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Obverse of Judd 137     Reverse of Judd 137


Rarity: 2 known

Variety Equivalents: Pollock 164, Adams-Woodin 152, Davis 75, Taxay EP-156

16 millimeters (according to Akers)

Metal content:
Silver - 90%
Copper - 10%

Weight: 33 grains

Edge: Akers says "Reeded"; Pollock and Judd say "Plain"

In 1852, the Mint experimented with increasing the size of the Gold Dollar without increasing the amount of gold in each coin.  Two methods were considered - adding more metal (copper or silver) to the alloy or increasing the diameter of the coin and perforating the center.  The first method was never tried because it was known that adding silver would turn the alloy white and adding copper would turn the alloy red.  Thus, the second method was tried, first by perforating previously struck coins, then by creating new dies specifically designed to produce perforated or "annulated" coins.  Judd 137 may have been one of the earliest types produced, as one of the two known examples is claimed to have been struck over an 1846 Quarter Eagle.  On the other hand, we know that the other of the two known Judd 137s was struck in 1859 or later, as the underlying coin is an 1859 Quarter Eagle.  Either one is an "original" and the other a restrike, or both are fantasies produced after the date they bear.

Were the Judd 137s perforated before or after the coins were overstruck?

When was the undertype first attributed as an 1846 Quarter Eagle?

Images copyright 2000, Inc.
Coin provided by Alhambra Coin Center

Known specimens:
1. PCGS Proof-65 (illustrated above).  F.C.C. Boyd - Dr. J. Hewitt Judd - Abe Kosoff, 1962, "Illustrated History", Lot 164 (pictured) - Dr. John E. Wilkison - Paramount International Coin Corporation. Plated in Akers, where he notes that this coin was struck over an 1846 Quarter Eagle. In error, Pollock lists this example as being struck over an 1859 Quarter Eagle, apparently mixing up the two known specimens. Ron Guth examined this piece at the May 2000 Central States Numismatic Society’s annual convention and was unable to confirm the 1846 date. Although other evidence of the Liberty Head Quarter Eagle undertype remain visible, the position of the date coincides with one of the laurel leaves on the reverse of the pattern, effectively obliterating the date.  The image below clearly shows some of the details of the underlying Quarter Eagle.

2. Uncirculated.  Chapman’s May 1906 sale of the H.P. Smith collection - Sotheby’s 1954 sale of King Farouk’s "Palace Collection", part of Lot 334 (which also contained a Judd-145 and a blank planchet for Judd-135) - Robert Schermerhorn - James Kelly’s 1956 ANA Sale - Dr. James O. Sloss - sold in 1974 to Abe Kosoff - New England Rare Coin Auctions’ July 1979 ANA Sale, Lot 1298, where it was pictured and described as "Uncirculated". Chapman described the coin as being struck over an 1839 Quarter Eagle, an attribution that was finally corrected by David Akers, who examined the piece and discovered the date of the undertype to be 1859! Pollock incorrectly lists this example as being struck over an 1846 Quarter Eagle (see note above).

Sources and recommended reading:
"United States Pattern, Experimental and Trial Pieces" by J. Hewitt Judd, M.D.

"United States Patterns and Related Issues" by Andrew Pollock

Look for "UNITE" and "2½" on the right side of the coin and most of "ATES OF AMERICA" on the left side!

Images copyright 2000, Inc.
Coin provided by Alhambra Coin Center