Million Dollar Coin? Two Headed or Two Tailed Coin and a real 1848 D/D Five Dollar Gold Piece
Back to the Article Index
by Frank M. Zapushek
Eight or nine times a week, we receive an email asking about a very rare
coin. Just received an email that you will not believe. Here is the email:
“I have recently found a quarter which is double punched. One side has a
1973 date, no mintmark the other side is dated 1994 with a P mintmark. I can
find no information anywhere, so I know it must be very rare. What value
would you place on the coin?”
Yes, the two-headed coin. Let’s look at this rare and valuable coin. By
using mirrors, I am able to show you both sides of a two-headed coin in one
photograph. Even when looking at the coin carefully, the coin looks real.
The coin is not cut in half and no seam can be seen on the edge, even
when examined under a microscope.
Now lets look at separate photographs of each side when separated. The
outside diameter of both photographs are the same size, yet notice how much
smaller the 1996 obverse is than the 1997. This is because both coins have
been altered by a computer controlled machine lathe.
By looking at the reverse of the two coins, you can see the lathing marks
on the inside of the coins. The coin has been lathed beginning at the inside
of the rim and is completely grooved out.
The 1996 coin was lathed starting at the rim and completely removing the
reverse of the coin. Only leaving the clad layer and a little of the copper
core. This allows the 1996 obverse to fit firmly inside this half of the
1997 obverse. Thus a two-headed quarter.
|The inside of this two-headed Kennedy half dollar gives
a better look at the lathe marks on the inside of the coin. Also if you
look carefully, you can see the pivot point at the center. The lathe
goes round and round until the correct depth as been removed.
The two-headed coins come in nickels, quarters, and half dollars. Each
coin can have two heads or two tails. These are sometimes called a
One of the companies that makes these magician’s coins is BR Numismatics
located in Flushing, Michigan. A spokesman for the company stated that two
quarters are used to make one magician’s coin.
A lathe that is computer controlled is used to grind out the first half
to a diameter of .875 and a thickness of .031. The second half is ground
down to a diameter of .874 and a thickness of .031. Then the two sides are
bonded together with a little metal adhesive.
A Real, Hard to Find Gem
I would like to take a few minutes to share with you and
very special half eagle. The coin is an 1848 D Coronet five dollar gold
piece. All gold coins stuck at the Dahlonega Branch Mint in Georgia are hard
to find. Only 47,465 of the 1848 D half eagle’s were struck, but only 20 of
these coins are known.
While only twenty are known, it is still not a million dollar coin. It is
not chicken feed either.
|Most 1848 D half eagle’s are weakly struck in the center
on both the obverse and the reverse. This coin is fully struck with
excellent detail in the center of the coin. The coin has beautiful color
and original mint luster.
What makes this coin so hard to find is the D over D mintmark. No
uncirculated specimens are known. Only one specimen has been graded AU 58,
while two have been graded AU 55. Several of the known specimens show a weak
second “D”, while this coin has a strong well defined repunched “D”. The
first “D” mintmark is located to the south/southwest of the primary
Do you have the only uncirculated specimen known for this coin? What will
determine you finding a “real” gem?
Knowledge, that is the difference between the value of an 1848 D and an
Need to sharpen your skills or just enjoy reading good coin related
material, visit our web page at
http://www.bakercoins.net. Information for the beginner or the
Have a coin question? Let us know at a coin show or contact us. Frank M.
Zapushek, PO Box 1993, Bloomington, IL 61702-1993 email: firstname.lastname@example.org