Obverse 5: Proof Die, High Level Date, Repunched 9
Reverse E: Proof Die
Obverse 5 Reverse E
Obverse Diagnostic Point(s)
Comments: A rare proof date with Breen estimating 4 examples extant while Akers suggesting between 6 to 8 surviving. The David Lawrence website offers a mid point view of 6 specimens extant.
The date punch on the proof obverse die is positioned more left when compared to the date positions on the business strike obverse dies. The date punch is also high and level. There is an ongoing question surrounding the assertion that the date on the proof die is an 1849/8 overdate. Researching prior auction catalogues and their commentaries produces contradictory findings.
From the Floyd T. Starr Collection, conducted by Stack's October, 1992, the following is written,"Lot 366 1849 Gem Brilliant Proof. Repunched Date variety. Both sides fully brilliant and reflective, unlike the one-sided Norweb:476 to Lovejoy:247 Proof. Virtually flawless fields. Obverse wire rim from 6 to 2 o'clock, partial on reverse. From the same hub as the preceding. Not an 1849/8 "overdate" as described by Breen (Br.3256 should be de-listed), repunching most visible in loop of 9 in date."
From the Louis E. Eliasberg Sale, conducted by Bowers and Merena May, 1996, the following is written,"Lot 1137 1849/8 Greer 103 Proof 65. Notes: Described by Brian Greer as "9/8, an obvious overdate," echoing Walter Breen, who is cross-referenced: Breen-3256, there called "1849/8 Obvious Overdate. Proofs only." Another was in the Floyd Star estate sold by Stack's. Not to be confused with varieties of repunched 9."
In 1849, the mint changed the logotype from the large dates of 1847 and 1848 to the smaller date punch found on 1849 dies. Acknowledging this fact, it is difficult to justify that the date on the proof 1849 obverse die would be an 1849/8 overdate given the large date punch of 1848. If one examines the date positions of the 1849 proof die against that of the 1848 dies, with the larger date punch, it is immediately evident that the 1849/8 overdate theory should be seriously questioned. Please see the comparison below.
I have chosen to list the proof Obverse 5 die as a repunched 9 consistent with the Stack's observations from the Floyd Starr coin.
Plate Coin: Courtesy of Richmond Collection/www.davidlawrence.com, NGC PF65
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