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What is a Double Cracked Skull Penny?

by James Fulton
(Hot Springs, AR)

Question: I have a set of two pennies I bought at a convention a long time ago, both 1960 d and on the cardboard protective cover it says double cracked skull by one and clogged d by the other what do these terms mean?

My Answer: James, those are terms that describe errors on coins. Sometimes the die becomes damaged, maybe even cracked and the coins that are pressed after the die is damaged will reflect the error.

In the case of the cracked skull, it will be a raised line or "crack" on Lincoln's head caused by the metal of the coin being pressed into the crack on the die when it was minted.

The "clogged D" refers to the mint mark. Sometimes grease or dirt or some other foreign object will become stuck in part of the die and cause it not to imprint clearly. In other words, the metal of the planchet (coin blank) cannot be squeezed into that area of the die because something is already there (the dirt or grease). In this case it was the mint mark that was affected.

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