1856 PATTERN ONE CENT IN COPPER - JUDD
Rarity - Extremely Rare
Diameter: 19 millimeters
In 1856, the U.S. Mint began looking at cost-cutting alternatives to the
bulky Large Cents that had been produced since 1793. James B. Longacre
used Christian Gobrecht's design of a flying eagle for the obverse and his
own wreath type of the Three Dollar Gold piece for the reverse. Many
hundreds of Copper-Nickel pieces were produced to promote the new design,
but only a handful were made in various other metals, one of which was
pure copper. The copper versions were struck on thick planchets.
Virtually all known examples are Proofs, but PCGS has certified at least
one piece as a non-Proof. PCGS has certified only 8 examples of
Judd-181, the finest of which is a Proof-64 Red and Brown example.
For Judd 181, Breen calls
for Obverse 2 (Open E's, very thin, shallow date, and an open 6) and
Reverse C ["Low Leaves" (leaves below baseline of CENT), no
center dot, and "Open E's" (of ONE and CENT)]. However,
the coin illustrated above clearly has "High Leaves" (the left
leaf is above the baseline of the C of CENT) and the E of ONE is closed
while the E of CENT is wide open. Is the coin illustrated above
attributed incorrectly or is this a new die combination?
Images courtesy of Superior
Stamp & Coin
The coin illustrated above was
graded Proof-66 Brown by the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation prior to its
appearance as Lot 793 in Superior Stamp & Coin's "Pre-Long
Beach" Sale, February 7-8, 2000.
PCGS Proof-64 Red and Brown. Ex - Superior Galleries "Pre-Long
Beach" Elite Coin Auction, May 25-27, 2003, Lot 3412, sold for
Sources and/or recommended
"United States Pattern, Experimental and Trial Pieces" by J.
Hewitt Judd, M.D.
"Walter Breen's Complete
Encyclopedia of U.S. and Colonial Coins" by Walter Breen
Encyclopedia of United States and Colonial Proof Coins 1722-1977" by
"The PCGS Population
Report - January 2000" by the Professional
Coin Grading Service