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Hair of Lincoln's beard


mjc
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In looking at Lincoln cents from the past 20 years, I can clearly see hair on Lincoln's jaw but in MS65 photos of early Lincoln cents (1909-1950), I see no hair. Has the facial hair of Lincoln become stronger in recent years? Otherwise I don't understand how a new penny I get in change at the store can have better features than an MS65 penny I see from the early 1900's.

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The individual dies used are not the same ones they used earlier. I don't know how many die sets the mint goes through each year, but I'd bet it's a bunch. Each new die is going to have tiny differences, and over the years many small changes have been made to the portrait.

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I was bored in my lab one day and took it at a decent magnification. It is facing that direction because of the optics of the microscope. I was also too lazy to flip the picture in an image editor.

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In looking at Lincoln cents from the past 20 years, I can clearly see hair on Lincoln's jaw but in MS65 photos of early Lincoln cents (1909-1950), I see no hair. Has the facial hair of Lincoln become stronger in recent years? Otherwise I don't understand how a new penny I get in change at the store can have better features than an MS65 penny I see from the early 1900's.

This isn't a 65, it's graded as 63. How does this detail compare?

IMGP3814_edited.jpg

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Another thing mjc is the state of the die. I've seen some pretty weak strikes in the mid MS grades. The weaker strike would lead to less detail.

 

So it's hard to say why the MS65's you've seen don't look like others.

 

Just curious, what company slabs are you seeing these MS65's in? That may make a big difference as well.

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I believe I read somewhere that the obverse master hub has changed a few times since 1909, therefore dies derived from these different hubs will not look the same.

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