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1865 INDIAN HEAD CENT

PCGS Nos: 2082, 2083, 2084, 92082, 92083, 92084, 2282, 2283, 2284

Mintage:

Circulation strikes: 35,429,286
Proofs: est. 500

Designer: James B. Longacre

Diameter: 19 millimeters

Metal content:
Copper - 95%
Tin and Zinc - 5%

Weight: 3.11 grams

Edge: Plain

Mintmark: None (for Philadelphia) below the bow of the wreath on the reverse

Notes:
The finest Uncirculated Brown "Plain 5" example graded by PCGS is a single MS-65BN.

The finest Uncirculated Red-Brown "Plain 5" example graded by PCGS is a single MS-65RB.

The finest Uncirculated Red "Plain 5" examples graded by PCGS are 9 MS-65RD's.

The finest Uncirculated Brown "Fancy 5" examples graded by PCGS are 6 MS-65BN's

The finest Uncirculated Red-Brown "Fancy 5" example graded by PCGS is a single MS-66RB.

The finest Uncirculated Red "Fancy 5" examples graded by PCGS are 10 MS-66RD's.

The finest Proof Brown example graded by PCGS is a single PR-65BN.

The finest Proof Red-Brown examples graded by PCGS are 2 PR-66RB's.

The finest Proof Red example graded by PCGS is a single PR-66RD.

The finest Proof Cameo example graded by PCGS is a single PRCA-64.

Varieties:
Overdate 1865/4 - Refuted
Plain 5
   Repunched Date 1865/1865
   Triple Punched Date 1865/1865/8
   Misplaced Date
Fancy 5
   Doubled Die Reverse

Recent appearances:
PCGS Proof-65 Red and Brown.  Heritage 08/2000:6651, $948.75

NGC Proof-65 Red and Brown.  Bowers & Merena Galleries' "The Cabinet of Lucien M. LaRiviere, Part II", 03/2001:1154, sold for $1,495.00

PCGS Proof-64 Red and Brown.  Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc.'s "Long Beach Signature Sale", May 31-June 2, 2001, Lot 7616, not illustrated, sold for $494.50


MS-65, Red.  Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles, Inc.'s "Benson Collection, Part I", February 16, 18-20, 2001, Lot 1217, illustrated, sold for $149.00  From the Howard R. Newcomb collection of Indian Cents, purchased June 30, 1944 from J.G. Macallister

NGC MS-65 Red.  Bowers & Merena 03/2001:1155, $632.50

PCGS MS-65 Red.  Heritage May 31-June 2, 2001, Lot 7535, "Fancy 5", illustrated, sold for $1,610.00

PCGS graded Proof 65 Red.  Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles, Inc.'s "Benson Collection, Part I", February 16, 18-20, 2001, lot 1094, illustrated, where it was described as follows: "…An outstanding deep mirror cameo gem with spectacular eye appeal. The surfaces are virtually flawless and except for one small spot on the obverse in the field below the portrait, border on perfection.

This is a very difficult date to find in gem full red. Like many other dates in this series, the rarity of the coins struck in proof format have no relation to the rarity of the regular issues. Non-proofs are fairly common for this date. Not so for the proofs. The mintage currently given in references is 500, which may be generous.

This issue is notorious for having low percentage of red. Many of the planchets used for the proofs were on streaky planchets. When the alloys of Tin and Zinc are not mixed well into the copper, pockets of alloy remain in the bronze ingot. As the ingot is rolled out, these pockets get elongated and eventually turn into streaks on the finished planchets. Tin and Zinc are very volatile and will not hold the original color of the coin. The few 1865's that remain in full red are presumably from a higher quality melt, and are very rare and desirable because of this.", sold for $6,037.00

PCGS graded MS-66 Red.  Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles, Inc.'s "Benson Collection, Part I", February 16, 18-20, 2001, lot 1095, illustrated, where it was described as follows: "Fancy 5…Two commonly collected date styles exist for this year. The Plain 5, which was used to strike both business strikes and proofs and the Fancy 5, offered here. The difference is obvious by comparison. The Fancy 5 has a squared top with a spoon shaped end. The Fancy 5 does not exist struck in proof format.

This coin is an outstanding example with a full strike and great luster. Certainly one of the finest known. In October of last year, PCGS decided to divide the 1865 submissions into the Plain 5 and Fancy 5 designations. Their population figures will be inaccurate reflection of the comparative rarity between the two date styles. Overall the Plain 5 is just slightly scarcer of the two.", $3,450.00

PCGS graded MS-65 Red.  Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles, Inc.'s "Benson Collection, Part I", 02/2001:1096, illustrated, where it was described as follows: "Plain 5…Flaming bright red on both sides and well struck. Traces of an old fingerprint in the left obverse field and some spotting on the lower reverse. Seldom found in full Red condition.", $2,415.00

ANACS graded AU-58.  Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles, Inc.'s "Benson Collection, Part I", 02/2001:1097, described as follows: "Double die reverse. Snow-2, FS#1˘ - 007 (not listed in Breen)…This is a very rare and dramatic doubled die. The entire reverse is dramatically shifted to the left. The present condition census lists 6 coins grading MS and 3 in AU grade with 22 examples reported. This is a really rare coin. The coin is very nearly uncirculated with a trace of red still evident. No major marks are visible. The Cherry Picker's Guide lists the price for AU's at $1,700 and MS-60's at $2,500. The values are low due to the lack of coins being traded. This variety was unlisted in Breen.", $2,070.00

Sources and/or recommended reading:
"The PCGS Population Report, October 2003" by The Professional Coin Grading Service

"Flying Eagle and Indian Cent Varieties" by Larry R. Steve and Kevin J. Flynn