Click to enlargeJ1453A/P1601

This is one of the few branch mint die trials known.

Only 2 examples are known. The illustrated coin, a cleaned example, is believed to be ex Newcomer, Boyd, Farouk lot 1967, Merkin 9/67 sale lot 534, David Bullowa in 1972, G.H Wolfe, Heritage 2000 FUN sale where it sold for $16,100. It has been cleaned and lacquered. The other specimen last appeared as lot 286 of Stack's 9/94 sale and appears to be a nicer coin. It sold for $11,000. It was previously in Bowers and Merena's 4/83 sale as lot 2426 and earlier was offered in the 44th and 46th editions of Bowers and Ruddy's Rare Coin Review. It was graded as choice uncirculated in the Stack's sale.

A single specimen, struck in nickel - J1453B/P1602, is also known to exist. It is ex 1892 Woodside sale lot 318 with one of the above copper coins (probably the Farouk coin), Wayte Raymond's 2/42 sale as lot 16, B. Max Mehl's Olsen sale as lot 372A, New Netherlands, Kagins 11/71 lot 1208, 1993 ANA sale as lot 8008 as a mint error, Superior 7/03 and has been graded NGCMS64. It is very weakly struck apparently on a three cent nickel planchet and is shown below.

It appears likely that all three of these pieces were made at the Philadelphia mint as fantasy pieces for a collector's cabinet. It is interesting to note that the nickel and Stacks 9/94 copper specimens were described as business strikes whereas the upcoming Wolfe coin was graded as a proof in the Merkin sale.

There appear to be at least 4 silver examples which have been described and/or encapsulated as a branch mint proof.

1) Kagins 11/71 lot 1207, Stacks 9/83 lot 677, Jay Parrino 1999 Fixed Price list, Superior 3/00, Superior 1/08 as PCGS-SP65, B/M 8/09 as PCGS-SP66, Simpson collection-Legend 7/14 - PCGS-SP66+.

2) RARCOA-Auction 90 8/1990, Heritage 8/92 as ANACS-SP64, Heritage 1/96, StacksBowers 8/12 as NGC-SP65 now PCGS-SP66

3) Heritage 2/03, Simpson, Legend 7/14, Heritage 10/14, Heritage 1/15 FUN, Heritage 8/17 ANA - NGC-SP65

4) James A Stack-Stack's 1/90, graded as gem Unc but it was fully prooflike and brought a proof price.

The obverse die has filled 'A's in the lettering and the reverse has recut 'E's.

Both photos are courtesy of Heritage.