Welcome to the Lincoln Cent Forum Glossary.
Use the alphabetical links above to navigate to the desired term.
This glossary of terms was written and compiled by Will Brooks with the help of our forum members. A huge thanks to everyone who contributed knowledge, ideas, words, and photos to make this growing educational resource possible. Special thanks to Richard Cooper, aka “Coop” who donated many of the photos.
Waffled: See Canceled Coin.
Wavy Steps: Some Lincoln Memorial cent dies struck coins with the memorial steps on the reverse exhibiting a waviness to them, rather than being straight. This has been determined to be an instance of a trail die. In addition to the example below, wavy steps listings and attributions can be seen at traildies.com. Coin photographed courtesy forum member onecent1909.
Weak D/ No D (1922): In 1922, there was only a Denver issue, no Philadelphia or San Francisco. However, some cents appeared with a faint D mint mark or with no D at all. There are 3 recognized dies with weak D, known as dies 1, 3, and 4, which are believed to be the result of the coins being struck through filled dies. However, some experts believe there may have been one other die that had the D completely polished away (similar to what happened on the famed 3-legged buffalo nickel). Known as die #2, it is characterized by a strong reverse and having the 2nd 2 of the date sharper than the first. Photos below courtesy of forum member Joel. For more details and illustrations of these 4 dies, please see Brad Podraza’s excellent tuorial Here.
Weak Strike: A coin that was struck by less than optimal pressure, either by miscalibration, or due to the planchet being thinner than normal. (See Rolled Thin Planchet Stock.) The devices on these coins will not be as “sharp” or “crisp.” Coins with circulation wear or which have been struck through filled dies, are often misconstrued as weak strikes.
Wheat Cent (Wheat Reverse): A Lincoln cent minted from 1909-1958 which featured this reverse design created and sculpted by Victor David Brenner. It is named for the 2 stalks of wheat featured on the reverse.
Whizzed: A coin that has been polished usually by a very fine brush on a rotary tool. It is done in an effort to make a coin look uncirculated, but this is considered damage and will devalue a coin. A whizzed cent will lack mint luster as in the example below. Note in the 2nd photo the striations going SW to NE on the coin. Coin photographed courtesy of forum member Watersport.
Wide AM (WAM) (RDV-006): The Wide AM reverse design was intended for use on business strike Lincoln cents from 1989-1992, and on proof cents from 1989 to 2008, excepting 1993. The Wide AM features a wider space between the A and M of AMERICA as compared to the subsequent reverse design, called a close AM (or CLAM or RDV-007). However, some 1988 business strike cents have been found with this reverse, commonly called “88 reverse of 89,” or “1988 RDV-006.” This is considered a transitional design variety. Also, some 1998, 1999, and 2000 cents were also struck with this reverse design, used for proof cents in those years, and these are called wrong design varieties. Please see John Miller’s excellent tutorial Here.
Woody or Wood-grain Cent: See Improper Alloy Mixture.
Working Die: A steel cylinder used to strike the design onto a planchet. A blank die has the design squeezed into it by a working hub. On the die, this design will be a mirror-image in opposite relief of the one that will be on the coin it produces. A master hub is used to create one or more master dies, which in turn are used to make many working hubs, each of which are used to create many working dies.
Working Hub: A steel cylinder with a coin’s design on it. Working hubs are made from a master die. The master die is pressed into a blank hub transferring its design in opposite relief onto the hub. The design on the hub will be in the same relief as the final struck coins. Working dies made from the working hubs will have a mirror-image of the design in opposite relief. Each working hub makes many working dies.
Wrong Design Variety: A coin struck with a design on one side that was not intended for that coin at that time. Note: wrong design varieties from years immediately before or after an issue are usually called transitional design varieties. Examples of wrong design varieties in the Lincoln cent series include the 1998, 1999, and 2000 wide AM business strike cents (the wide AM was supposed to be used only on proofs those years), as well as the 1998 and 1999 proof close AM cents (the close AM was used on business strikes those years.) Please see John Miller’s tutorial on the subject Here.
Wrong Metal: See Off-metal.