1864 BRONZE INDIAN CENT L ON RIBBON-MINT ERROR
Today my blog is on a new purchase I recently made from my regular dealer. It is a two for the price of one. Well, not really the same price. It is a 1864 L on Ribbon Indian Cent that also has a huge mint error on it. First a little history. The Indian Head cent first came out in 1859 as a replacement for the Flying Eagle cent. The obverse is supposed to feature an American Indian head but in reality is Liberty wearing some type of Indian chiefs headdress. In 1860 the wreath was altered a bit and a shield was added to the top of the reverse. In 1864 the weight was reduced to 3.11 grams and the metal was changed to bronze. James Longacre was the designer of the coin. From 1859 to 1864 the copper nickel cent had no initials of the designer. Towards the end of the year 1864 the "L" was added to the lower ribbon on the Indian on the obverse of the coin. This variety accounted for only about 5,000,000 pieces of the total mintage of 39,233,714 that year making this a sought after variety. Speaking of varieties, there a quite a few RPM of this type and year coin. Another odd thing is that the "L" is turned 90 degrees from the upright position. The "L" is not easy to see and being turned sideways doesn't make it any easier. Worn pieces, like mine, can still be identified as the portrait of the "Indian" is pointed on the "L" variety. In fact this particular coin did not show the "L" on the grade label when I bought it. I sent it back to NGC for the L on Ribbon designation. I think it should be on the label if it is there. Just my opinion.
Now to the mint error. The obverse of this coin has been rotated about 115 degrees from where it should be when it was stamped. I am guessing here, but this is how I figure that happened. Since the coin is stamped when both dies come together over a blank planchet at the same time, one of the dies must have rotated at some point in the process. Probably a gradual turn over many strikes. I feel this adds to an already unique and desirable coin. I hope you enjoyed this blog and photos. Please feel free to comment. Thank you!
2018 Red Book
David Hall-President, Collectors Universe