The Famous 1955 Double Die United States Wheat Cent is a coin that was inadvertently released by the United States Mint after somehow making it through the quality control procedures.
No one actually knows how many of these exist but it is assumed by how many that have shown up that at least a few thousand slipped out undetected.
Values for the error coin range from around a thousand dollars worn to 40 or 50 thousand in uncirculated condition. This value seems to go up every day as collectors enter the market via the Internet and now from all over the world.
This could quite possibly be the most sought after error coin the united States Mint has ever produced. There are much rarer errors but none so popular with collectors, possibly because of the availability of this issue compared with other errors that were discovered much quicker at the mint.
There are usually several examples available at any given time on eBay and getting one can be accomplished, but it will cost you a pretty penny. A good suggestion would be to watch any auctions to the end and then bid because you will find that avid collectors with large financial capabilities will be bidding against you, no sense pushing up the price until the end.
To explain a little bit about how this error occurred , you would start in the process used to make the master hub. This hub is then used to strike individual dies and then these dies are used to strike coins. Then it is locked into the press and a blank die slug is then struck repeatedly until the die has been impressed with the image of the coin to be struck. As the hub strikes the die it can move slightly and this movement will cause a double impression or double die.
In the case of the 1955 cent, the hub was turned dramatically and the resulting error is so doubled that it can be easily seen with the naked eye. Many similar errors occurred during this year and some are more valuable then this major one.
If you would like to add an example of this high interest error coin to your collection, then I would suggest doing so quickly, as this coin has risen in price historically since the mistake was made.
Somebody either let this one go by, or was paying little attention to their job that day and many people have made a nice little profit because of this mistake.
The Famous 1955 Double Die United States Wheat Cent is one coin that will never go down in value and even savvy investors are now looking at acquiring and holding this coin in certified form for future profit.