Obverse 1: High Level Date
Reverse A.2: Strike Doubling On Wreath and Ribbon Ends, Small Thin S, [mm C,H]
Obverse 1 Reverse A.2
Normal Reverse Diagnostics Strike Doubled Diagnostics
Comments: Breen (3347) lists a double reverse die for 1868-S coinage while stating, "Doubling obvious on ribbons and parts of the wreath; mintmark far to right". Breen's reference is Gilhousen:410. Greer makes mention of the Breen listing in his guidebook, but provides no photographs.
Bill Mackrides kindly submitted an 1868-S ANACS VF20 dime with doubling on the ribbon ends that matched the Breen 3347 listing and description. I was interested in seeing this dime to determine if the doubling was either hub doubling or strike doubling. My suspicion was that of strike doubling since I have many 1868-S examples in varying die states from only one die pair. The Breen 3347 description mentions a mintmark positioned far right, which in fact is the position of the mintmark on all 1868-S dimes.
Luckily, Bill Mackrides dimes was from late die state dies making the comparison to my PCGS MS64 dime straightforward as both coins were late die state examples. An inspection of both reverses quickly revealed a common diagnostic marker in the lower right wreath. Three parallel die scratches are evident to the left of the oak acorn at a 4:30 clock position. The common die scratches allow me to conclude that the Breen 3347 listing results from observations of strike doubling and not working hub transfer doubling.
1868-S examples with reverse strike doubling are rare and a rarity estimate of R6 is reasonable at this time for coins grading VF20 or better.
Plate Coin: Courtesy of Bill Mackrides Collection, ANACS VF20
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