Exhibit includes 1875-CC Seated Liberty 20-cent coin matched to excavated die

More than a century of burial failed to destroy variety identification diagnostics
By , Coin World
Published : 09/02/15
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A numismatic exhibit on Seated Liberty 20-cent coins being displayed at the Nevada State Museum in Carson City for at least the next year includes an 1875-CC issue struck from one of four dies later excavated, circa 1999 to 2000, from property next to the former Carson City Mint.

The resurrected coin die and a matching coin that it struck when it was in use at the Mint are part of an exhibit championed by Massachusetts collector John Frost, co-author with Lane Brunner of Double Dimes — The United States Twenty-Cent Piece.

The exhibit was presented to the public for the first time on Aug. 21, the first day of the two-day Carson City Mint Coin Show and Education Fair.

Frost said: “Over the past months, I have been working with the History, Exhibits, and Education curators and directors to put together a new exhibit for the Nevada State Museum, featuring their die, and my coin struck by that very same die. We worked together on exhibit content, photos, and signage and on Friday Aug. 21, we installed the exhibit, entitled ‘A Perfect Match’ in the Mint building. It was an instant hit, with museum visitors looking at the exhibit, the enlarged photos, and description, and saying things like ‘Neat!’ and ‘Cool!’ — many taking photos of their own.”

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What is identified as the BF-1 variety of the 1875-CC Seated Liberty 20-cent coin as attributed in the Brunner and Frost reference was first discovered by Liberty Seated Collectors Club member Mark Obstalecki, according to Frost. While continuing to conduct research for the book, Frost said, he was able to locate two more examples of the new die marriage, one of which is the coin in the new museum exhibit.

Currently, 12 examples are known of the BF-1 variety, according to Frost.

During the summer of 2013, Frost visited the museum where he was able to photograph the four excavated 20-cent coin dies. As Frost was continuing his book research and examining the photographs of the rusty and corroded dies, he was able to determine the BF-1 1875-CC Seated Liberty 20-cent coin was struck from one of those discarded dies.

Frost said the discovery is the first time that a specific coin variety could be positively matched to a specific die for the 20-cent series.

Also exhibited during the two-day coin show and education fair was a complete set of all 28 known die marriages of Seated Liberty 20-cent coins. Frost said the assemblage represented the first time that all the known varieties were exhibited in the facility that originally produced them.

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