Identifying the 1955 Doubled Die (DDO) is a little less complicated because a single die was used to strike the obverse and only one for the reverse. So every 1955 DDO is the same and can be authenticated the same way. However this guide for authenticating only the 1955(P) 1-DO-001 because it is the most valuable and counterfeited Lincoln variety.
First, the coin must have doubling on all numbers, letters, and the bust of Lincoln. Second the lettering and date should look rounded on top and not flat (as many counterfeit strikes are flat strikes). Third, look under the crossbar of the T, on the left side of the horizontal stem, and look for very light die cracks. Any 1955 DDO must have these die cracks or it's not authentic.
The mint mark is under the date on the obverse, and no “P” mint marks. The V.D.B. is on the reverse and at the very bottom of the coin for 1909 dates only. Some 1909 Wheats don't have V.D.B and are less valuable than 1909 dates with the initials. The dates 1910-1917 don't have the designer's initials V.D.B. The dates 1918-58 have the V.D.B. on the bottom of Lincoln's shoulder, next to the rim, of the obverse.
If you're looking for the Lincoln Wheat Cent values by date and mint then visit HERE
Lincoln Wheat Cents 1909-58
1943 Lincoln Wheat Steel Cent
The Steel Cent was produced in 1943 only, and minted by the Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Denver Mint. There are reports of copper 1943 Cents, but an authentic copper or bronze cent will not attract a magnet, and most are copper plated, steel cents. However, there's a few authentic 1943-D copper cents and they can sell for over $1,000,000!
Designer: Victor David Brenner, Diameter: 19 millimeters, Metal content: Steel - 100%, coated with a thin layer of Zinc, Weight: 42.0 grains (2.7 grams)
Lincoln Cents are very popular to collectors, especially with mint error and variety collectors, and those looking for a rare and valuable error to "cash-in". It appears that every year and mint has some variety or error and collectors and dealers alike buy them by the thousands, in boxes of rolls, bags and collections. Many new errors and varieties are being found each year, as well as, valuable errors and varieties already discovered.
The Lincoln Cent has been minted for well over 100 years, and mintages have been in the multi-millions to multi-billions, so there's plenty to search and plenty of collections, rolls and bags that have not been searched. It's easy to obtain rolls from a bank for face value, and sometimes can be bought in collections for for a little over face value. It's no wonder their wide appeal to collectors.
Why wouldn't a collector, armed with the latest Cherry Pickers Guide or Strike It Rich With Pocket Change books, not search through rolls or just their pocket change, to find a hidden gem or be the discoverer of a new error or variety? It's something that can be done with family members or to pass time on a cold or rainy day.
Furthermore, with the increase in values, low mintage coins are still to be found in unsearched lots, rolls and collections. It's a fact, you can't lose anything when you obtain Lincoln Cents at face value, you can always get your money back.
Words of caution: If you're a collector or plan on searching Lincoln Cents then be wary of whom and where you buy them from. Ebay has hundreds of lots, and many claim to be unsearched, others claim a rare end coin in the roll, but it's not always true. If you would rather not buy cents at your local bank then look for mint sewn bags, original bank-wrapped rolls (watch for sellers and dealers who bank-wrap their own), or purchase lots from dealers who have a good track record for being honest on what they sell.
You should do some research on what a actual and original bank roll should look like, and stay clear of rolls wrapped in modern looking wrappers. If a seller is hyping up their rolls and lots with terms like "estate", "unsearched", "jar found", "box of mystery coins", "long lost hoard", etc., then check their feedback and reputation. Many of these sellers have very recent and multiple negatives and I can't recommend buying from them. I don't and you shouldn't.
Idenitfying a 1909-S V.D.B. is very important to collectors since this date is worth a good deal of money and many fakes have been made to fool collectors. The 1909-S V.D.B can be identified by a few facts about the dies that were used to strike the entire mintage of this date and mint. Only four days were used to strike all 1909-S V.D.B. Lincoln Cents.
Every S mint mark for the 1909 will have a small dimple (notch) inside the first loop of the S and rest against the curve of the loop. (Check close-up image of the S mint mark). Sine only four dies were used to strike this date and mint there's four different orientation for the mint marks. It's good to know these since counterfeiters and coin doctors either ignore or don't know this fact.
Also, the mint mark is boxy in appearance so it's almost as wide as it is long, but not completely. Often counterfeits or fakes will make the use of a coin or die from a different date and mint so the mint mark will not look like a 1909-S mint mark.
Also, the V.D.B. on the 1909-S V.D.B. is distinct and must share the same characteristics as the V.D.B. in the image provided, if not then it's not authentic.
Identifying the 1914-D Lincoln Cent is easy once you know what to look for, the mint mark has an angular shape of the middle opening and this is disctinct to the 1914-D. The innner shape of the D can look a bit different when the coin has been worn or has a contact mark. So look for the outer shape of the D to be straight on top and bottom with small curve in the bottom part of the mint mark.
Also look at the bottom, in between the bottom of Lincoln's cloke and the rim, and look for a small diagonal die crack (See image below). Also, authentic 1914-D cents will NOT have a v.d.b. under Lincoln since they didn't start putting the designer initials back on the cent until 1918.
I have seen many 1944-D Lincoln Cents that were altered to look like a 1914-D and these are always obvious since there's too much space inbetween the 4 and 9 were the innner 4 was carved out to look like a 1. Many counterfeits have been struck but they don't campare in the sharpness in details as the authentic 1914-D.
The 1922-D is a controversial Lincoln Cent variety and is a cause for much confusion, so you must know that the true value is a 1922-D with absolutely no trace of a mint mark and a strongly struck reverse is the kind of this variety.
You can identify the most sought after 1922-D by learning several facts: One the no sign of a mint mark can be present, not even a slight trace; the reverse must be strong in strike and well detailed compared to the obverse; the TRUST on the obverse will most usually be well struck but the rest of the motto will be weak, and the second 2 tends to be better struck than the rest of the date.
All other descriptions will either signal a lesser value or that a 1922-D has been altered to look like a 1922 No D.
The first image, above, is of a true 1922-D Lincoln Cent and the second image is of a weak D and you can see a slight trace of the D mint mark. So if you want a true and authentic 1922 No D Lincoln Cent then pay close attention to the area where the mint mark is supposed to be, and look for signs of polishing or whizzing that might hint at the mint mark being removed after it was minted.
Also, make sure the reverse is struck better than the obverse, even on worn coins it's obvious that the reverse will look like a normal struck Lincoln Cent reverse while the obverse will have inconsistancies from being over-used and polished to save the dies, so the Denver Mint could use them longer.