1c "Wide AM" Reverse Die Study
by Ken Potter - NLG
March 11, 2007
Coins courtesy of G. J. Lawson
Photomicrographs © Ken Potter 2007 unless otherwise noted
The first study published on the number of reverse dies involved in the production of the rare 1999 Lincoln cent variety with a proof-style "Wide AM" reverse was by G. J. Lawson in February of 2006 in his "List #96." He identified four reverse dies as used for the issue. I found it hard to believe that a variety could be this rare (I estimate that fewer than 300 specimens are known) could have been struck by this many dies. As such, I asked to examine the coins used in Lawson's study and walked away with different results. I determined that two of the four dies that Lawson had identified as distinct reverse varieties may have in fact been stages of what I was able to attribute as two distinct dies used for the issue. However, due to the fact that only one of each coin was available, the studies of both Lawson and myself are limited to the information we could gather from just these coins. This was effected by limitations caused by Lawson's Reverse Die#1 being broadstruck with lots of stretched metal effecting the appearance of the coin and his Reverse Die#4 being struck on a planchet with a plating streaks that appear like a multitude of raised die lines on both the obverse and reverse which made it difficult to establish which "lines" were in the die vs. those that were the result of a plating defect. As this point, based on the few coins available for study (and the problems associated with two of them) I cannot state conclusively how many reverse dies were used. Nonetheless, it is clear that at least two different reverse dies were used with at least two very distinct stages of each existing or that as many as four dies were used. More examples of these coins are needed to conclude this study.
My observations on what I have seen thus far are presented below but the real question that remains to be answered is why the issue is so rare!
Learn More About The 1998-1999-2000 Proof-Style "Wide AM" Business Strike Varieties Here
Lean About The 1998-S & 1999-S Circulation-Style "Close AM" Proof Varieties Here
1c Wide AM Reverse Lawson-001(Reverse Die-001)
1c Wide AM Reverse Lawson-002(Reverse Die-002)
1999 1c Wide AM
Reverse Lawson-003(Reverse Die-003)
1c Wide AM Reverse Lawson-004(Reverse Die-004)
Lawson-004 Die Scratches run from left cornice of Memorial Building to
UNITED. This could be an earlier stage of Lawson-003. These
light die scratches could have been abraded or worn away and then the
die crack on Lawson-003 developed. More study needed.
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