Ken Potter's Educational Series ...

1999 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!

1999 1c Wide AM Reverse Lawson-001(Reverse Die-001)
Note: This coin is a Broadstrike giving it some effects that need to be ignored for die study purposes.

Lawson-001 Die Clash Marks from top of Memorial Building to dot in front O UNUM and U of UNUM

Lawson-001 Die Clash Mark from top of Memorial Building NE

Lawson-001 Die Clash Marks Inside Third, Seventh and Eighth Bays Of Memorial Building

Lawson-001 "Marker" - Die Clash Marks on Obverse


1999 1c Wide AM Reverse Lawson-002(Reverse Die-002)

Lawson-002 Die Clash Marks from top of Memorial Building to dot in front Of UNUM and marks U of UNUM;
a long die mark runs under the ED of UNITED and ST of STATES.  This may be a later die state of L-001.

Lawson-002 Die Clash Mark from top of Memorial Building NE.

Lawson-002 Die Clash Marks Inside Seventh Bay Of Memorial Building.
This is the die pairing that the vast majority of the known 1999 Wide AM cents are from
 including all 130 pieces that I have owned and 50 pieces that another dealer has owned.

One reported from this die by Edward Fletcher on March 23, 2007.


1999 1c Wide AM Reverse Lawson-003(Reverse Die-003)

Lawson-003 Die Crack down steps of Memorial Building.

One reported from this die by G. J. Lawson in February 2006.
One reported from this die by Billy Crawford in March 2007.


1999 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.
This coin contains many plating "lines" on obverse and reverse.


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