Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

Sale 17

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Lot 1795

1863 Pattern Two Cents. Bronze, plain edge. Judd-305. Pollock-370, Rarity-4. Washington Head. PCGS graded Proof 64 Brown. Substantial traces of mint red in the fields, and the balance is toned a light brown. Boldly struck on all the devices. The textured light brown color is quite alluring. The Father of our Country--George Washington--is placed proudly on the obverse of this pattern issue. On the reverse we see a wreath of wheat surrounding 2 CENTS at the center, and the name of our country at the periphery. James Pollock, Director of the Mint was weary of working with nickel as an alloy, which was hard to melt and sometimes in short supply. Large quantities of nickel were required for cent production, and the toughness of nickel quickly broke cent dies. Pollock proposed using a new French bronze alloy, which was employed on this pattern issue, the combination of 95 percent copper, 3 percent tin and 2 percent zinc as a replacement for the current 88 percent copper and 12 percent nickel used in the copper-nickel cents. Pollock hoped this would end the Mint's use of nickel as an alloy. The French bronze alloy was accepted, and in 1864 Indian cents were changed from the copper nickel combination to the new bronze alloy. Shortly after this was coined, the Two Cent piece was adopted in 1864 using the same French bronze alloy seen here.
Pollock had won out and the use of nickel as an alloy would be shelved, but only for a brief time, by 1865 a Three Cent coin of nickel was authorized, and soon a Five Cent coin of nickel followed in 1866 both of which were alloyed 25% nickel and 75% copper, and Wharton's nickel mines remained in operation and vastly profitable (PCGS # 60460) .
Estimated Value $1,300 - 1,500.
From the Benson collection and purchased from Ira S. Reed on April 27, 1945 for $7.50.

Realized $1,725

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