Two-Headed Coins are Flops in Value but Cute as Pranks

by CoinNews.net on October 4, 2007 · 12 comments

Two-headed coins aren’t as rare as you think. And they probably don’t come from where you may have thought either. Two-headed coins don’t command but a few dollars for price.

And, instead of finding one in your pocket change and selling it for profit, you’re more likely to pay those few dollars to purchase one in a novelty, prank or magician’s shop.

That’s not to say people don’t find them… One of the most frequently asked questions is, "How much is my two-headed coin worth?"

Most people who ask are hoping they discovered an error coin that’s worth thousands of dollars. That’ll never be the case with modern U.S. coins.

How are two-headed or double-headed coins made?

Two-headed coins are made by seamlessly mating, back to back, two heads or two tails of the same type coin. These coins are then sold for tricks and gags or to performers.

The joining method is quite good. Aside from the double-sided aspect, the visual difference are usually undetectable from that of another coin.

It’s likely this very thing that results in the coins finding their way into circulation.

Another is someone buying one, say through a swap meet, and then later discovering it’s not worth what they thought and dropping it into circulation.

The U.S. Mint can’t produce two-headed coins even in error. And here’s how to detect a fake.

The very process by which the United State Mint makes coins prevents the possibility of a two-headed coin error.

A recent press release by Coinland.com about this very subject described it best. Allan Rosenberg, Coinland.com President, states:

“The U.S. Mint has built-in protections against accidentally making coins that have the improper die rotation or die setup. The shaft of the dies are made to be a certain size and shape, so that they will only fit into the coin presses a predetermined way. Consequently, any two-headed U.S. coin you find in pocket change is a novelty item. A surefire way to tell if the two-headed quarter is fake is to bounce it on the surface and hear the hollow sound. Because a fake two-headed quarter is basically hollow.”

How much or what is the real value or price of a two-headed coin?

If you visit eBay, you’ll find various double headed coins for under $10.

There are also companies online that specialize in this area. One example is PrankPlace.com.

There you can purchase a two-headed or double tailed quarter for $7.49. Their two-headed nickels are cheaper, currently priced at $4.29

But please, if you buy one, use it for fun and not to buy groceries.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Linda September 20, 2009 at 4:26 pm

I bought a 2009 Lincoln Bicentennial Silver Dollar for just under $160.00 and so excited I did not notice the reverse side til almost two weeks later that it was a little Strange!!! The Reverse, which I have done research and they call it a Rotational Error? One person says worth more?? Anyways am I stuck with a coin no one would ever want? I saw another one on EBay and it looked like it was about 12 degrees off on the reverse! Mine it about 28 to 32 degrees off on the reverse. One time I spent a little too much on a coin and turns out it could be worthless and I wish it was not that way!! It was too late to return it as I again did not notice right away. His and mine are PCGS PR70′s. Also said it has something to do with ink? This same person says PCGS will not grade rotations less than 30 degrees, he says his must have been missed and his is only 5 degrees off. He made it sound like a good thing????? I am not so sure!!!! Thankyou

Jeff Narley August 3, 2011 at 6:28 pm

30 degrees rotation can multiply the value by 3-5 fold. Good find!!!

christelle jecrois March 12, 2012 at 1:10 pm

this is sooo cool i actually have one in my hand right nowwww!!!!!!!!!

melissa October 12, 2012 at 9:02 pm

I have a question for whoever can answer…
I have a two headed quarter, one side is dated 1990 and the other side
Is dated 1980. You can see its clearly a mint error. I received
It from the bank. I went back into the bank to see if
the teller wanted it back but she left the booth so I kept it.
If anyone can tell me how much its worth I would greatly appreciate it
I had seen similar shows about it and know they can be bought for a good
Amount.

CoinNews.net October 12, 2012 at 10:19 pm

Melissa, the quarter is not a real mint error but an example of a two-headed coin as described above. The U.S. Mint has produced error coins with billions struck each year, but two-headed quarters with different dates is not a possible outcome due to the U.S. Mint production process.

Minie me March 14, 2013 at 10:58 pm

I have a quarter that has two heads. Plus both side has the same year, 1997. However it seems fake and real. I dont really know too because the sound of dropping the coin is different from a regular coin that drop on the floor. One side looks like it was forced to be print…

Rebecca April 21, 2013 at 10:19 am

I know that you are speaking of the double headed and 2 sided coins that are the same. My brother in law has a penny that is tails on both sides. It has the lincoln memorial on both sides and when you flip it over, instead of the words being upside down, they are right side up. He claims that at the bank when he got it, around 30 years ago, that it came from a new roll of pennies. Apparently he’s saying that it wasn’t a roll of coins rolled by an individual. Taking into consideration what you’re saying about the novelty coins, would they be the same width with no signs of seams or joining? I know that you say mule coins are 2 different denominations…just curious about the possibility. I told him I would check into it, but all I’ve found is the fact that they’re novelty, but there was one site, I can’t remember right off hand, that said they could be worth up to $50 or more. My hopes aren’t up, but I did find it unusual because he said he’s had it for all these years.
Thanks

Denise August 3, 2013 at 2:52 pm

I have a two headed lincoln penny. It has in god we trust at the top of the penny and 1970 and a letter under the 1970. It is the same on the other side. I like to know have much is it worth.

Richard October 31, 2013 at 8:55 am

I have a 1989 penny that has 2 heads identical on both sides. They say it isn’t worth anything but looks very real

larry February 2, 2014 at 12:23 pm

I got a double headed 1964 kennedy half in change yesterday at the bank. It looks real? I have collected coins for years and not seen one. Does anyone have any feedback?

CoinNews.net February 2, 2014 at 12:29 pm

Whether pennies, nickels, Kennedy halves, or any other denomination, there will never be a two-headed coin that comes out of the U.S. Mint. They way coins are produced makes it impossible. See:

http://www.coinnews.net/2014/01/13/how-the-denver-mint-makes-coins-for-circulation/

http://www.coinnews.net/2013/09/20/how-the-philadelphia-mint-makes-coins-for-circulation/

randy February 22, 2014 at 7:34 pm

I recently got a penny in my change that is rather unique. It is stamped tails on one side and heads on the other side like a normal penny but here is where it is unique. On the heads side, it has the tails stamp over Lincolns head. You can very easily see that tails has been stamped over top of heads. I curious to know if this is a minting error and if it has any value. I would appreciate any info on this. Thank you very much!

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