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    Nine-Piece 1864 Proof Set Containing
    Copper-Nickel and Bronze Cents

    1864 Nine-Piece Proof Set NGC. The year 1864 is significant for proof coinage, specifically for the silver-minor pieces. Three types of one cent coins were made: 370 copper-nickel cents, oak wreath with shield reverse; 150 or more bronze coins with No L on the ribbon; and 20 or so bronze specimens with L. The two cent piece made its debut in July 1864. The 2010 Guide Book indicates a mintage of 100+ proof specimens for this new denomination, all with the Large Motto. Walter Breen (1989), however, also lists the Small Motto variety in proof, opining:

    "Mintage unknown. Thought to have formed an extremely small percentage of the 100 proofs issued in July 1864 (that is, the above-mentioned Large Motto production), but more likely to have been made in infinitesimal quantity (of the order of magnitude of a dozen or fifteen pieces?) late in April, outside the normal issue of proof sets."

    Kevin Flynn, in a March 12, 1996 Numismatic News article, agrees with Breen's estimate of 12 to 15 Small Date proofs, but contends that they are patterns, not regular issues.
    Mint records indicate that a total of 470 silver-minor proof sets were minted in 1864. Breen suggests that the 370 sets made in February and March of this year contained copper-nickel cents, and the 100 sets coined in July included the bronze cents and two cent pieces.

    Bronze, No L Cent PR63 Red and Brown. Strongly reflective and boldly impressed with lilac and blue overtones gracing copper-gold surfaces. Several carbon spots are visible, including one over Liberty's ear and another on the reverse rim to the right of the arrowheads.

    Copper-Nickel Cent PR65 Cameo.
    An impressively contrasted Gem specimen, with the cameo effect emboldened by the fantastic reflectivity of the pale copper-orange fields. The richly frosted devices show a few flyspecks, most noticeably at the bases of the feathers in the headdress.

    Large Motto Two Cent PR65 Red and Brown.
    The more available Large Motto variant of this first-year specimen issue. The bold copper-orange and magenta-lavender hues of the obverse are more muted on the reverse. This Gem is attractive both at first glance and on closer inspection.

    Three Cent Silver PR64.
    Dappled blue, mustard-gold, and rose toning drapes gleaming surfaces that are otherwise pale silver-gray. A few light hairlines are hidden beneath the patina.

    Half Dime PR65 Cameo.
    A gorgeous Gem with silver-white frost-and-mirrors centers and a hint of gold-orange peripheral toning. A few small planchet flaws are visible in the obverse fields.

    Dime PR63 Cameo. Great reflectivity and impressive contrast. Dappled violet, blue, and gold patina covers much of the obverse fields, though these colors are present only at the rims on the reverse. Scattered hairlines and a few points of contact account for the grade.

    Quarter PR62.
    Both sides show a light gold and apricot cast. Contrast is appreciable, though not to Cameo levels. The fields exhibit scattered hairlines, and several contact marks are noted to the right of Liberty's head.

    Half Dollar PR66
    . This stunningly toned Premium Gem proof is a highlight of the set. Blue and green outer bands fade into violet and finally peach at the centers. Boldly impressed and gorgeous.

    Seated Dollar PR64.
    Lavender-blue and gold rim shadings give way to shining silver-gray at the centers. A splash of color is also visible near the hand supporting the pole. Mildly contrasted with only a handful of small faults precluding an even finer designation.
    From The Boca Collection, Part One.

    Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.

    View all of [The Boca Collection, Part I ]

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2010
    6th-10th Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 15
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,564

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