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    1864 Proof Two Cent, PR62 Red and Brown
    Rare Small Motto Issue

    1864 2C Small Motto PR62 Red and Brown PCGS. FS-401. Offered here is a landmark coin with a rarity and desirability that cannot be overemphasized. Perhaps 1,000 or so proof two-cent pieces were struck in 1864 (some sources errantly report just 100 proofs), and nearly all were the Large Motto type. Few were the Small Motto type, and estimates place the number of survivors at less than 20 pieces. This issue is part of a trio of proof rarities from the decade that also includes the 1864-L Indian cent and the 1867 Rays Shield nickel.

    The two cent piece was hardly a new concept when it first appeared in 1864. Proposals for just such a denomination were made in Congress on two previous occasions, in 1806 and 1836. The second proposal included pattern issues that are highly collectible today. These first two proposals recommended coins of billon, a combination of copper and silver, but it was shown that such a combination was not practical, for it was easily imitated. The third proposal was initiated by the Mint, rather than by Congress. Mint Director James Pollock was successful with his bid, and the denomination was authorized by the Mint Act of April 22, 1864. This was the same legislation that authorized a change in the composition of the Indian cent, from copper-nickel to bronze.

    The initial two-cent coins of 1864 included proofs and business strikes from the Small Motto dies, called prototype dies by Breen. In his Complete Encyclopedia, Breen noted that proof examples have ER of AMERICA doubled, although such a characteristic is not visible on this example. Although certified at a lower numeric grade, this example is a splendid proof with excellent eye appeal. Both sides have light hairlines and minor spots, but do not have any individually distracting blemishes. The fields are nicely mirrored with lustrous devices that provide a hint of cameo contrast. Both sides have pale orange mint color that is just beginning to acquire attractive brown toning. For the collector or dedicated specialist of two-cent coinage, this proof 1864 Small Motto piece is a coin for the ages. Housed in a first generation holder. Population: 1 in 62 Red and Brown, 6 finer (6/16).
    Ex: The Antigo Collection / Denver Signature (Heritage, 8/2006), lot 5078, which realized $40,250.
    From The Collection of Richard W. DeRobertis.(Registry values: N1) (NGC ID# 274S, PCGS# 3625)

    Weight: 6.22 grams

    Metal: 95% Copper, 5% Tin & zinc

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

    View all of [The Collection of Richard W. DeRobertis ]

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2016
    10th-14th Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 17
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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