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    1888 Indian Cent, MS64
    Nickel Die Trial, Snow-2

    1888 1C Indian Cent, Nickel Die Trial, Snow-2, Unique, MS64 PCGS. Ex: Maroskos Specimen. Housed in a Regency holder. Much has been written about this coin since its discovery in 1997 by George Maroskos. According to Rick Snow, this piece is struck in the same alloy as nickel coinage. Which is to say, it is a copper-nickel alloy, not pure nickel as one might think from what is on the PCGS insert. Snow states this is not a blank intended for the three cent nickel, as those pieces are typically weak around the rims. Even though it is labeled a die trial, there was really no reason to strike a cent in even harder metal in 1888. The best theory is posited by Rick Snow:

    "One plausible theory has it that copper-nickel strip intended for five cent nickels was put through the cent-sized blanking press. The blanks for cents, three-cent and five-cent coins were manufactured by Joseph Wharton and shipped to the Mint. There is certainly a possibility that wrong planchets were included in the cent planchet shipments. ... Perhaps one Cu-Ni blank escaped into the hopper with the rest of the bronze cent blanks. By pure chance, the die pair that struck this special blank was the S2 die pair."

    To his last point, the S-2 die pair was once thought to be a second 1888/7 overdate. Considerable doubt has been cast on this assertion, and now it is safely considered a repunched date. One interesting aspect of this die pair is the top flag of a 1 that protrudes from the first pearl in the necklace.

    A second opinion is posited by Saul Teichman:

    "The coin is almost certainly a mint error struck on a Columbian 5 centavo planchet supplied by the Waterbury Mint. Waterbury was striking these coins for Columbia in 1886 and 1888 and also was a supplier of copper-nickel planchets to the U.S. Mint during that timeframe."

    The surfaces are bright and untoned with the white-nickel appearance one would expect. A few flecks of carbon are seen on each side, limiting the grade.
    Ex: Morris Sale (H. and S.H. Chapman, 1905), lot 397; George Maroskos; Lee J. Bellasario; private collection.
    From The Dickson Collection.

    View all of [The Dickson Collection ]

    View Certification Details from PCGS

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2021
    18th-22nd Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 16
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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