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    1859 Double-Headed Indian Cent
    Judd-229a, MS63

    1859 1C Double-Headed Indian Cent, Judd-229a, Snow-PT5, Unique, MS63 PCGS. Ex: Simpson. This unusual double-obverse 1859 Indian cent, struck in copper-nickel with a plain edge and struck in business strike format not as a proof, was unknown to the numismatic community prior to the year 2000. Although its discovery was too late to appear in the Pollock pattern reference, it was included in the Judd reference beginning with the 8th edition. It was the subject of a December 2000 article by Chris Pilliod in Longacre's Ledger, and later appeared in Rick Snow's Flying Eagle & Indian Cent Attribution Guide, 2nd Edition, Volume 2 as Snow-PT5.

    Rick Snow wrote, "the coin [Snow-PT5] is presently unique, and no other 1859 coins have yet been located with either of the dies. ... Neither of the dies are early die state, indicating the possibility of a large production struck prior to this coin that may have been rounded up and destroyed." In other words, the press operator detected the error, and the contents of the bin were melted. The present piece survived, perhaps retained as a souvenir by the coiner.

    According to Snow, the Flying Eagle cents struck in 1858 used the obverse die as the anvil die. When production of Indian cents began in 1859, the obverse die became the hammer die. It is normally impossible to pair two obverse dies in the same press, but because die blank configurations were changed in 1859, a die made from an 1858 obverse blank could be struck with a die created from an 1859 obverse blank. This is apparently what happened.

    Diagnostics for Judd-229a include a minute raised die dot between the BE in LIBERTY on one side, and a second raised die dot on the opposite side, to the west of the ear lobe. One of the dies is from a hub with a broken R in AMERICA. The other die has an intact R in AMERICA. It is also a possibility that this piece is an error. Indeed, PCGS lists it as such with the designation: Dual Obverse Mule Strike.

    The present piece is sharply struck and has no indication of wear. The dies are rotated approximately 10 degrees clockwise from medal turn. The borders are sun-gold, while the fields have mellowed olive-green hues. Carbon is negligible for the grade, and there are no abrasions.
    Ex: Chicago Auction (Mid-American, 6/2000); John R. Schuch; Pre-Long Beach Sale (Superior, 10/2000), lot 4017A; Legend Numismatics; private collection; Estate of Robert R. Rollins Collection, Part Three / ANA Signature (Heritage, 8/2008), lot 2154, where it sold for $195,500.
    Collecting Patterns – A Brief History and Commentary

    Coin Index Numbers: (PCGS# 21118)

    View Certification Details from PCGS

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    September, 2020
    17th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 34
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