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Elusive 1969-S Doubled Die Cent, FS-101
MS63 Red, Only Four Red Pieces at PCGS

1969-S 1C Doubled Die MS63 Red PCGS. CAC. FS-101. The two variety coins in the Lincoln cent series that immediately preceded the 1969-S Doubled Die cents were merely rehearsals, warmups for the main event. The 1955 Doubled Die cents were discovered within weeks of their release, many in the form of change in cigarette vending-machine packs. They were, and still are today, noteworthy for the strength and spread of their doubling, the remarkable "wrongness" of examples when viewed by collectors. But since they were the first of their kind, collectors doubted for a long while whether and how much premium they would be worth.
The 1960-P and -D Small Date cents set off (or fanned the flames of) the first mania in "modern" BU rolls when they were noticed. In the same year that Coin World debuted, the hobby of numismatics caught fire, the blaze lasting through 1964-65, when Mint Director Eva Adams got out her fire extinguisher. New Library of Coins albums spurred collectors and collecting, and the Small Date cents and related varieties added fuel to the speculative bonfire surrounding bank-wrapped BU rolls, most especially 1950-D nickels. After Coin World published a story on the 1960 Small Dates, $50 bags of bank-wrapped BU 1960-P Small Date rolls soared to more than $12,000.
Today, the 1960 Small Date cents are pretty much passé if collectible, although there are some interesting doubled die and tripled die Cherrypickers' proof varieties. The 1955 Doubled Die Lincoln cents are eternally popular, and finding true Red examples with original color and surfaces is a challenge.
The 1955 Doubled Die cents, however, despite their eminent collectibility, pale in rarity beside the 1969-S Doubled Die cents, which are by far the most important Cherrypickers' varieties in the Lincoln Memorial series. They are far, far rarer than their earlier counterparts, and with true Red color as here, they are even more remarkable rarities. The data say it all: PCGS has seen 63 submissions of the 1955 Doubled Die in MS63 Red, with 157 pieces finer. The present 1969-S is tied with one other piece in MS63 Red at PCGS, and there are two Red pieces finer, both MS64 Red (9/11).
And this is a genuinely Red representative, pale copper-gold with slight cloudiness over the upper obverse but no Brown-designating color. On the reverse, a scattering of minor carbon spots culminates in two larger areas, below the right side of the steps and between the third and fourth columns in the Memorial. The strike is well-defined and the doubling obvious, especially on the base of the L in LIBERTY and nearby letters, where it is visible to the unaided eye. For the many collectors of Lincoln cents, this is an opportunity unlikely to repeat itself anytime soon.(Registry values: P1) (NGC ID# 22GJ, PCGS# 2923)

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Auction Dates
October, 2011
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 11
Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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