Cent. Laurel wreath reverse; only year of this design on a large scale. Date rather low, well away from bust; numerals fairly thin and shallow; left base of 1 about over space between dentils, but this position is not diagnostic. Minute doubling on feathers, curls at r., and ribbon only (possibly not constant). Narrow rim breaks later develop from 5:00 leftward to 11:00. Rev. Leaves in clusters of 6 (may also exist with the 1858 prototype die having leaves in clusters of 5?). Later, die defects join ribbons to borders. All details sharper than on business strikes, including especially ends of feathers, diamond-shaped ornaments on obv. ribbon, all edges of leaves and berries. Borders broad, rims sharp, dentils completely distinct from borders. Few authentic proofs are available, though one would expect an unusually large number because first year of a new design; probably they met with the fate of the eagle cent proofs. Many deceptive early business strikes survive; they normally fail somewhere in sharpness or have borders blurring into rounded rims. ANS's, from the Brock, Morgan proof set, is a good comparison example. Auction records in recent years range from $475to $825 depending on quality, with a high water mark of $1,000 for a lintmarked piece in the Austin sale. Do as many as forty survive?
-Transitional piece, exact type adopted in 1860, with oak wreath and shield; several hundred survive in uncirculated, very few indeed in proof - I have, I think, seen one proof in the last 23 years, which may give you some idea: LM 6/71 :877. Judd 228, AW312.
Trime. New design: narrow double outlines to star, small narrow letters closely spaced. Apparently two die varieties found on proofs, possibly more. Neil: 1777 is described as having star point above (curved top of) 5, the ANS coin and dozens of others have this point above extreme left corner of 5 with upper letters light (lapped die); rev. with clash marks. Not much more often seen than the 1858; total population for each denomination save the dollar also evidently less than 100 and probably less than 60, this presumably representing the majority of the original mintage.
Half Dime. New obverse hub: larger sharp pointed stars with hollow centers, taller Liberty seated with smaller cap, larger word LIBERTY, shield upright, slimmer arms, etc. V-I: Bases of 1 59 show recutting, particularly 1 and 9 (logotype twice punched in, slightly obliquely or slanting up at first, then corrected to more level position). Compare Neil: 1661, NN 34: 492, Bullowa May 1952, Eliasberg, etc. This appears to be scarcer than the other variety in proof. The recutting on 5 wears down to microscopic level.
- V-2. Skirt pendant slightly left of tip of 5 (whereas in V-I it is above the tip). Earliest examples show recutting on bases of 18, though this fades as the die wears down or is repolished. Date is placed slightly lower in field, a little below center. Rev.:
Rust spot on left upright of U. Neil: 1660, Eliasberg, ANS and many others. This is the variety more often seen in proof.
Total population of the two varieties appears to be about equal to that of the trimes.
*"Transitional" half dime and dime: see Restrikes and Fantasy Pieces.
Dime. *B-2. Centered date, 9 slightly farther from border than 1, left base of lover r. edge, pendant nearly over r. tip. ANS; LM 4/66:166, H. W., 1971 ANA:682; 1974 GENA: 1304; others. About as rare as smaller silver.
Quarter. Date about centered, shield point minutely r. of r. upright, left base of lover center. Rev. Thin stripes, left line of 4th to second line of azure. ANS; SI; Eliasberg; WGC: 197; others. About as scarce as smaller silver.
Half Dollar. New rev. hub, found on Philadelphia halves 1859-65, S mints 1862-66 no motto (earlier 0 and S coins were made with leftover 1858-60 revs.). Claws minutely shorter, sharper; shafts and arrowheads slenderer, letters thinner. At least three varieties:
First. Centered date slants minutely down; dot above peak of 1; shield point over r. foot, left base of lover r. edge. 1975 ANA:612.
Second. Date slightly high, 9 more noticeably; file marks over TES; r. line of 1st, 5th and 6th stripes into azure.
Third. Low date slants up, dash just left of left top of 1, left base of 1 slightly left of center. Rev. Unpolished area between two arrowheads. Discovered by Jack Collins. QS 11/76:909. Most records are unattributed, many of poorly cleaned coins (e.g. Bauman's); Garrett: 229, $1050. About as rare as the quarter.