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1864 Bronze Cent, PR64 Red and Brown
Very Rare L on Ribbon Variety

1864 1C L On Ribbon PR64 Red and Brown NGC. Snow-PR2. The proof 1864 L on Ribbon is the greatest Guide Book rarity of the Indian cent series, more elusive than either the Snow-1 1888/7 or 1873 Doubled LIBERTY. The traditional proof mintage is just 20 pieces, though the Guide Book places a plus sign after that figure, as it does with all bronze proof issues prior to 1874. NGC has certified just six examples in all grades. For many years, only one die variety (Snow-PR2) was associated with proofs, identified by a "long raised die line on neck ... just below the jaw" as described by Snow. Breen was the first to describe the diagnostic spine, in his 1977 Proof Encyclopedia. In 1984, he confirmed the existence of another die marriage (Snow-PR1) without the spine. In Rick Snow's 1859-1859 Attribution Guide, he lists seven specimens known for Snow-PR1, another ten for Snow-PR2, and a presently unique example of Snow-PR3, which per Snow, "set a [then-]record price for any small cent when it sold in Heritage's June 2002 Long Beach sale for $132,000."

The present specimen is housed in a former generation "fatty" holder and may be #6 in Snow's PR2 roster, the "East Coast collection" coin "said to have been acquired in the 1950's." It has an obverse fleck of carbon at 3 o'clock that would identify it from a quality photograph. The strike is intricate and the reflective fields display only minimal carbon, including a small spot at the center of the third headdress feather. The obverse is orange-red, the reverse is yellow-gold, and both sides are moderately mellowed. An important opportunity to acquire this formidable rarity.(Registry values: N10218) (NGC ID# 229G, PCGS# 2280)

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Auction Dates
December, 2013
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 7
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