by Frank M. Zapushek

Variety not only is the “Spice of Life”, but it can add value to your collection. What else can cost only a little more and in some instances nothing more, but have greater value.

Variety coins have been collected for years. A coin does not need to be a Doubled Die or an Overdate that sells for several hundred dollars. Like the 1955 Doubled Die Lincoln cent or the 1942/41 P or D Mercury dime. It does not need to be a repunched mintmark or a repunched date.

A variety is just something on the die that makes the coin different than coins struck with other dies. It can be as simple as change in mintmark styles, or a redesigned master die to improve the design elements of a coin. A good example is the 1913 Buffalo nickel. Type 1 has the “FIVE CENT” on a raised mound and Type 2 has the “FIVE CENT” recessed.

Does this real make a difference in value? The 1913 S Type 1 in EF condition sells for about $45, while the Type 2 sells for about $270.

This is a very well know variety, almost all collectors know about this variety. Even if they do not collect Buffalo nickels.

A variety that is not very well know is the 1928 S Walking Liberty half dollar. The coin has two different style mintmarks. Type 1 is shown to the left. This style is found on the majority of the 1928 S coins. Notice the style of the serifs and the spacing between the curves of the “S” mintmark. This is the same mintmark style that was used on the quarters.

The type two “S” mintmark is distinctively different and very hard to find. Notice the slant of the lower serif and the space difference in the upper and lower loops of the S. This is the style and size of the “S” mintmark used on the Lincoln ce

Not a major difference in the coins, and not a major difference in value of the coins. A 1928 S Ty 1 in EF condition sells for about $95, while the Ty 2 sells for about $115. Not enough difference to buy a new car, but ever little bit helps.

What could the difference be in twenty or thirty more years?

Lets take a look at some of the modern day variety coins.

Because of the articles in numismatic magazines, many collectors know of the 2000 Lincoln cent Type 1 & 2 coins.

The photograph on the left above is the “Type 1” 2000 Lincoln cent. Notice the “AM” of AMERICA is joined at the bottom. While the photograph on the right shows the “AM” has separation between the two letters. A Proof die was used on the “Type 2 reverse.”

It may have been at years end and the another reverse die was needed, or the Proof reverse die may have been picked up by mistake.

What caused the two different varieties is not important. What is important is the value. A BU Type 1 sells for about 10 cents, while the Type 2 sells for about $35.

But that is only half of the story. Did you know that there is a Type 1 and a Type 2 reverse on the 1998 and 1999 Lincoln cent? Try to find one. I have only seen one for each date. I offer to buy both Type 2 coins from the two collectors…. I offered both of the collectors $100 for the coins. They said, “No Thanks”.

What will be the value of these coins, twenty or thirty years down the road?

Lets look a little know Type 1 and Type 2 Roosevelt dime. Yes, a Roosevelt dime.

The 1946 S Roosevelt dime has a mintage of 27,900,000. You can buy a MS 65 Roosevelt dime for about $2. I do not think that will but the hurts on any collector, but it might make they very happy years down the road.

But for this coin, the collector wants the Type 1 variety not the Type 2 variety.

At the beginning of the production year for this new design, a die was used that did not have give well defined design elements. The designer initials were very weak and in many cases, the date was also weak.

This is true of all three mints.

The Type 1 variety is shown above. The main way to identify this variety is the designer initials are weak and the “9” comes to a point at the end of the tail. Also, the “Y” in LIBERTY is further from the forehead. But you really need to be sharp to notice the differences in the distance.

The Type 2 variety is shown below.

The designers initials are well defined and the tail of the “9” is blunt.

The interest in this coin is beginning to increase, since a new book by Kevin Flynn was just released. The name of the book is “The Authoritative Reference on Roosevelt Dimes”.

Since the interest in this variety is increasing, will the increase in value follow? Only time will tell.

Have a question or want to have your coin featured in the ILNA Digest, just let me know. Talk to me at a coin show, or contact: Frank M. Zapushek, PO Box 1993, Bloomington, IL 61702-1993 or email: Never a charge for answering a question. Reprinted with permission from