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1863 10C J-331B

2000 F.U.N. Signature Sale #218

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Auction Ended On: Jan 7, 2000
Item Activity: 3 Internet/mail/phone bidders
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Location: Orlando, FL
Dateless Obverse Postage Currency Pattern, Judd-331B
1863 Ten Cents, Judd-331B, Pollock-402, R.7, PR 64 PCGS. 33.5 grains. A SEM-EDX analysis (#3504485) was performed, indicating the coin is composed of 75.2% copper and 24.8% nickel. The design is a dateless Seated Liberty obverse, paired with the proposed postage currency reverse featuring 10 CENTS 1863 in the center and * POSTAGE CURRENCY *ACT JULY 1862 around the margin. Struck with a reeded edge.
The obverse was created in 1836 by Christian Gobrecht and redesigned in 1859 by James B. Longacre, and the reverse also designed in 1859 by James B. Longacre. Five reeded edge coins of this design are known. The dateless Seated Liberty obverse die was created during the transition period of 1859-1860 and paired with the Postage Currency reverse. Note the broken S serif of the first S in STATES. This imperfect die was set aside and a second imperfect die was fashioned. The third die was what may be referred to as the "perfect" die. The perfect die was put into service and used by the Mint for several years. The imperfect dies were not destroyed but were kept in the coiner's humid vault and were unprotected against rusting. Special dies, like the dies for the 1804 dollar were boxed in lard and carefully stored in the Mint Director's vault. In May, 1863 the die with the broken S was removed from the coiner's vault and used to create five fantasy pieces of the die combination seen here. One copper, Judd-331a, piece was struck and four cupro-nickel coins of varying weights and metals were also produced. According to Mr. Wolfe, this pattern, as well as Judd-641 and 642, were struck in 1869. This assertion will be proved in a future article to be published by Mr. Wolfe. He voluntarily informed Abe Kosoff about the coins in his collection and Kosoff noted them in United States Pattern, Experimental and Trial Pieces (6th and 7th editions), where the name G. H. Wolfe is seen alongside the Judd-331B and other issues. The Judd-331 coin pictured in the Judd reference is the coin that today resides in the Harry W. Bass Foundation Collection.
The coin itself is brightly mirrored and shows only the vaguest suggestion of light color on each side. Heavy die striations are located in the upper obverse field, a trait common to all patterns struck from this obverse die.
Mr. Wolfe acquired this coin from Liberty Coin Co. in 1974. He performed a specific gravity test analysis with the result of 8.93. Another example of the J-331B pattern may be found in The Harry W. Bass Foundation Collection. (PCGS# 60493)

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