Longstrider's Blog

29 May 2018


Coins | Longstrider


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


Very peculiar, I have never heard of this happening on such an already desirable coin.


Level 4

What an interesting piece of history! How cool. I've never heard of that rotated die error before. Nice find! Indian head cents are one of my favorite things to collect, so thanks for writing this blog!


Level 6

Nice coin! Pics are clear and show this coin in detail. There are quite a few Indian cent varieties.


Level 3

Nice looking coin. Quite fond of 19th century coins in grades XF 45 - AU 58. Can find some very nice coins, like this one. Thanks for the background & pics. Never heard of this error before. Checked Walter Breen's "Complete Encyclopedia of US and Colonial Coins" , no mention there.


Level 5

That's pretty cool. I love Indian Cents. You don't see very many errors on these.


Level 6

Beautiful coin! I really like that rotated die! Nice variety and error coin. Great piece to add to your Civil War Era Collection! Thanks for always giving us such interesting information and photo's!


Level 6

Nice addition to your collection. There are some die hard Indian Cent collectors that are always looking for varieties.


Level 7

The old L on the ribbon coin. Very nice you have great history on this coin when I heard of it of course I couldn't find it. The one store by me I would need a hazmat suit to go in and you can't shop for coins like this. Your very lucky he has no coins out you have to ask and then he disappears. Great pick up some day when the time is right thanks for a great blog and shots. Mike.

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