Featured Data - 1961 Proof Doubled Die Rev Half Dollar

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by Collect89, Sep 28, 2009.

  1. Collect89

    Collect89 Coin Collector

    This post provides basic information about the Proof 1961 Franklin Half Dollar with Doubled Die Reverse. Check your proof sets and keep an eye out for this one. It is a king of doubled dies. If you know any other good sources of information describing this coin, please let me know. I look forward to learning more from all you CT folks.

    This Proof 1961 Franklin Half Dollar is commonly known from Cherrypickers as Fivas-Stanton FS # 50¢-013. With the new numbering system in Cherrypickers, it is apparently FS-50-1961-801. NGC lists it as 1961 PF 50¢ VP-001.

    In the realm of doubled die enthusiasts, this coin was routinely classified as (3-R-V). Alan Herbert taught that (3-R-V) means that it is the 3rd doubled die discovered on the 1961 Franklin coin with doubling on the Reverse and the doubling is type V (Roman numeral 5). Type V doubling is “pivoted hub doubling”. This means that the die was first hubbed normally & then for the second impression, the hub was turned on a pivot point. The pivot point is near the rim and away from the axis of either the die or the hub so that two overlapping, raised, and rounded designs result. The doubling spreads out in a fan shape from the pivot point. The strongest doubling is most evident at the rim directly opposite of the pivot point. The doubling on this coin is very strong at E PLURIBUS UNIM which is located at about 8:30 on the reverse. There is virtually no doubling on the word AMERICA which is located at about 2:30 on the reverse. Therefore, this point at 2:30 is where the 2nd hubbing must have pivoted.

    CONECA refers to this coin under Franklin Halves as 1961 DDR-003 and lists designations: PR-3-R-I-CCW, FS-50-1961-801, and FS 013. The CONECA website also informs us that it was originally reported by “unknown” person(s). I first heard about the 1961 DDR from Bill Afinito at A&N Enterprises around 1990. (I remember this date because my son had been born but he was not yet walking the bourse floor J). I had wanted the DDR since Bill Afinito told me about the coin. It was at that point that I tried to look it up in Breen’s Encyclopedia. The Proof 1961 Franklin Half Dollar with Doubled Die Reverse is not listed in Breen’s Encyclopedia. My Breen book has a date of 1987 and copyright date of 1988.

    Of course, the 1961 DDR is listed in the Red Book today. The Red Book depicts the variety & it is the only variety listing in the Red Book for the Franklin series. I believe that the first time this variety was published in the Red Book was around 1991. (It is listed in my 1991 Red Book but I cannot locate my 1990 Red Book to verify if it was listed there). IF YOU HAVE A 1990 OR 1989 RED BOOK, PLEASE CHECK FOR THE LISTING & LET ME KNOW. Once the coin began being listed in the Red Book, the popularity of the coin took-off. It was about three years later when I finally found & purchased my first Proof 1961 DDR from J.T. Stanton. That was 15 years ago. JT wrote to me stating that he thought it was a good coin because it is (1) a large coin, (2) a proof coin, and (3) a strong doubled die.

    My original Cherrypickers Guide lists the variety as “An outstanding, impressive strong doubled die, and on a large proof coin” Oh yeah, JT was one of the authorsJ. My third edition of the Cherrypickers states that virtually no new specimens have been reported since February 1990. I have heard reports from a couple dealers whom have had a couple flat packs offered to them in the last several years. My latest edition of the Cherrypickers simply states “This is by far the strongest doubled die in the series, and is easily sold!”.

    The last time I viewed NGC’s population report, there were 59 specimens reported in all grades. The new ANACS Website lists their pop at 18 specimens. My membership at PCGS needs to be renewed so I cannot tell you what the PCGS pop is today. (Unless I pay them $4.95 for 1-months access). IF YOU HAVE CONVENIENT ACCESS TO THE PCGS POP REPORT PLEASE LET US KNOW THE CURRENT POP DATA FOR THIS COIN.

    Heritage sold one example in 2009 and I count only nine examples which they have sold since 2006. During this time, there were a total of three examples sold on Teletrade & DLRC. Of course, there may have been others sold by HLRC, Goldberg and even Ebay. All-in-all, there are not too many offered for sale each year.

    My new purchase this week is a Proof 1961 Franklin DDR graded PF64 by NGC. The coin looks PF63 to me but who am I to argue with the slab. There are a couple marks on the obverse but the reverse is the key side for this coin. I plan to have it re-slabbed by NGC with the reverse facing forward. They have done this before with my NGC PF65 and NGC PF66 examplesJ.

    I hope that you liked this information & photos. Thanks for letting me share.

    Very best regards,

    P.S. The 1961 DDR listed in the Red Book under Franklin Half Dollars much like the 1955/55 is listed under Lincoln Cents. Is a Franklin Half Dollar set (including proofs) considered complete without the 1961 DDR 003? Whadayathink?
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  3. Collect89

    Collect89 Coin Collector

    Don't know why this photo did not post the first time.
  4. physics-fan3.14

    physics-fan3.14 You got any more of them.... prooflikes?

    Of course you know I'm going to be all over this post as the local Franklin enthusiast. Great post, great writeup, great coin! Very good info. Is the coin pictured your newest one? Could you post pics of your other ones? I would love to get one of these someday, but I'm not working on the proof set yet, and these are so expensive.

    Just to add to what you wrote - Cameo examples of the DDR-003 are extremely elusive. There are very few cameo examples, and even fewer DCAM. I once got to hold a PCGS PR-67Cam example at a FUN show, and it was one of the highlights of that show for me. If you have not seen this DDR in hand, the extent and severity of the doubling is rivalled by precious few other varieties - the 1955 Lincoln being one of the few stronger spreads.

    I would definitely consider a proof Franklin set complete without this variety (and it is not required for the NGC registry) I would consider it essential for anyone interested in varieties though!

    Anyone else got one of these? I'd love to see them :)
  5. Collect89

    Collect89 Coin Collector

    Hello Physics-fan,


    This is a link to a PF67 Ultra Cam that sold in 2001 on Heritage for $19,550. There are some one sided Cameos around but this 67 UC is a freak.

    Richie Schemmer has a PF66 Cam for sale. Richie's Website claims it is 2nd finest known of 4 cameos and that there are 50 specimens total. I suspect that with all the cracking & crossing being done at the TPGs that there are actually fewer than 50 slabbed. For example, one of mine has been in an ANACs holder & two NGC holders in its lifetime.

    Very best regards,
  6. Collect89

    Collect89 Coin Collector

    One of my reference books states that up to 4000 proof coins can be made from one set of 50-cent proof dies. If there were 4,000 of these DDRs available, then I suspect that more would have found their way to the TPGs. If the mint made 4,000, then they were either destroyed or the sets are possibly left unopened somewhere .

    Very best regards,
  7. bhp3rd

    bhp3rd Die varieties, Gems

    There are not 4000 maybe not 400 of these in exsitance,

    There are not 4000 IMO, maybe not 400 of these in exsitance, but yes your right there are some sitting in an old mans house unopened but I don't think many. A big Red Book doubled die like this is very sought out by both variety hunters and regular coin dealer's/collectors and after this amount of time, well,,, it's a very rare large doubled die reverse!!!
  8. jello

    jello Not Expert★NormL®

    Great write up!!
  9. Collect89

    Collect89 Coin Collector

    I was working in Frankfurt about 3-years ago when a box of 50 unopened 1961 proof sets were on a Goldberg Internet auction. I bid something like 2x the gray sheet and lost. To be honest, I just thought it would be fun to open one flat pack about every week for a year. I think someone else had that fun.
  10. 2CentRick

    2CentRick Senior Moment

    I attended last winters FUN Show and asked about 25 dealers if they had one for sale. One dealer said he had handled one a couple months prior to the show. What you might find interesting is that he said the coin was recently graded down from a PCGS66 to a PCGS64 due to spotting issues. He also said that PCGS made good for the drop in value. The only thing I got from the show (besides having a great time) was a horrible cold that lasted for weeks.
  11. Collect89

    Collect89 Coin Collector

    I think we split a bottle of wine in Colorado spings.

    Hello Rick,

    This may be better as a PM but I think we may know each other. Perhaps we were roommates at the ANA Summer conference in 2008? If you are that Rick, I am that Dan. (collect89)
  12. 2CentRick

    2CentRick Senior Moment

    and some great beers.

    Yes indeed Dan, I am that Rick. I was wondering if you would snap to that. Very good my friend. Cheers!
  13. Collect89

    Collect89 Coin Collector

    It looks like the start of a grading set.

    This is a collage of scans & photos of my three 61 DDRs. The photos show the labels but don’t depict the coins very well. The photos were taken at different times & the three coins are stored in different locations. When I get them all together in one place & in their new holders, then I will take some better photos. It looks like the start of a grading set.

    Very best regards,
    Seattlite86 likes this.
  14. Collect89

    Collect89 Coin Collector

    I found it. It was written in the Error Coin Encyclopedia by Margolis & Weinberg. Regarding the 1961 DDR-003 it states: “The error will have limited mintage since it was only available in proof sets. Since proof dies are used to strike approximately 4,000 proof coins before they are discarded, the number of these available errors will be limited.”
  15. Leadfoot

    Leadfoot there is no spoon

  16. jcuve

    jcuve Lincoln variety fanatic

    I have seen pics of the coin before but never in person. A very impressive DDR. Nice acquisition and great pics!
  17. jello

    jello Not Expert★NormL®

    Very nice DDR's!
  18. Collect89

    Collect89 Coin Collector

    Foundinrolls tells us that the 1990 Red Book has a notation about the coin at the end of the Franklin half listings (no photo). The 1991 edition is the first edition where a picture is provided. Prior to 1990, there is no mention of the coin.
    :high5:Special thank you to Bill.
    Very best regards,
  19. ruminator

    ruminator new member march 2010

    hope this thread is still active..

    i read that this coin has several lesser DDR varieties..

    a non cameo NCG graded PR66 (VP-001/FS-801) recently sold on ebay for $3950.. whew!

    i'd like to know the populations and values of the lesser varieties.. could somebody direct me to a site that has this info?

  20. Collect89

    Collect89 Coin Collector

    Welcome to the CT forum.

    Here are some links which describe some of the major & minor doubled die varieties.






    The Cherrypicker Books list several doubled die coins.

    Very best regards,
  21. rockdude

    rockdude Coin Collector

    Great thread it should stay alive.
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