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1857 Flying Eagle. Reverse Die of Snow PR2. Gem Brilliant Proof

From Stack's October 2006 New York Auction, Session 2 on Oct 18, 2006

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Categories  •  Stack's October 2006 New York The 71st Anniversary Sale U. S. Small Cents U. S. Flying Eagle Cents
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1857 Flying Eagle. Reverse Die of Snow PR2. Gem Brilliant Proof. Richly gleaming pale red-gold fields...1857 Flying Eagle. Reverse Die of Snow PR2. Gem Brilliant Proof. Richly gleaming pale red-gold fields display the boldest reflectivity. Both sides boast needle-sharp strikes with squared rims and meticulous detail in the eagle's feathers and the leaf veins of the reverse wreath. The number of the ever-popular 1857 Flying Eagle Proof Cents that survive for today's collectors is uncertain. Flying Eagle researcher Richard Snow identifies three Proof dies, this one showing a sharp spike upward from the denticle below the left ribbon end. Snow estimates a Proof mintage of only 50 pieces, a figure closer to the late Walter Breen's tracing of only a dozen examples.

NGC has certified about 27 Proofs and PCGS some 47. These low numbers contrast with the Guide Book figure of 485 Proofs struck. As often happened in the 19th century, however, this larger figure may represent coins actually struck without deducting a significant number that may have been remelted, unsold at the Philadelphia Mint at the end of the year. Whatever the real figure may be, Gem Proofs are a rarity by any standard and this glittering example must place among the finest.

Ex Charles Jay Collection (Stack's, October 1967, lot 383).

This piece was offered in our November 2005 Auction, wherein it was described as Snow PR2. Upon further examination, the obverse die is apparently undescribed by Snow, while the reverse die is Snow's Reverse 'B'. This coin does not exhibit any of the die markers described by Snow for Obverse 2, nor does it exhibit the softness at STATES OF seen on the Snow PR2 plate coin as well as the Snow PR2 offered as part of The Northern Bay Collection, Part 3. This coin perhaps represents a die pairing with a heretofore unknown obverse die or perhaps is a different state of a known obverse die with the die markers now changed. The defining feature of this obverse die are a series of tiny die marks coming off the denticles below the date.

Lot # 2572 Session 2
Hammer Price: $12,500.00

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