Longacre Doubling - Show Your Examples
Longacre Doubling is a common sight on several type coins, most notably on the Indian Head cent and the Seated Liberty coins of all denominations. This type of doubling is not the rare double die variety that most collectors swoon over. To distinguish this type of doubling compared to others, here's an interesting link for reference:
Nonetheless, I think it adds visual interest.
Why does it occur? As explained here:
"There are two theories for Longacre’s doubling. The first, which is most popular, is that the master die was placed into the die steel to form the master die. To add details to the die, the engraver would then shave the sides of the punch used to add design elements, leaving a lip on that punch’s sides. The engraver would then conduct an extra hard hit to the punch leaving the shaved sides effects into the die. The effect would eventually wear off as the master die did age, which is why not all coins from a particular working die would have the Longacre’s doubling.
This is the second scenario. After adding the design elements to the master die, the engraver would move the punch slightly and tap it again. This would produce a ‘lip’ on the die, and the effect would make the metal flow into the punched in design elements more readily. In theory, this would also have prolonged the die’s life."
Learned former member Conder101 had this to say on another forum:
"I have always felt that Longacre deliberately added that small shoulder to the punches used to create the master dies as a visual aid so he would know when the punch had been driven deeply enough into the die. Longacre was not a die sinker, he was an engraver, in fact mostly a flat plate engraver. So he was not experience in knowing how deeply the lettering needed to punched. The shoulder also aided in die polishing/basining. When the shoulders disappeared the die would be properly basined and the lettering and devices would be at the proper desired relief above the field on the final coin. So a coin that still shows the Longacre doubling is from a die that wasn't properly finished.
After Longacre died the master dies and hubs he had made continued in use so the Longacre doubling effect can be seen long after he passed. But whenever the hubs were modified after he died, even if the general design didn't change, Longacre doubling disappears. For example on the Indian head cent Longacre Doubling is common until 1886, On the later date Hub of 1886 coins Longacre doubling is not seen. On the reverse that the last modification was the hub of 1870 which Longacre must have made in 1869 before his death. That hub was used through the end of the series and Longacre doubling can be found on the reverse through at least 1907."
This topic gives me an excuse to post large pics of my favorite coin. Note the full effect surrounding the stars, date, and arrows on the obverse.
On the reverse, see HALF DOL., arrows, and the rays on on the right and bottom.
Pretty cool, ain't it? Post pics of your coins with Longacre Doubling!