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Cross-Denomination Error
Lincoln-Kennedy Bowtie

The 37.5-Cent Specimen
A Phantasmagorical Wowser!

1974-D DDO Slab Set
Why I Downgraded
my Kennedys

Wrong Planchet Error
The Underweight Kennedy

The Lincoln - Kennedy Bowtie

By  Ken Glickman
December, 2005

As far as coincidences go, one of the most amazing sets of coincidences involves two of U.S. Presidents:  Abraham Lincoln and John Kennedy.   Just to name a few coincidences:

      • Both Presidents were shot on a Friday.
      • Both Presidents were shot in the head.
      • Lincoln's secretary was named Kennedy.
        Kennedy's secretary was named Lincoln.
      • Both Presidents were assassinated by Southerners.
      • Both were succeeded by Southerners.
      • Both successors were named Johnson.

Recently, a numismatic COINcidence surfaced on eBay in the form of a strange-looking specimen.  Its seller said that he found it in a bag from a bank in 1970 or 1971.

It turns out to be a rather small fragment of metal.  It might be nothing more than a piece of scrap metal - except ...

Right off the bat, one could see, on one side, the head of an eagle and a few letters of "AMERICA" and on its other side, a blankThe 37.5-Cent Specimen surface.

The design clearly comes from the reverse die used for the Kennedy half dollar.

The blank side indicates that a half-dollar planchet fell atop the fragment before being struck by the dies.  One can even make out the reeding at the fragment's outer edge.

The fragment's composition appears to be the same as that of a copper alloy used for making U.S. cent.  No evidence of three-layer cladding is apparent here.

The shape (outline) of the fragment is very similar to that of  chopped webbing from copper strip used for making blanks for the Lincoln cent.   Its longest side sports a curve while its opposite side shows a straight edge.  The fragment's curve fits very closely to the cent's curvature - both created by the cookie-cutter action of the blanking die.

The fragment's weight is 0.62 gram.

Lindy Stone one of the most active participants at Mike Diamond's Yahoo Discussion Group, Error Coin Information Exchange (ECIE, for short), is the first person to diagnose the fragment as coming from the chopped copper cent strip and being struck by 50-cent reverse and collar dies.

As luck would have it, Lindy Stone had two one-cent bowtie specimens in his collection.  He remarked in ECIE that the fragment's shape appears very similar to his two bowties (which are actually chopped copper strip fragments struck by one-cent dies - such errors are often affectionately called bowties) and provided their weights: .70 gram and .86 gram

Although the fragment does not show any denomination, it is quite evident that it came from the chopped copper strip whose holes were punched out for the Lincoln cent and that it subsequently got struck by Kennedy half dollar's reverse and collar dies.

Hence, the COINcidental name:  The Lincoln-Kennedy Bowtie.

P.S.  By the way, should one of you ever come across the half dollar whose reverse got indented by the Lincoln-Kennedy Bowtie, please do get in touch with me.  I, for one, very much want to see these two get married together and am willing to offer a sizeable dowry.

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