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    Description

    1863 Postage Currency Pattern in Billon, Judd-326A

    1863 10C Ten Cents, Judd-326A, Pollock-394, R.7, PR63 PCGS. 25.3 grams. A SEM-EDX analysis (#3504477) was performed on this piece (now unfortunately it is lost), indicating this piece is 84.7% copper and 15.3% silver. The obverse has an ornamental shield with an inverted laurel wreath suspended from a ring, and a pair of crossed arrows is behind the shield. The peripheral legend reads EXCHANGED FOR U.S. NOTES. The reverse has 10 CENTS 1863 in the center and * POSTAGE CURRENCY * ACT JULY 1862 around the margin. Struck with a plain edge.
    James B. Longacre designed this coin in May, 1863. This plain edge piece is struck in an alloy known as billon. Billon is a primarily copper alloy coin with less than half its weight in silver. Examples of this pattern are known with weights ranging from 24.5 grains to 25.3 grains. In the past, pattern catalogers have assumed a proportion of 75% copper and 25% silver. The eight pieces tested up to January 2000 have ranged from 81% copper and 19% silver to 85% copper and 15% silver. Records indicate that 27 pieces were struck May 27, 1863. The intrinsic value of this token coin was almost 1.5 cents.
    The mostly copper surfaces display a muted reddish-brown patina with an outline of lighter color around the devices. A few spots and streaks of silver alloy are seen on each side. A few words need to be added about these silver areas. Since not more than 10% copper can form an alloy with silver (coin silver is 10% copper and 90% silver), larger amounts of copper will cause the silver to precipitate forming silver grains in the copper, as seen on this coin. This non-compatibility also causes the slight roughness of the surfaces of this coin.
    Gene Wolfe purchased this piece from Harry X Boosel's auction (RARCOA, April 28-30, 1972), lot 1034. Later he performed a specific gravity test with a result of 9.42. Another example of a Judd-326a may be found in the Byron Reed Collection at the Western Heritage Museum.

    Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# 29F8, PCGS# 60485)


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

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    July, 2003
    26th-28th Saturday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 344

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