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Quality Collectible Coins

How To Tell the Difference Between the 1970-S Lincoln Cent Large Date and Small Date Varieties.

Posted by Tom Deaux on

The 1970-S Lincoln Cent was produced in two varieties; the common Large Date and the scarce Small Date. Both varieties were produced in both Mint State and Proofs

Here is an example of a common 1970-S Lincoln Cent Large Date variety. The purple arrow shows that the loop of the 9 points toward the mint mark. The green lines show that there is a small gap between the top of the 7 and the top of the 9 and the 0, and another small gap between the bottom of the 7 and the bottom of the 0.

1970sLargeDateDetail.jpg

Here is an example of a scarce 1970-S Lincoln Cent Small Date variety. The purple arrow shows that the loop of the 9 points toward the bottom of the 7. The green lines show that the top of the 7 and the top of the 9 and 0 are aligned, and the bottom of the 7 and the bottom of the 0 are aligned.

1970sSmallDateDetail.jpg

The differences are subtle and require some practice to discern, but well worth learning about as the average Uncirculated or Proof 1970-S Large Date sells for less than $1 and the Small Date sells for $20 to $35 or more.

Happy Hunting!

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