Extra Beard Variety DiagnosticsAs shown in the photos, the extra portion of beard runs along the left edge of the normal beard, with the "beard hairs" going in a downward direction rather than forward. In addition, the specimen Potter examined shows trails on the edges of the letters of LIBERTY (see second photo.) These trails appear at the southwest corner of the letters LIB and extend a short distance southwest. These trails have been noted before on Lincoln Memorial Cents, but the cause has never been determined by experts. Some kind of hubbing mishap or misalignment is widely believed to be the method by which the marks are being made, but the mechanics of how it happens are a mystery. Perhaps the Extra Beard rotational doubling error will help experts determine a more certain explanation for the trails.
The specimen in the photos was discovered by James P. McCarthy of Wisconsin, and first reported via email to Numismatic News on January 1, 2008. According to Potter, at least two other specimens showing this kind of Extra Beard doubling are known by other variety experts, but they don't know yet if they all come from the same dies.
Find Your Own Extra Beard PennyIf you would like to search for the Extra Beard variety yourself, examine Lincoln Cents struck since 1996, and check carefully along the left side of Lincoln's beard for the extra downward marks. You can also check for the southwest trails extending from LIBERTY, as these trails are known on several dates now. Although we know for sure that the Extra Beard Penny was found in cents minted at Philadelphia in 2000, there is no reason why they shouldn't turn up for other dates and mints as well. As soon as someone discovers doubling in a new area or type of coin, the floodgates seem to open and all kinds of reports start coming in. Perhaps you will be the first to discover and report the Extra Beard variety on another date of Lincoln Cent!
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