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1969S "Floating Roof" Memorial Cent


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This is one that almost got past me. When I go through cents, I only look for specific cents: pre-memorial, foreign, 1960's, 1969S, 1970S, 1971, 1972, 1983, 1984, 1992D, 1995, 1998, 1999, and 2000 cents. These are all put aside for later scrutiny. I also put aside anything that looks "purdy" or "weird" including off-centers, toners, obvious die fills, etc. Another aspect of searching that I utilize is "touch". Anything that "feels" wrong gets scrutinized.


This particular cent got put aside because it was a 1969S. But, even if it weren't, I would have put it aside anyway. This particular coin just didn't have the right touch. Upon scrutinizing the obverse of this particular coin, nothing seemed to be out of place. But, upon verifying the reverse, lo and behold, the Memorial was performing a levitation act!


Naturally, magnifying it in the right light revealed the remnants of the two sides of the memorial that "hold the roof up". But, still, something was not quite right with the "feel" of this coin in hand. After giving this coin a bit more scrutiny, I do not believe that it was a filled die. When looking at the devices of the reverse, there seems to be a flatness to everything, as though the coin was struck weakly.


Now, the coin was obviously not a weak strike, as the obverse does not exhibit a weakness in any of the devices. Looking at the rim, however, you can see it raised up around the one o'clock to the four o'clock position, much like you would see with a die cap as it begins to form around the die. LostDutchman has pictured a VERY nice example of a die cap and how it forms into a "bottle cap" after prolonged strikes.


My theory is that this cent may have been a very nice die cap in the making, but fell off after one or two subsequent strikes as a cap. As the reverse came down upon the next planchet, being used as a "die" it struck the blank planchet with the Memorial side, causing the devices to flatten a bit, and the weaker portions of the devices to be smoothed out. The cent then quickly feel from the die, causing the appearance of a "floating roof" on the Memorial and a very slightly raised obverse rim.


What are your thoughts?














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I tried doing a search but no luck. I remember from somewhere else a posting on a floating roof. I think it either pcgs or ngc several months back. I did find some 2000-P floating roofs on Ebay. (At $24 buy now)



Strange side note did a google with "cent error roof levitating" and google suggested "cent error proof levitating" clicked on it just for fun. On that result page had a really odd result turn up. An Ebay search "Graded-Coins-Coins-Scam-Fraud-Buying-coins"

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Memorial was performing a levitation act!


SMS found this floating roof in a 1969s circulated coin.

Right now I have two 1970s and five 1970d Lincolns all bu's with floating roofs.

And, the 1970d's also have that strange rim on them. A couple have a rather nice strike, and the others are rather weak.


In Charles Daughtrey's book, 'Looking Through Lincoln Cents', he only mentions the 1971 with a floating roof.

.Apparently the floating roof anomaly is attributed to excessive die polishing.


Of course, I do not plan to sell, give away, or recycle any of mine, and am determined to keep looking for more.


This coin searching is way too much fun!!



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  • 3 weeks later...

Floating roofs can be caused by a number of things, die polishing being the most common. In this case it was caused by die wear, and the fact that the reverse design used from 1969-1972 usually exhibits very weak roof lines.


It's a normal coin, as all of them are. Simple curiosities, not errors or varieties, and worth nothing to very little.

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