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Close / Wide AM Varieties

What close or wide AM refers to is the AM in AMERICA on the reverse side of a Lincoln cent. The dates to watch for are 1992, 1992-D, 1998, 1999, and 2000.

To better understand why these are valued by collectors, you first need to understand how they came to be. In 1993 the mint changed the reverse design of the cent that better spaced the letters on UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. This new reverse design was accidentally used on an unknown number of 1992 and 1992-D cents. To date only a few examples of each have turned up.

The 1992 and 1992-D close AM cents are the valuables ones. The wide AM on the 1992 cents is common.

1992-D Close AM

Photo By Heritage Auctions

1998 Wide AM

Photo By Sean O'Connell

Photo By Sean O'Connell

Just the opposite is true for the 1998, 1999, and 2000 cents. The wide variety is the more valuable on these dates, but their value is considerably less than the 1992. They are still valued by collectors and worth finding.

The reason for the wide AM variety on the 1998 – 2000 cents is different than what happened in 1992. The reverse design for Proof cents from 1994 to 2008 was supposed to have the wide AM in AMERICA and the business strikes were supposed to have the close AM. Some of the dies intended for Proof strikes only were used to make an unknown number of business strikes in 1998, 1999, and 2000. It is these coins that have the wide AM. Also, some the dies intended to be used on the business strikes were used to strike Proof coins in 1998 and 1999. These Proof coins have the close AM and are also valued by collectors.

Close AM

Wide AM

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