The famous 1864-L cent.
Three obverse dies were used to strike proofs, 2 of which are known for off-metal trial strikings as follows:
1) Date left on which the bust point is aligned with the edge of the '1' in the date. This is believed to be an original 1864 striking and is the copper-nickel image above. Photo courtesy of Heritage.
2) Date right which is the one described in Walter Breen's "Encyclopedia of United States and Colonial Proof Coins 1722-1977". It has the bust point left of the '1' in the date and a die scratch on the neck below and running parallel to the Indian's ear as shown on the aluminum image above. Photo courtesy of Tim Larson. Like the similar 1863-L pieces, this obverse is a novodel made circa 1869 to the early 1870s and was combined with a reverse die used for striking circa 1868-1871 proofs per Dave Bowers and Richard Snow.
These latter pieces are related to the 1864 two cent, trime, half dime and dime novodels and were probably made for inclusion in sets with the quarter, half dollar and dollar with "In God We Trust" on the reverse as used from 1866-1891.
Examples from these 2 dies are known as follows:
Copper J357 Unlisted in Pollock, NGC has graded at least 3 different examples. Others may exist masquerading as regular bronze proofs. The one in Heritage 1/14 FUN sale is a restrike as it has the bust point to the left of the '1'. Heritage 4/14 sale had an example from each obverse die. We would recommend having both retested to see if either is really bronze instead.
Copper-nickel with bust point aligned with the '1' J358/P429 Originals only with a half dozen believed to exist including the piece illustrated above. The NN 6/67 sale piece is only VF in grade. Examples are also known struck from business strike dies.
Note: It is unclear if these are die trials or simply regular issues proofs. If the latter than the switch to dies containing Longacre's initial L may have actually occurred prior to the change in composition from copper-nickel to bronze or else leftover copper-nickel planchets were mixed in with the new bronze ones.
Photo courtesy of Richard Snow.
Nickel with bust point to the left of the '1' J359/P430. Restrikes only with 2 confirmed, one ex Stacks 9/89, Simpson-Heritage 8/21 - PCGS62 and the other ex Stacks-Bowers 6/11 which has environmental damage. One of these is ex Newcomer, the other ex Brenner-1914 ANS, Brand.
Oroide with bust point aligned with the '1' J360/P431. May not exist. Per Richard Snow, "the Stacks 9/89 example, believed to be ex-Farouk was tested and found to be copper-nickel (J358/P429)".
Aluminum with bust point to the left of the '1' J361/P432. restrikes only with at least 2 known, Dr Judd and the Stacks 9/89 sale. One of these is ex Newcomer, the other ex Brenner-1914 ANS, Brand. Rick Snow lists 3 in his "The Flying Eagle & Indian Cent Attribution Guide, 2nd Edition, Volume 2, 1859-1869". Click on the thumbnail to see an enlargement.
Photo courtesy of Tim Larson.