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1920 Lincoln Cent ..... Of Apparent Copper-nickel Composition

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 Posted 04/05/2020  10:19 am Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add ExoGuy to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Here's a 1920 Lincoln that I purchased forty years ago. It was among a group of "error" coins owned by one of the guys who discovered and first reported the 1938-D/S nickels. We were both dubious about calling it an off-metal coin at the time, so it got tucked away in my "mystery" box .... till recently, that is.




A few months ago, I took it to a show, and a dealer-friend "shot" it with one of those expensive "ray" guns that identifies the percentage of metal content in objects. The cent was then revealed to be 78% copper and 21% nickel; in effect, a copper-nickel Lincoln. Per Coin Facts, genuine Lincolns are 95% copper and 5% tin/zinc composition. I just sent it to another dealer-friend for submission to NGC.

The coin appears to have circulated for some time; this, as it now grades F-VF condition. The strike, weakened somewhat on the reverse detail caused me to initially suspect it might contain some of the harder metal, nickel. The coin's gray color (my pics seem to be close) added to my suspicion of nickel content.

While awaiting a verdict from NGC, I'm wondering if any of our members might have an idea about the planchet. I'm aware that the U.S. Mint has struck coins for many foreign entities for well over a hundred years now. Might one of those planchets, comparable in size to the cent, have fallen prey to the Lincoln dies?



*** Moved by Staff to a more appropriate forum. ***

Just thought about doing a google search and found this!!

https://www.davidlawrence.com/rare-coin/307542/

Looks like this 1920 cent may have been struck on a Argentina 10 centavo planchet.




Edited by ExoGuy
04/05/2020 10:47 am
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 Posted 04/05/2020  11:01 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Coinfrog to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Boy, that's a new one on me!
Edited by Coinfrog
04/05/2020 11:01 am
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 Posted 04/05/2020  11:08 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add T-BOP to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Yes it sure does look like it .
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 Posted 04/05/2020  11:15 am  Show Profile   Check Errers and Varietys's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add Errers and Varietys to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Very interesting! I would love to see what NGC is going to say.
More information about Die Deterioration? http://goccf.com/t/317950
Retired U.S. Mint Coin Die Set information. http://goccf.com/t/302961
Machine Doubling Tutorial. http://goccf.com/t/332421
Die states progression on coins. Scroll down, so you can see the different die state progressions. http://goccf.com/t/325638
Die Deterioration Doubling Tutorial. http://goccf.com/t/336470
Split Plate Doubling Tutorial. http://goccf.com/t/357614
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 Posted 04/05/2020  11:18 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Tunnioc to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
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 Posted 04/05/2020  11:24 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Vindex to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Very Nice Find! Argentina had there 5,10 and 20 cent Centavos minted at Philadelphia from 1919-1920. The weight and specific composition will help make that identification. The "ray gun" someone used at a coin show is an XRF (X-ray fluorescence). It measures the fluorescence given off by the coin to determine the alloys composition.
Cuba also had a copper/nickel coin minted at Philadelphia that year - 5 centavos. El Salvador had their copper/nickel 5 cent centavos minted at Philadelphia from 1915 to 1925. Nicaragua too had their CU/Ni 5C minted at P from 1919 to 1940. Peru, Philipines, Venezuela, complete the list of countries minting their similar to your suspect in that 1920 year period. You have the composition percentage, now the weight will help you narrow the search.
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 Posted 04/05/2020  12:12 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add ExoGuy to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks for the comments and info, guys ....

@Tunnioc ... Thanks! I didn't think that one would even be on eBay. Having downloaded and zoomed the pics of that PCGS "AU-50" coin, the condition is comparable to mine, strike weakness on lettering, wheat lines & Lincoln's hair; plus, striations overall.

@Vindex .... Thanks! This is exactly the info I was seeking. Can you cite the source?

I've been literally "sitting" on this coin for around forty years now. I only happened to root it out while looking for another suspected off-metal piece. I impulsively decided to take it to the show, along with three other suspect pieces. BTW, the three other suspect pieces, two tokens and a Lincoln cent, all tested as silver. That XRF "ray gun" is amazingly precise, it seems.
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 Posted 04/05/2020  12:37 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add CoinHunter27 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Wow that's certainly a find! Great find and I eagerly await the results from NGC!

-CH27
"Time is the coin of life. Only you can determine how it will be spent" -Carl Sandburg
A few notable finds:
1857 FEC DDO S-4 FS-101:
http://goccf.com/t/368150
1888-O $1 Hot Lips VAM-4:
http://goccf.com/t/363580
1970-S 1C DDO FS-103
http://goccf.com/t/372456




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 Posted 04/05/2020  12:43 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add CoinHI to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Amazing find and great looking coin! Great info too. I wonder if collectors have mistaken these as being "cleaned" and tossed the back into the wild..
Best Find - 1976 D WQ DDO-001 http://goccf.com/t/356041

Interesting find - 1947 S over inverted S http://goccf.com/t/368005
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 Posted 04/05/2020  1:01 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Greasy Fingers to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I'm wondering the weight?
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 Posted 04/05/2020  1:06 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add ExoGuy to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
@CoinHunter .... I just sent my dealer-buddy a link to this thread. I asked him to provide NGC with the info contained herein; this, that it may aid their attribution. He says he'll be sending my submissions in a week or so, along with some of his own pieces. I'll be sure to update this thread when NGC provides a determination.

@CoinHI .... Although I "somewhat knowledgeably" started watching my change as a paperboy in the late 1950's, I've never made a circulation find of and significant value. That said, I'd guess one's chances of doing so are likely better than hitting the lottery! Over the years, I've been fortunate to garner many great finds like this one from dealers and auctions. My success in these arenas resulted in my abandoning "the wild" over a half century ago!!

@Greasy Fingers .... Good question. Although I did weigh it some months ago, I neglected to record it. My thought was that NGC would make the ultimate determination, regardless. In retrospect, I should've done a google search back then. Counterstamped coins and early tokens tend to dominate my interest.
Edited by ExoGuy
04/05/2020 1:16 pm
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 Posted 04/05/2020  1:12 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Tunnioc to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
You also have a possible Silver Lincoln, Wowee!
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 Posted 04/05/2020  1:24 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add ExoGuy to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
@Tunnioc .... I did another thread on that silver Lincoln. It's a 1956-D, struck on a dime planchet. Because of so many doubters, I had that coin gunned, too, just to be able to say it was confirmed by the XRF gun. Even though it wasn't certified, I never doubted its authenticity. It's housed in a custom-made Capital Plastics slab and came from a reputable dealer.
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 Posted 04/05/2020  1:31 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add CoinHI to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Best Find - 1976 D WQ DDO-001 http://goccf.com/t/356041

Interesting find - 1947 S over inverted S http://goccf.com/t/368005
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 Posted 04/05/2020  5:04 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add mikediamond to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
There are quite a few of these slightly overwight copper-nickel cents from 1919 and 1920. The planchets are usually assigned to Argentina 10 centavos.
Error coin writer and researcher.
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 Posted 04/05/2020  5:52 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Vindex to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I have been researching the minting of US coins on foreign planchets for the last year. There is amazing research available through the library of Congress and your local library. The University of Chicago has research that covered the period through 1973. You probably would not want to go to the director of the treasury and read their reports for every year in question. It is tedious but very informing. After reading a 990+page pdf from 1898, I came to the conclusion that many of the assumed percentages of copper to tin/zinc ratio's are suspect. I could send you a 12 page summary pdf that I have found most helpful. If you can work it out with the editorial staff, you have my permission to get from them my email. I would love to ask you some questions about your passion, counter struck coins.
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