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    Description

    Extremely Scarce 1864 L on Ribbon Indian Cent PR64 Red

    1864 1C L On Ribbon PR64 Red PCGS. Die Pair 2. The 1864-L Indian Cent in proof format is a prized rarity among U.S. Small Cents and indeed one of the most elusive proof minor issues from the 19th century. Only 20 pieces are believed to have been struck and today 18 examples are traced. Curiously, three die pairings were used to strike the 18 known coins. This particular specimen comes from Die Pair 2 and is easily recognized by a die file mark on Liberty's neck that matches the criteria presented by Walter Breen in the 1977 book Walter Breen's Encyclopedia of United States and Colonial Proof Coins: 1722-1977. This Choice, subtly mirrored specimen is draped in pale orange and lilac patina, with minute flecks of carbon seen here and there.
    The initial proof delivery of the 1864 L on Ribbon Cent was ten specimens. These coins were either held as die trials or sold to collectors in a random manner. Mint officials probably considered the addition of Longacre's initial to be a minor change that was not worthy of special consideration. It was not until a few years later that the existence of these proofs became known, by which time the advanced collectors who desired examples could not locate the coins. When Henry Linderman began his first term as Mint Director in 1867, the proof 1864 L on Ribbon Cent had already become a hotly desired numismatic item. During Linderman's first term (1867-1869), and continuing for a few years thereafter, many numismatic delicacies were restruck at the Mint. Far from being considered a pariah, the coins restruck during the "Linderman" period are some of the most sought after coins in all of U.S. numismatics.
    Ten additional 1864 L on Ribbon proofs were struck sometime around 1871. Rick Snow is credited with this discovery by matching the reverse die of the present example with the regular issue proof dies of that year. The unique die lines on the reverse are the same as on proofs from 1869 through 1871, although the 1869 and 1870 proofs were struck from earlier die states. This created a dilemma for the owners and sellers of the other proof examples. Most catalogers described the proofs that did not match Breen's diagnostics as copper die trials, or they conveniently overlooked Breen's research. It was not until the Bowers and Merena Higgins Sale of 1984 that Breen relented and proclaimed that there was a second die pair for the proof 1864 L on Ribbon. Presently seven examples of that die pair are known. In 1997, Rick Snow identified a third die pair when a unique specimen was offered in Bowers and Merena's Pennsylvania Estate Sale. Population: 3 in 64, 0 finer (11/04). (#2281) (Registry values: N10218)

    Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# 229G, PCGS# 2281)

    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
    January, 2005
    12th-15th Wednesday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 12
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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