Displays Wide AM
By Numismatic News
"Wide AM Proof-Style Cent Reverse" on a 1996
Lincoln cent circulation strike was reported by
Billy Crawford of South Carolina, according to
the Web site of the Combined Organization of
Numismatic Error Collectors of America.
CONECA reports that Crawford found the coin
"while searching through rolls of cents that he
obtained from the bank. In addition to a widely
spaced AM of AMERICA the variety also exhibits
Frank Gasparro's designer initials, FG, closer
to the Memorial building than on the normal
The "Wide AM" cent variety, CONECA said, was
created "when the Mint inadvertently processed
dies intended for proof coinage as business
strike dies. The same error also occurred in
1998, 1999 and 2000."
It further noted that "some 1998-S and 1999-S
proof cents can be found mated with a reverse
die bearing the 'Close AM' business strike
reverse processed as proof dies."
Additionally, CONECA explained, "somehow just
before the transition in 1993 after the new
'Close AM' dies were prepared at least one
'Close AM' die (for each mint) was used to
produce a very small quantity of 1992 and 1992-D
cents with the 'Close AM' design (everything
prior to 1993 should have been 'Wide AM'). These
are presumed by some to be test-strikes minted
at the end of 1992 to make sure the dies were
compatible for striking with the obverse
designs. Both 1992 and 1992-D 'Close AM'
varieties are very rare in any grade."
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