U.S. Mint Strikes Two Varieties for
1998 & 2000 Lincoln Cent Reverse!

Scarce Business Strike Variety
Found With Proof Style Reverse

Some 1998 Specimens Found With "Phantom D"*

Ken Potter 2001
Updated 6/02/01

Very Scarce To Rare

Type-2 Proof Style Reverse

"A search of current and completed eBay auctions seems to imply that the 1998 may be very scarce to rare since a number of 2000 dated specimens have been offered while I can find no offers of the 1998!"

       In John Wexler's front page Coin World story of January 22, 2001 he reported the discovery of a 2000 dated business strike Lincoln Cent struck with a proof style reverse die.  Shortly after his announcement the same variety was found on 1998 dated cents (See Randy Camper's February 5th front page Coin World story).  As noted by Wexler, since 1993, the reverse dies for the Lincoln Cent have bore noticeable differences between the dies used for general business strikes and those prepared for special proof coinage.  In fact, in our Coin World VIP tour of the Philadelphia Mint, (that Wexler and I attended in 1998), a Mint spokesman noted that the dies for proof cents were different from business strike dies, with special enhancements of the proof dies implemented for cosmetic reasons. It was obvious that the proof style dies were never intended to be used for business strike coinage.
So far, finds of Ty-2 variety for both dates have proven to be very few and far between with the 1998 appearing many times scarcer than the 2000.           A search of current and completed eBay auctions (as of  5/01/01) seems to imply that the 1998 may be very scarce to rare since a number of 2000 dated specimens have been offered while I can find no offers of the 1998!

Type 1 Regular Business Strike Reverse

Type 1: On this regular business strike variety (Ty-1) the letters AM of AMERICA are close together and almost touching; the designer's initials, FG, at the right side of the base of the Memorial Building are spaced well away from the building.

Type 2 Proof Style Reverse

    Type 2:  On this business strike with proof style reverse (Ty-2) the letters AM of AMERICA are spaced significantly further apart than on the the Ty-1; the designer's initials, FG, are close to the base of the Memorial Building.  This issue is very scarce on both 1998 and 2000 dated cents.

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    *Some of the 1998 pieces also exhibit the so-called "Phantom D" Mint Mark; slight traces of the Denver Mint Mark that were left on the the 1998 Lincoln cent master hub, modified for use as a Philadelphia hub.  The so-called "Phantom D" variety was created by the Mint by grinding the Denver Mint Mark off the master hub and then using it to produce a master die for Philadelphia cent die production.  Traces of the D remained on the master hub and were transferred to the master die and then to working hubs and further on to working dies.  In general, the "Phantom D" wore off the tooling in short order and thus only shows on coins produced from earlier stages of the Philadelphia cent tooling.  We make note of them here for completness and for those that are interested in acquiring one with the Type 2 reverse. 

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Ken Potter
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