Extremely Rare Capped Die of an 1850 Three Cent Pattern, Judd-1251850 P3CS Three Cent Silver, Judd-125 Original, Pollock-147, R.4--Capped Die--PR60 ANACS. Radiated Liberty cap design on the obverse with a palm branch encircling the Roman numeral III in the center of the reverse. Struck in silver with a plain edge. While not an especially rare pattern, the J-125 is a popular one and one struck in the early years of pattern production. This piece was last offered at public auction in our September 1997 Long Beach Sale, where it was described as, "This is one of the most fascinating errors we have ever seen. We could never have even imagined that an error could occur with patterns because of the very short die run of each and the close supervision they received by mint personnel. (Which makes one wonder also how this escaped the mint.) A capped die is created when after striking, the struck coin sticks to the upper die, becomes attached to it, and covers the face of that upper die. Repeated strikings afterward will make the design on the bottom of the cap weaker and flatter. On this piece apparently quite a few brockages were struck from this capped die as the obverse details are quite indistinct. Light gray patina is seen over each side and the perfectly formed reverse has heavy die striations in the fields." Six years later, this piece still stands as one of the most fascinating errors we have ever encountered.
The surfaces are lightly toned with rose and Prussian-blue toning over each side. A couple of tiny marks are seen on the reverse wreath, but frankly, the grade of this coin is irrelevant--it has little bearing on the value, desirability, and collectibility of this presumably unique item.
Ex: Herbert Spencer Collection (Bowers and Merena, 6/96), lot 1191, where it brought $1,980; September 1997 Long Beach Sale (Heritage, 9/97), lot 7916, where it realized $2,550.
From the Holman Family Collection. (#11536) (NGC ID# 298G, PCGS# 11536)
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