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Two Headed Coin

AKA Double Headed Coin

I get a lot of questions from readers wanting to know the value of a Two Headed Coin or sometimes even coins with two reverse sides (tails) they have found.

Vivian, from Milton DE asks:

Is a penny with the Lincoln Memorial on both sides rare?

And Eric, from St Augustine, FL says:

I have a 1937 Indian Head nickel, but the usual buffalo on the reverse side isn't there. What is there is another Indian Head dated 1937 just like the front side. One Indian Head is tilted slightly upwards compared to the opposite side. I have other 1937 Indian Head/Buffalo nickels and the unique one looks just like the others...with that one exception. It does not have a mint mark on it since that's on the buffalo side. Have you heard of such a coin before? How would I go about finding out if its real? My dad had this coin in a collecton he had growing up.

While Two Headed Coins are fun coins to find, and actually pretty useful if you are trying to win a coin toss, they are not real. What I mean by "not real" is that Double Headed Coins or Double Tailed Coins did not and could not come from a United Stated Mint. Nor are they some sort of error coin.

The dies for the obverse and reverse of coins that the mint uses have different shaped shafts. One has a flattened shaft, while the other has a round shaft so it would be impossible to fit two obverse (heads) or two reverse (tails) dies into the press. It would be like trying to put a square peg into a round hole.

That being said, however, sometimes these Two Headed Coins are made from real coins. Someone will take two different coins, usually of the same type and denomination, and cut them in half and then put the opposite halves back together. Some are so professionally done that it is very hard to detect how the two coins were put together. But if you look closely, perhaps with a magnifying glass, you can usually detect a tiny seam where the two are put back together.

So, while double headed coins are a great conversation piece, and a fun coin to hang on to and add to your collection, they are not valuable coins.

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