Discussion in 'US Coins Forum' started by MK Ultra, Feb 18, 2020.
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They're a pattern, but why they were made I do not know.
Who uses obsolete designs in patterns? Patterns are supposed to be about the future, not the past. Weird.
But numismatically fascinating!
(And no, I have never seen one.)
PS- the one I linked to sold for $20,700.
Well, OK, but I still don't understand these particular pieces. Don't get me wrong - they're cool today and all - but I fail to grasp what possible appeal they could've had in their own time.
In 1868 there was a proposal to make coppernickel ten cent pieces. Probably as a way to redeem fractional currency. We had a 3 cent and five cent piece in copper nickel, how about a ten cent piece. The redemption of fractional currency was seen as a problem by the government. It had been issued doe to hoarding of coinage during the Civil War, and then afterward because gold and silver still traded above par compared to paper. The government knew that eventually they would trade at par and they expected to have to redeem all that fractional currency they had issued, and the were loathe to exchange good intrinsic value silver for paper. The idea of exchanging for low intrinsic value coppernickel was appealing. (In the 1870's they also had a series of patterns for a reduced weight and or fineness silver coinage to be used to redeem the fractional currency.)
To indicate what the size of such a proposed ten cent piece would be they used a Braided hair large cent hub to make a die and punched 1868 into it, and made a new reverse die with the ten cent denomination.
But now that a 1868 "cent design" obverse was available, someone decided to pair it with an old cent reverse die to make some 1868 large cents. These were obviously unofficial, had no relationship to the proposed ten cent piece, and were made to sell to collectors under the table for a profit. Whether they were done by workmen or if the officers had a hand in it I can't say, but considering how many questionable issues and practices the officers did have their hand in at the time I wouldn't rule them out.
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