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    Description

    1872 Amazonian Twenty Dollar
    Struck in Aluminum
    Judd-1252, PR67 Cameo
    Only Two Pieces Confirmed

    1872 $20 Amazonian Twenty Dollar, Judd-1252, Pollock-1394, R.8, PR67 Cameo PCGS. Ex: Simpson. William Barber's famous Amazonian design. The obverse features a head of Liberty wearing a Phrygian cap inscribed LIBERTY, facing left, with thirteen stars around and the date, 1872 below. The reverse displays an eagle with spread wings holding three arrows in its right talon and supporting a shield in its left. The legend UNITED STATES OF AMERICA is around, and the denomination TWENTY DOL. is below. A scroll crossing the shield is inscribed IN GOD WE TRUST. Struck in aluminum with a reeded edge.

    William Barber produced patterns for all six gold denominations in 1872, all using his famous Amazonian design. The reverse was copied from Barber's "Amazonian" design for the quarter, half dollar, and dollar patterns of the same date, but the obverse features a Liberty head with a Phrygian cap, rather than the seated figure used on the silver denominations. This was the only time a uniform design was produced for all six gold denominations (information courtesy of USPatterns.com).

    One set is known in gold, two pieces are confirmed in aluminum, with a third reported, and about a dozen were issued in copper. This is a magnificent aluminum pattern. At the time these pieces were produced, aluminum was scarcer than gold. It wasn't until 1886 and the discovery of the electrolytic method of producing aluminum that the metal was easily produced and it became cheaper and more widely used. Prior to that time, patterns struck in aluminum frequently showed laminations. This particular piece displays a shallow diagonal lamination just above the hair bun, and there is another circular lamination between the back of the cap and star 9. The surfaces are bright and show the usual deep reflectivity in the fields, common to aluminum strikes. Often seen also is the strong cameo contrast that was created by the thick mint frost over the devices.
    Ex: Gaston DiBello Collection (Stack's, 5/1970), lot 509; Terrell Collection (American Auction Association, 5/1973), lot 630; William R. "Rudy" Sieck Collection (Bowers and Ruddy, 7/1981), lot 358; Van Treuren Collection / Central States Signature (Heritage, 4-5/2009), lot 2811.
    Collecting Patterns – A Brief History and Commentary

    Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# DMWA, PCGS# 389296)


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

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    September, 2020
    17th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 28
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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