During 1917-8, a shortage of minor coins towards the end of WWI led to a mass minting of some varieties.
The record minting in 1917 probably led to the existence of a rarity which eagle-eyed numismatists will spot immediately - though it is hardly obvious to the layman's eye: the 1917 Doubled Die Obverse Lincoln cent, FS-101.
The rare coin is the result of two hubs imprinting the date onto a certain die minting the coins towards the end of 1917. The result is a '1918' with a flattened head, as the result of having a 1917 dashed into the same spot.
As the error is a subtle one, it was not noticed for at least a decade, and first appeared at auction in 1931. As a result, few of the coins resulting from the double-hub strike were recognised as valuable at an early stage, and therefore they tend to be found in mediocre condition.
The example offered in Heritage's sale, however, does not fall into that category at all. Rated MS-65 by the NGC, the coin is a true gem with the detail sharp on both sides including the all important date area, with only a little softening of the buffalo's shoulder.
Hailing from the Brenda John collection, the piece already carries a bid of $32,500 just a couple of days into the internet section of the sale. It would make a great centrepiece for a collection of buffalo cents, and will be taken home following the live sale on June 3 at Longbeach California.