The 2000-P "Extra Beard" Lincoln Cent doubled die variety shows hub doubling on Lincoln's neck, along the left side of the beard. According to variety coin expert Ken Potter, who first reported the Extra Beard variety in Numismatic News, the doubling was probably the result of a misalignment of the die during the hubbing process at the Mint.
The doubling appears near the center of the coin, consistent with other doubled die varieties that have been found since the Mint began using the single-step hubbing process. What makes this coin different is that the doubling is offset, or turned to the side, which means that the Mint worker who did the hubbing may have first placed the die into the machine rotated a little bit. When the kiss of the metal occurred, an impression of the small "extra beard" area was made before the die seated to true. Since the Mint releases very little information about its processes, a fair bit of this is educated speculation, but the explanation seems to make sense.
Extra Beard Variety Diagnostics
As shown in this photo, 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 Ken 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 Penny
If 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!
Edited by: James Bucki