US Coins

Untouted 5-cent pattern features inventive design

Missouri auctioneer Scotsman Auction Co.’s latest rare coin sale was held on July 29 as part of the Missouri Numismatic Society’s 56th annual coin show, at the Saint Charles Convention Center in metropolitan St. Louis. As usual, Scotsman’s Midwest Summer Sale featured a diverse range of collector coins including a few standouts. But alongside these expensive rarities were many more lots of uncertified coins, complete or nearly-complete date and Mint mark sets in albums, and groups that proved ripe for discoveries from sharp-eyed collectors.

Here's the second of three under-the-radar coins from the sale that we're profiling in this week's Market Analysis:

The Lot:

1896 Pattern 5-cent piece, Judd 1770, Proof 65 Cameo, CAC

The Price:


The Story: 

The U.S. Mint slowed down its pattern production in the mid-1880s after a surge of patterns in the 1860s, 1870s and in the first years of the 1880s. A 5-cent pattern from 1896, attributed to Charles Barber and listed as Judd 1770 in the reference to the series, doesn’t seem to get a lot of attention from collectors today.

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The design has a lot of patriotic motifs, with a shield, scroll with LIBERTY, a cap and an eagle, along with 13 stars. The reverse’s wreath is rather inventive in that it is a continuous olive sprig that circles around the reverse but doesn’t meet at the center. Examples of this design were struck in various nickel alloys including German silver. On July 29 Scotsman sold one graded Proof 65 Cameo by NGC with a green Certified Acceptance Corp. sticker for $3,910.

There's more to this Market Analysis of under-the-radar coins:

Cleaning damages 1804 Capped Bust gold $5 coin, but boosts its affordability

Full head 1916 Standing Liberty quarter, an 'all-time classic,' draws handsome price

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