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Uncirculated Diagonals Variety
London Elephant Token
Breen-185, Single Finest Certified

(1694) TOKEN London Elephant Token, Diagonals MS61 Brown NGC. Breen-185. Hodder 1-A. Any Mint State Elephant token is a significant piece, but this is the rare Diagonals variety. The diagonals are at the center of the reverse shield, and are absent on the usually seen Hodder 2-B. This well struck chocolate-brown piece lacks visible abrasions, and is also devoid of carbon. A strong loupe and patience reveals a couple of thin horizontal marks on the flank of the pachyderm. Luster shimmers across each side when the piece is rotated beneath a light.
Most survivors of this variety are softly defined at the centers due to a combination of strike and wear, and the all-important diagonals are faint. On the present piece, however, the diagonals are fully defined, and delicate die polish marks are visible within the shield near the diagonals.
Elephant tokens are important to an Early American Collection because of the very rare varieties that reference Carolina or New England within the reverse legends. The obverse of the Diagonals variety also struck the PROPRIETERS Carolina variety. The extremely rare New England variety shares an obverse die with the 'common' Hodder 2-B London variety.
As of (11/08), NGC and PCGS combined have certified only five examples of the Diagonals variety. The present piece is the single finest certified by either service, and is also the sole Diagonals token certified as Mint State. A search of our records indicates that just two other examples have appeared in a Heritage auction: a PCGS AU50 that brought $25,300 as lot 14 in our June 2006 Long Beach Signature, and an NGC XF40 that realized $7,475 in our September 2005 Long Beach Signature. Listed on page 44 of the 2009 Guide Book.
Ex: FUN Signature (Heritage, 1/2007), lot 722, which realized $69,000.
(NGC ID# 2U3C, PCGS# 61)

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Auction Dates
January, 2009
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 5
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