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    Cameo Gem Proof 1857 Flying Eagle Cent

    1857 1C Flying Eagle PR65 Cameo PCGS. Snow-PR3. This distinctive die pair has a diagonal die line through the N in UNITED and shows minor die doubling on the right pendant of the T in UNITED and the second S in STATES. The reverse is identified by an unpolished field within the left-side bow.
    Although proof 1856 Flying Eagle cents are more famous and receive more publicity, specialists of the series know that proofs of that introductory date are fairly plentiful. Proof 1857 and 1858 cents are much more difficult to locate. In 2001, Rick Snow wrote about the proof 1857 and called it "a very rare proof issue with an estimated mintage of only 50 pieces. Three die pairs have been identified, which seems unusual given the rarity of the coins. ... Proofs should have deep mirrors and no substantial striking weakness."
    On the present piece, both fields are fully mirrored, and there is no indication of cartwheel luster. The strike is intricate aside from the lowest right-side cotton leaf, which Rick Snow mentions as characteristic of some proofs from this die pair. The aforementioned cotton leaf is opposite the eagle's tail, a design placement that probably contributed to the premature end of the Flying Eagle type in 1858.
    Further confirming the proof status of the present piece, a tiny curly lintmark is present to the right of the 7 in the date, and additional minute lintmarks are seen near the reverse rim at 4:30 and 10:30, above the upright of the E in ONE, and across the upright of the same letter. These lintmarks are the artifacts of the cloths used to polish the dies prior to proof coinage.
    Orange-gold toning dominates both fields, although the obverse margin offers glimpses of lemon patina, particularly near 5 o'clock. Both sides are unabraded, and the obverse is carbon-free. The grade-limiting minuscule gray flecks on the reverse are invisible to the unaided eye, and appear of little consequence once viewed under magnification. A high-end, Gem specimen of this desirable proof rarity. Population: 2 in 65 Cameo, 1 finer (6/08).
    From the Estate of Robert R. Rollins Collection, Part Three.(Registry values: P2) (NGC ID# 2Z23, PCGS# 82040)

    Weight: 4.70 grams

    Metal: 88% Copper, 12% Nickel


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

    View all of [Estate of Robert R. Rollins Collection ]

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    Auction Dates
    Jul-Aug, 2008
    30th-3rd Wednesday-Sunday
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