Pound stumbles as Brexit uncertainty persists into 2020

The pound opens 2020 on weak footing as Brexit jitters continue to weigh on sentiment. Sterling remains on the defensive this morning, with GBP/EUR ticking down to €1.1737, GBP/USD retreating to $1.3096, and GBP/CAD tumbling to C$1.6975. GBP/AUD and GBP/NZD remain rangebound at AU$1.8838 and NZ$1.9659 respectively. Looking ahead, will the release of the latest … Read more

Wide AM and Close AM Lincoln Varieties

wide-am-vs-close-am-lincoln-memorial-cent error coins

Wide AM and Close AM Lincoln Varieties Lincoln cent varieties.

So, what exactly is a Wide AM and Close AM Cent?
The terms Close AM and Wide AM refer to the spacing between the letters ‘A’ and ‘M’ in “America” on the reverse of the Lincoln Memorial Cent. The terms generally refer to the different die varieties of 1992, 1998, 1999 and 2000. From its introduction in 1959 through 1992, all Lincoln Memorial Cents including both business and proof strikes were intended to have the Wide AM reverse. In 1993 the mint changed to the Close AM reverse for both its business and proof strikes. Then in 1994 the mint changed once more and began to produce all business strikes with Close AMs, while using the Wide AMs on all proofs, until the coins last year of production in 2008.


So, what are the varieties?
The first and rarest of the varieties is the 1992 and 1992D Close AM. It appears that the mint used the reverse die intended for the 1993 cent on an unknown but limited number of 1992 cents at both the Philadelphia and Denver mint.  As of the time of this writing, there are only three known examples from the Philadelphia mint and less than 15 from Denver. A 1992D Close AM PCGS AU58 recently fetched $3,550 here on eBay.

The next rarest is the 1998S and 1999S Proof Strike Close AM variety. The 1998 being the rarer of the two, generally selling in the $300 range, and the 1999S around $100.

The third and final variety is the 1998, 1999, and 2000 Wide AM, with the 1999 being the rarest, then 1998, and finally the 2000. Although the least valuable in this article, they may be the most exciting as it can generally be found in circulation. The 2013 Redbook values the 1999 at $500, 1998 at $25, and 2000 at $20. I have personally found the 1998 Wide AM in pocket change.

So, How do I tell them apart?
The simplest and most obvious way to tell the two apart is to first look at a known Wide AM (1959-1991), and compare it with a known Close AM (1993-1997; 2001-2008) with a jewelers loop or magnifying glass. A Close AM should appear to either be touching or have just enough space between the letters for a piece of paper to slide between them. The  letters of the Wide AM variety will look separated and like a piece of paper will have a lot of wiggle room if slid between. After examining under a magnifying glass enough times, your eye will become accustomed to the difference, and you should be able to tell which is which with the naked eye.

The other way to tell them apart is to look at the distance between the initials “FG” and the base of the Lincoln Memorial. The Close AM variety will have wide initials, whereas the Wide AM variety will have close initials. Just remember the opposite will be true for the initials and the AM. I personally find this method unnecessary and more difficult than the first.

Example of Wide AM (top) and Close AM (bottom)

Image Courtesy of NGC

Notable Mention:
In January 2009, Billy Crawford author of Die Variety News, a bi-monthly magazine dedicated to the various die varieties of Lincoln cents and other US coins, reported the discovery of a unique 1996 Wide AM variety Lincoln Cent. The coin was reported to have a 50 degree rotational die error reverse and be of the Wide AM variety. It was said to have been stolen from him along with other coins in a robbery outside of a coin show a short time later. Its existence was never authenticated by a third party grading service, and its current whereabouts is unknown.

Wide AM vs Close AM Lincoln Varieties

Guide to US Coins

Guide to US Coins A U.S. type coin set offers collectors an opportunity to show their individuality. Ultimately, this set should be fun and rewarding to build. But what exactly is a type set? This set should contain one coin of every major design and metallic composition within a series. It is arranged by denomination … Read more

Handling Coins and Caring for Your Coin Collection

handling coins

CARING FOR YOUR COINS It is essential to keep your collections pristine. Proper handling and care is a big part of this, here are some ways to improve this. Handling: Coins should be held by their edges between thumb and forefinger. This will protect coin surfaces and designs from fingerprints and the natural oils in … Read more

Where to Sell Coins – A Guide to Making Money From Your Money

where to sell coins

Where to Sell Your Coins First things first, if you haven’t glanced at our Beginner’s Guide To Coin Collecting – You MAY want too. Otherwise, read on good friend! Secondly, DO NOT Clean Your Coins! Cleaning them automatically makes them worth less. A coin with a few small dings that has not been cleaned is worth … Read more

1971 Double Die Obverse

double die obverse

1971 Double Die Obverse

Basic information and images on the 1971 double die obverse Lincoln memorial cent.


1995 Double Die Obverse Lincoln Cent

Double die obverse is a term in numismatics used to refer to doubling in the design elements of a coin.

Doubled dies can appear as an outline of the design or in extreme cases, having legends and dates appear twice in an overlapping fashion.



Rare Double Die Pennies – 2000 d Doubled Die Reverse

Rare Double Die || 2000 d Doubled Die Reverse WDDR-001

The Best of Variety and Error – featuring rare double die pennies

Viewer submission piece.


rare double die

5 Modern George Washington Quarter doubled dies found in pocket change

george washington

5 Modern Washington Quarter doubled dies you can find in pocket change

The Washington quarter is the present quarter dollar or 25-cent piece issued by the United States Mint. The coin was first struck in 1932; the original version was designed by sculptor John Flanagan.
As the United States prepared to celebrate the 1932 bicentennial of the birth of its first president, George Washington, members of the bicentennial committee established by Congress sought a Washington half dollar. They wanted to displace for that year only the regular issue Walking Liberty half dollar; instead Congress permanently replaced the Standing Liberty quarter, requiring that a depiction of Washington appear on the obverse of the new coin. The committee had engaged sculptor Laura Gardin Fraser to design a commemorative medal, and wanted her to adapt her design for the quarter. Although Fraser’s work was supported by the Commission of Fine Arts and its chairman, Charles W. Moore, Treasury Secretary Andrew W. Mellon chose a design by Flanagan, and Mellon’s successor, Ogden L. Mills, refused to disturb the decision.George Washington


The new silver quarters entered circulation on August 1, 1932; and continued to be struck in silver until the Mint transitioned to copper-nickel clad coinage in 1965. A special reverse commemorating the United States Bicentennial was used in 1975 and 1976, with all pieces bearing the double date 1776–1976; there are no 1975-dated quarters. Since 1999, the original eagle reverse has not been used; instead that side of the quarter has commemorated the 50 states, the nation’s other jurisdictions, and National Park Service sites—the last as part of the America the Beautiful Quarters series, which will continue until 2021. The bust of Washington was made smaller beginning in 1999; in 2010 it was restored to bring out greater detail.