During 1922, the Lincoln Cent was struck only at the Denver Mint with a total of 7,160,000 coins produced during the months of January and February. At some point, a small number of this mintage was produced without a visible mint mark, giving rise to the variety known as the 1922 No D Lincoln Cent (Buy on eBay) or 1922 Plain Lincoln Cent.
Lincoln Cents produced at the Denver Mint typically carry the “D” mint mark, while cents minted at Philadelphia do not carry a mint mark. When 1922 Lincoln Cents started appearing without a mint mark, a collectible oddity was created. Interestingly, for any other year the lack of a mint mark on Denver minted Lincoln Cents would have gone undetected. Anyone encountering these coins would have just assumed they were produced at the Philadelphia Mint and would not be able to determine otherwise. The variety is only observable because cents were not minted in Philadelphia during 1922.
The “No D” version is believed to have been created when one of the die pairs severely clashed during the course of normal production at the Denver Mint. This was the result of a strike occurring with no planchet placed between the obverse and reverse dies. To remove the evidence of the clashing, the obverse die was repolished and the reverse die was removed from service. In the process of repolishing the obverse die, the mint mark was inadvertently removed, creating the rare variety.
The 1922 “No D” Lincoln Cent has an estimated mintage of 25,000 pieces, with perhaps 10,000 examples surviving. The variety went somewhat unnoticed during the years after its creation, leading many examples to experience significant circulation. Uncirculated specimens with original Mint red coloration are extremely rare.
- Designer: Victor D. Brenner
- Composition: 95% Copper, 5% Tin and Zinc
- Weight: 3.11 grams
- Diameter: 19 mm
- Edge: Plain