A single example of an 1859 Double-Headed Indian Head Cent is
known. Experts believe that additional examples may exist because of
the way the coin was struck.
According to Chris Pilliod,
a blank die expected to be used as an "anvil" die (the reverse
of the coin and the bottom die in a coining press) was accidentally
fabricated as an obverse die. A small portion of the side of dies
are ground flat, ensuring proper alignment in the coining press.
Die-sinkers also use this "key" to properly align the dies for
their purposes. Thus, a coin struck using an anvil die engraved with
an obverse design would be expected to have a medal alignment, which is
indeed the case with this 1859 Double-Headed Cent.
Additional examples may
exist because this coin was produced as a normal business strike under
normal (albeit exceptional) conditions.
Medal (approximately 170% off of the normal alignment for coins)
Side 1 - left edges of the 1 of the date pointing to the right half of
the denticle below. Broken R hub. Raised die dot between the B
and E of LIBERTY.
Side 2 - left edge of the 1
of the date pointing to the center of the denticle below. Unbroken R
hub. Raised die dot on the temple area just left of the
earlobe. File mark.
"Researcher Says Two-Headed
1859 Indian Head Cent Not Mule", COIN WORLD, March 5, 2001