1959 D Wheat Reverse Lincoln Penny Error


1959-D Mule Lincoln - Forgery or Fairplay? The 1959-D Mule Lincoln Cent is an odd error and a bit of a legend in the coin community. In 1959 the reverse of the Lincoln Cent was changed from the original wheat reverse to the Lincoln memorial. All pennies minted in 1959 had the memorial on the reverse except one...

In 1986 Leon Baller claimed to have purchased a 1959 D Wheat Cent. A coin that according to the US Mint does not exist. He claimed he purchased it for $1,500 and that the coin was an anomaly. Leon took the coin to the mint for verification. The mint sent the coin back to Leon with a note attached that read "Enclosed is your United States 1C coin, dated 1959-D, with a wheat reverse. This coin was microscopically examined by our Forensic Services Division in Washington, D.C. and it is our opinion the coin is genuine."

Here is where the story becomes more than a little strange...

Leon sends the coin to several grading companies and they refuse to certify it because they claim it's a forgery. The coin is now uncertified, but still somehow manages to sell at Heritage Auction. It is again taken to the treasury by it's new owner and again they say it's authentic.

Years later Mark Hofmann, a man who was lawfully charged with coin forgery, claimed he created the 1959-D Wheat cent using a technique called spark erosion, and sold the coin to a dealer.

Even after Mark Hoffman publicly claimed to create the coin it sells at auction again, and again.

So is the 1959-D Mule Lincoln Forgery or Fairplay? At this point it doesn't really matter if it's a fake or not. It's a legend, and worth tens of thousands of dollars according to sales from auctions.

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Known errors. Coins in order by date. To learn more about each error simply click on the read more link.

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1959 D Wheat Reverse

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Rare Coins. Key and Semi-Key Dates to remember. Based on various factors.

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Most valuable coins in this series. Listed price based off high end state (MS+).

$65 1959 D Lincoln Penny
$30 1959 Lincoln Penny
$10 1960 Lincoln Penny
$10 1960 D Lincoln Penny
$10 1961 Lincoln Penny
$10 1961 D Lincoln Penny

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Common Questions

Located on the front (obverse) to the right just under the date. If not present this penny was minted in Philadelphia.

Mint Mark Example Image

The 1959 D Wheat Reverse has a weight of 2.5 g.