed the reporting of the variety for many years, since doubled die varieties were inevitably compared with the 1955 DDO cent, which has dramatic Class I doubling. For Class I, the pivot point is the center of the die, and all peripheral elements exhibit a similar spread. The numismatic science of die varieties greatly advanced during the 1970s, to the benefit of important varieties such as the 1916 DDO nickel."
Heritage Auction Galleries will offer the 1916 5C Doubled Die Obverse AU58 NGC in their upcoming Signature Auction, to be held April 7-9, 2006 as the official auctioneer of the American Numismatics Association's 2006 National Money Show, at the Cobb Galleria Centre, Two Galleria Parkway, Atlanta, Georgia 30339.
Images, descriptions, and prices realized from all of Heritage's previous auctions are available in the Permanent Auction Archives at the Heritage website.
To reserve your copy of a catalog for any upcoming Heritage auction, please contact Nicole Jewell, c/o Heritage Auction Galleries, 3500 Maple Avenue, 17th Floor, Dallas, TX 75219, or call 1-800-872-6467, ext. 272.