Composing a ‘top’ or ‘best of’ list is always a subjective process and subject to criticism. However, choosing the most desirable specimen for each die variety by type is pretty straight forward. It will also give us a foundation on which to build other ‘top sets’, like a list of Top Varieties by Date. Selected varieties and discussions are presented here. Please feel free to use the comment form at the bottom of the page to provide feedback and suggestions. As always, this list can change as new varieties are discovered.
- CRK – Exotic Cracked Dies
- CUD – Terminal Die Failures
- DDs – Doubled Dies
- MPD – Misplaced Dates
- Digits in the field
- Digits in the denticles
- Digits in the portrait
- ODD – Oddities
- OVD – Overdate
- RPD – Repunched Date
- RPM – Repunched Mint Mark
- RST – Rusted Die
Top Die Varieties by Type
CRK – Exotic Cracked Dies: 1864 No-L BR CRK-003
There are many fantastic die cracks out there, but none as complete as the 1864 No-L BR CRK-003. The crack must extend through the center of the coin to get a full premium.
CUD – Terminal Die Failures: TBD
The most desirable CUD has yet to be identified. Do you collect cuds? Help us out letting us know which is your favorite.
DDO – Doubled Die Obverse: 1873 DDO-001
The top doubled die obverse (DDO) is unequivocally the 1873 DDO-001. It is very rare and the amazingly wide doubling commands significant interest from error coin enthusiasts in addition to specialized collectors of the FEC and IHC series.
DDR – Doubled Die Reverse: 1865 DDR-001
The top doubled die reverse is the 1865 DDR-001. So dramatic is the doubling that one can see it from a mile away without their glasses!
MDC – Multi-denom. Clash: 1857 MDC-002
The 1857 MDC-002 was chosen as the top multi-denominational clash of the series, although the other two are comparable: the 1857 MDC-001 and MDC-003. For this listing, the MDC-002 was chosen because the outline of the eagle imparted by a seated quarter die is so recognizable. Those who are familiar with the Seated Liberty series should instantly recognize the quarter dollar’s outline on the reverse of 1857 MDC-002.
MPD – Misplaced Date
With all the amazing MPDs out there, they had to be divided into three categories: in the field, in the denticles, and in the portrait.
In the field: 1897 MPD-001
Without argument, the 1897 MPD-001 is the most desired MPD. The best thing about this variety is that it is so readily available. They are very rare in high grade, but collectors should have no problem locating lower grade examples at very affordable prices.
In the denticles: 1870 DDO-001, MPD-001, RPD-002
Okay, so this decision is tough. The 1870 series has the boldest single MPD in the denticles, as well as a die with the most numerous MPDs known. The 1870 DDO-001, MPD-001, RPD-002 was chosen because it is simply one of the most desired of all varieties. It contains a double die, a misplaced date, and a repunched date all on one coin!
In the portrait: 1882 MPD-003
There are several varieties that exhibit digits inside the neck and string of pearls. None are as bold as the 1882 MPD-003. On this variety, you can not only see the base of a 1, but you can see the lower portion of the 1’s trunk.
OCC – Off-center Clash: 1880 OCC-001
The 1880 OCC-001 is the most widely desired off-centered die clash known – across all series. It commands a significant premium in any grade, and is exceedingly rare. It was chosen as the top OCC due to the strength and breadth of clashing. The 1889 OCC-001 deserves special recognition for exhibiting two OCC on the same die, but the fine details of the massive clash in 1880 gives it an edge. It is also paired with a DDO!
ODD – Oddities
With all the crazy odd varieties out there, it is completely up to the collector on which one would be most desirable. Which is your favorite?!
OVD – Overdate: 1857 OVD-001 and 1888 OVD-001
Well, we only have three overdates in the series. The 1888 OVD-001 is a ‘gimme, and the 1857 OVD-001 is the most desired of the two FEC overdates. It has the boldest impressions from the top of a 7 in the earliest die states. Later die states may command little or no premium.
RPD – Repunched Date: 1894 RPD-001
Another tough decision here with the hundreds of RPD varieties. However, the 1894 RPD-001 is consistently recognized among the community as the most dramatic and desirable of all RPDs. There are many repunched dates that would give the 1894 a run for its money, namely the fantastic RPDs from 1864.
RPM – Repunched Mint Mark: 1908 S RPM-001
San Francisco minted Indian Cents for only two years, 1908 and 1909. Thus, they didn’t get many opportunities to repunch mintmarks on the series. One is known, the 1908 S RPM-001.
RST – Rusted Die: 1901 RST-001
Only two examples are known of the most dramatic rusted die yet found, the 1901 RST-001. The discovery coin is attributed to Rick Snow, and the other specimen was located by one of this site’s authors. Pictures are forthcoming of this amazing variety.