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Confederate Coins by Denomination | United States Coins by Denomination 
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Obverse of 1861 Confederate Cent - Restrike     Reverse of 1861 Confederate Cent - Restrike


1861 CONFEDERATE CENT

Mintage: see individual Varieties

Designer: Robert Lovett, Jr.

Diameter: 19 millimeters

Metal content:

Weight:

Edge: Plain

Mintmark: none (all of these were made privately)

Varieties:
Originals:
     Copper-Nickel - 12 struck
Restrikes from unbroken dies:
     Copper - 55 struck
     Gold - 7 struck
     Silver - 12 struck
Restrikes from broken dies:
     Aluminum - 50 struck
     Bronze - 5,000 struck
     Gold - 3 struck
     Goldine - 5,000 struck
     Lead - 50 struck
     Nickel Silver - 50 struck
     Platinum - 3 struck
     Red Fiber - 50 struck
     Silver - 5,000 struck
     Tin - 50 struck
     Zinc - 50 struck

In their June 11, 2001 issue of The Coin Collector, Bowers & Merena Galleries offered an undated (c. 1874) Washington Head/Confederate Cent muling for $24,000.00

Images courtesy of Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles, Inc.

Significant examples:
PCGS PR-64 Brown, Restrike in Copper (illustrated above).  Ex - Ira S. Reed, July 28, 1945 at $50.00 - Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles, Inc.'s "The Benson Collection" Sale - Part 1, February 18-20, 2001, Lot 1196 at $12,075.00 (see description below)

Notes:
From the "Benson Collection" catalog, courtesy of Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles, Inc.: "1864 Confederate Cent, Copper Restrike.  PCGS graded Proof 64 Brown.  The origin of the Confederate cent is as follows: in 1861 an official of the Confederate States of America contacted the jewelry firm of Bailey & Co (later Bailey, Banks, and Biddle) and requested a die cutter who could make a C.S.A. cent.  Robert Lovett, Jr. was selected, and he was a logical choice, as he had extensive experience with die engraving.  Lovett employed the head of Minerva, which he had used on an earlier one cent sized token from 1860, and employed a wreath of distinctive Southern agricultural products, including a bale of cotton at the bottom.  Lovett struck twelve coins with his dies, employing the then current Union alloy of copper and nickel used on Indian cents.  Lovett soon had second thoughts, and fearing arrest by Union authorities for aiding the Confederates, he canceled the project and concealed the dies and dozen coins.  After the war ended, Lovett took one of the coins and used it as a pocket piece.  One day in 1873, Lovett accidentally spent the Confederate cent at a Philadelphia bar.  The barkeep recognized the piece as unusual and showed the coin to a numismatist friend.  Or so the story goes.  In any event, Edward Maris, a prominent Philadelphia collector learned of the coin and its source.  Maris contacted Lovett and purchased not only the other coins, but the dies too.  Soon Capt. John W. Hazeltine and his associate J. Colvin Randall learned of the coins and dies, and procured them from Maris or possibly Lovett (if Maris hadn't purchased the dies).  A plan was hatched to coin restrikes, and Peter Kinder (a medalist and die sinker) of Philadelphia was engaged for this purpose.  A pamphlet was produced which stated that seven gold, twelve silver, and 55 copper restrikes had been made, with the dies breaking on the 55th copper strike.  No copper nickel restrikes were made to preserve the integrity of the original dozen coined by Lovett.  In 1961 Robert Bashlow, a New York entrepreneur, took the rusted and broken dies and had copies made by the transfer process.  These pieces have irregular surfaces, and are quite unlike the 1874 restrikes.  Our thanks to Bowers and Merena (Eliasberg II) for the above.  PCGS has only graded this example and one other (EF-40) of this important issue.  Perhaps the others are tied up in collections, or simply haven't been graded as of yet.  The surfaces show a few minute spots, and there is one small low area in the field below ES of STATES.  About twenty percent of the original mint red can be seen in the lettering and devices.  Beautiful in color and a gem in surface quality, which is simply amazing for a coin of such importance."

Sources and/or recommended reading:
"The PCGS Population Report, October 2002" by The Professional Coin Grading Service

 
 

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