thatcoinguy's Blog

19 Mar 2022

Wide AM “WAM” Cents

Coins-United States | thatcoinguy

As WAM cents have suddenly come up as a topic of conversation, I figured I would make a blog out of them to keep people informed about this, as it will probably come up again in the future.

Wide AM, or WAM cents, have been found on 1998, 1999, and 2000 coins from BOTH mints: Philadelphia, and Denver. Wide AM cents came into being because the mint decided to update the reverse on cents starting in 1993, making the AM in "AMERICA" close together. Before that, from 1959 to 1992, the AM in "AMERICA" is wide, like this valuable variety. The proof dies were made (from 1998-2000) in a wide AM format, and this is normal for these "S" coins. But somehow, the mint screwed up as the usually do, and some of the reverse dies for the proofs with the Wide AM got mixed up with the circulation dies, and struck some circulation strike coins. I have included a comparison of the Wide AM to Close AM in the pictures. There is also such thing as a CAM cent, but that is a subject for a different blog. Keep your eyes open.

The rarest of the Wide AM cents is the 1999 (in P and D), then the 1998, and the 2000 is the most common. I have recently found my first Wide AM (a 1998-P), and that is what inspired this blog. Prices for the Wide AMs can range from $30-$50 in uncirculated grades.

Keep collecting,



Level 5

I always appreciate tips on error coins. I have not seen any of these in my roll hunting.

Long Beard

Level 5

I'm almost certain I'd find a few in the five gallon water bottles or many coffee can full of cents. Who knows what else if only to motivate myself?


Level 5

It’s always fun to sort one of those, especially on a rainy day while listening to some music or a podcast! If you don’t have one in mind, the ANA podcast is a great learning resource.


Level 6

Pretty cool! Now we'll all be on the lookout for them! haha ; )


Level 2

Great blog! Hope we will all keep our eye open and find some WAM cents soon!


Level 7

Those coins are nice to find . An experienced collector like you would know to look for them. They are not that common but look and you shall find!! Good job. They can be found on other coins!!


Level 5

Kook for them. :p


Level 5

This i’s a very great coin and I hope to find one too. Thanks for sharing!

AC coin$

Level 6

Great catch .


Level 5

Nice blog. I've only found two WAMs out of a LOT of penny boxes.


Level 6

I've been searching for one of those for a long time. No joy yet. Thanks. Good job. make your letters wider in the pics. Hard for us old dudes to see.


Level 5

Yeah, my handwriting sucks. Oh well.

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