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Lot
2033

1909 1C VDB PR64 Red and Brown PCGS....

2010 April-May Milwaukee, WI CSNS US Coin Auction #1139

 
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Auction Ended On: Apr 29, 2010
Item Activity: 11 Internet/mail/phone bidders Number of Bidders
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Location:

The Midwest Airlines Center
400 West Wisconsin Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53203

Description:
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Coveted 1909 VDB Matte Proof Lincoln Cent
PR64 Red and Brown
The Most Elusive Matte Proof Lincoln
1909 1C VDB PR64 Red and Brown PCGS. There has been much confusion over the mintage figure of the proof 1909 VDB Lincoln cent, which has been variously reported. The 2010 Guide Book gives a figure of 1,194 for "reported struck" but notes "400-600 estimated issued."
Many other references have long given the figure of 420 pieces: the Breen Proof Encyclopedia; Dr. Sol Taylor's Standard Guide to the Lincoln Cent, fourth edition; and David Lange's Complete Guide to Lincoln Cents. The larger figure of 1,194 coins apparently stems from research by Kevin Flynn. Whatever the true number, Bowers' Guide Book of Lincoln Cents notes that "although Mint data supports this assertion [that 1,194 pieces were made], surviving examples, including the number seen by certification services, suggest that far fewer ever reached numismatic channels." PCGS' CoinFacts site estimates the number of surviving examples at 147, including all certified and raw examples.
The confusing situation is further compounded by the difficulty of distinguishing true matte proofs from first-strike 1909 VDB circulation coins. Numismatists have speculated that some matte proofs whose quality was subpar may have been released into circulation.
The previous paragraphs emphasize the importance of third-party verification of purported 1909 VDB proof cents. All genuine examples known do show high, squared-off inner rims; Breen's proof reference says, "rounding on inner edges is grounds for rejecting the coin."
Most known specimens, including the present coin, show some diagnostic die markers that aid attribution. The "diagonal die polishing lines on and in front of Lincoln's nose" (Lange) are bold on this piece, but the diagonal die scratch behind Lincoln's coat and below TY is extremely faint; the coin has to be tilted just so to discern it. The crescent-shaped die chip on the reverse, to the right of M in UNUM, is also quite faint and tends to blend in with the streaky brown toning. Significant amounts of original red remain on each side, with brown color chiefly limited to the centers. The planchet shows some faint horizontal streaks, but the only mentionable spot is on the obverse, between the truncation of the bust and the rim at 6 o'clock.
As an example of what is by far the most elusive matte proof Lincoln cent, we expect this piece should see some strong bidding from type collectors, Lincoln proof aficionados, and collectors seeking to upgrade their examples.(Registry values: N1793) (NGC ID# 22KR, PCGS# 3301)

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