Mistakenly Released 2019-W Reverse Proof Lincoln Cent Graded by NGC


Numismatic Guaranty Corporation® (NGC) has certified a 2019-W Reverse Proof Lincoln Cent that was mistakenly released several weeks early by the United States Mint. The coin was not supposed to be released until April 17.

NGC Graded 2019-W Reverse Proof Lincoln Cent
This 2019-W Reverse Proof Lincoln Cent, graded NGC PF 69 RD REVERSE PROOF, includes the pedigree: “Mistakenly Included With Clad Proof Set.”

This year, the US Mint is releasing three different 2019-W cents, which are notable for being the first cents to bear the "W" mint mark of the West Point Mint. Each cent is included as a "premium coin" with different US Mint sets for no additional charge. The 2019-W cents are:

  • a 2019-W Proof Cent, which was included with the Clad Proof Set released on March 1

  • a 2019-W Reverse Proof Cent, which will be included with the Silver Proof Set scheduled to be released on April 17

  • a 2019-W Uncirculated Cent, which will be included with the Uncirculated Coin Set scheduled to be released on May 14

Proof coins feature mirrored fields and frosted devices (such as Lincoln’s bust). Reverse proof coins are opposite, with the fields frosted and the devices mirrored. Uncirculated coins are those struck in the same format as circulation issues.

The 2019-W Reverse Proof Cent recently certified by NGC was submitted as part of a bulk submission of 2019-W Proof Lincoln Cents. It was graded NGC PF 69 RD REVERSE PROOF. To note the special nature of this particular coin, the NGC certification label has the pedigree: "Mistakenly Included With Clad Proof Set."

As of April 4, this is the only 2019-W Reverse Proof Cent that has been seen by NGC, which has already graded more than 8,500 of the 2019-W Proof Cents.

Because this coin was mistakenly released ahead of the US Mint’s scheduled release date, NGC has not started the 30-day window for submissions of 2019-W Reverse Proof Cents for its Early Releases and First Releases designations.

NGC has certified more than 42 million coins, medals and tokens. Founded in 1987, the company provides accurate, consistent and impartial assessments of authenticity and grade. For more information about NGC and its grading services, visit NGCcoin.com.

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What happens if I buy the proof set with the “free” penny, and then return the set to the Mint without the penny?

Carl, Cincinnati area

From what I have read you are required to return the cent and the COA and the envelope for the cent also, so I would guess that you will not receive credit for the return unless all of the items that were sent with the set are returned. That was reported in a article by Mr. Paul Gilles dated March 29 writing for Coin World.


Um… honestly, you get accused of a five finger discount, a form of shrinkage (two wrongs don’t make a right).

Daniel C Negrey

But, 3 lefts do..

James Carpenter

Just received both proof sets with 2 proof pennies. Not the reverse proof. Now I have to return the entire silver set just to get the penny exchanged for the reverse proof. What a pain


I just received my annual uncirculated set which was supposed to include the uncirculated penny (W), but instead got the reverse proof penny (W).


I just received 35 sets with proof cents instead of uncirculated. Or are they in the wrong pouch? Jeez.


Mine was definitely NOT the wrong pouch. The coin has a frosted background characteristic of the reverse proof coin. Is anyone actually receiving the uncirculated coin?

Peter Gold

I got an uncirculated set that came with the reverse proof W cent too! I wonder how common this is?


Is there more than 1 variety of the 2019 W Proof cent?
It looks like I have one that the image of Lincoln is more of a frosty image and less defined.