US Coins

Key date Indian Head cent in Stack's Bowers ANA sale

An 1873 Indian Head, Doubled Die Obverse cent graded PCGS MS-64 brown from the ESM Collection is part of the Aug. 15 Rarities Night auction.

Original images courtesy of Stack’s Bowers Galleries.

Stack’s Bowers Galleries Rarities Night auction on Aug. 15 during the American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money in Philadelphia will include among its offerings the ESM Collections of Circulation Strike Flying Eagle and Indian Head Cents, which are among the top ranked sets for the series on the Professional Coin Grading Service Set Registry. 

The set’s collector, Pete Miller, had a childhood interest in coins when his grandparents gave him blue Whitman folders for dimes, quarter dollars and half dollars. He eventually gravitated toward cents, and his collection includes an 1873 Indian Head, Doubled Die Obverse cent, listed as FS-101 in the Cherrypickers’ Guide, graded Mint State 64 brown by PCGS.

It carries an Eagle Eye Photo Seal, which means that series expert Rick Snow has examined the coin and agrees with the grading service’s opinion. 

Snow’s recent series reference indicates that around 20 examples of the Doubled Die Obverse variety — with prominent doubling on LIBERTY and on Liberty’s nose and eye — survive in Mint State grades.

The variety was discovered in the 1950s by Walter Breen, and at that time, Breen owned the sole known example. Since then, the variety has become better publicized and it has been listed in A Guide Book of United States Coins (the “Red Book”) for nearly 40 years.

Stack’s Bowers describes the offered example as, “A richly original, conditionally rare example of this fabled Indian cent variety. Satiny surfaces are boldly toned in a blend of antique copper, both sides also revealing more vivid cobalt blue undertones that are a bit more pronounced on the obverse.” 

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