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    Description

    1864 Bronze Cent, PR64 Red Cameo
    Snow-PR1, L on Ribbon Variety
    Extremely Rare, Sole Cameo Certified

    1864 1C L On Ribbon PR64 Red Cameo PCGS. Snow-PR1. There are three die varieties known for the proof 1864 L on Ribbon bronze cents, with a combined population of only about 20 coins. However, for many years it was thought that just one die pair existed for genuine pieces (PR-2). It was not until 1984 that respected numismatic researcher Walter Breen publicly confirmed the existence of PR-1. The "discovery" coin was auctioned in Bowers and Merena's January 1988 sale of the Lloyd M. Higgins, M.D. Collection, where it realized a then-impressive $44,000. The only known example of the third variety, PR-3, was authenticated by Richard Snow in 1997.

    PR-1 and PR-3 are believed to be originals struck in 1864, while the PR-2 coins, using a tail die that is seen on later-year proofs, are considered restrikes coined circa 1868. PR-1 is seen significantly less often than PR-2. Our roster, drawn from a close study of the census data in Snow's authoritative reference The Flying Eagle and Indian Cent Attribution Guide, third edition, includes six individual coins, along with several additional appearances which likely indicate both additional coins and early appearances of confirmed specimens. Snow estimates about eight or nine different pieces exist, although few have appeared at auction in recent years.

    This full Red Choice Cameo, remarkably, does not seem to match any of the previously known examples of the PR-1 variety, although comparisons become increasingly difficult with the older catalog listings which typically have poor-quality images. The coin has the distinction of being the only full Red example in the Census, and by extension the only Cameo, as well. The obverse displays stark field-motif contrast with coppery-pink frost on the relief elements and mirrored peach-gold color in the fields, while the reverse is more consistently toned with rose-gold and candy-orange hues. The strike is full and the surfaces are free of mentionable marks or hairlines, save for a carbon speck between headdress feathers 2 and 3 (from the top) which will serve well as a future pedigree identifier. This piece ranks as one of only two coins, all varieties included, certified in the full Red Cameo category at PCGS, the other being a Gem PR-2 representative (3/15).

    Roster of Proof 1864 L on Ribbon Bronze Cents (PR-1)
    1. PR66 Red and Brown PCGS. Marks (Bowers and Ruddy, 11/1972), lot 164; Austin Collection (Bowers and Ruddy, 5-6/1974), lot 285; Dr. Curtis R. Paxman Collection (Bowers and Ruddy, 11/1974), lot 215; Dr. Stanley Spurgeon Collection.
    2. PR66 Brown PCGS. Fern E. Wagner Trust; West Palm Beach Signature (Heritage, 6/2008), lot 210; Baltimore Auction (Bowers and Merena, 3/2009), lot 173; New York Collection / Long Beach Signature (Heritage, 9/2013), lot 6233.
    3. PR65 Red and Brown PCGS. Rarities Sale (Bowers and Merena, 1/1999), lot 1031; Legend Numismatics.
    4. PR65 Red and Brown PCGS. Philadelphia Signature (Heritage, 8/2012), lot 5033; Q. David Bowers Proof Indian Cent Collection.
    5. PR64 Red Cameo PCGS. Likely the same as A, B, C, or D below. The present coin.
    6. PR63 Red and Brown PCGS. Robert Shultz; Lloyd M. Higgins, M.D. Collection (Bowers and Merena, 1/1988), lot 99. This was the first PR-1 example attributed.

    Additional Appearances
    A. PR63. Auction Sale (New England, 11/1979), lot 74.
    B. Brilliant Proof. R.L. Miles, Jr. Collection, Part II (Stack's, 4/1969), lot 234.
    C. Brilliant Proof. Massachusetts Historical Society (Stack's, 3/1973), lot 379; Public Auction Sale (Stack's, 3/1982), lot 620.
    D. Brilliant Proof. Anderson-DuPont, Part II (Stack's, 11/1954), lot 1177.(Registry values: P10)

    Coin Index Numbers: (PCGS# 82281)

    Weight: 3.11 grams

    Metal: 95% Copper, 5% Tin and Zinc


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

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2015
    22nd-26th Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 19
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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