Some of the most beautiful coins in Heritage Auctions’ Florida United
Numismatists auction Jan. 3 to 8 are patterns that recall the oft-quoted statement by
Mint Curator Patterson DuBois in the January 1883 American Journal
of Numismatics: “Open for me your cabinet of patterns, and I
open for you a record, which, but for these half-forgotten witnesses,
would have disappeared under the finger of time.”
Few patterns are more beautiful than George T. Morgan’s “Schoolgirl”
design, the name derived from the appearance of Liberty’s combed back
hair, tied with a ribbon.
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The example offered at the 2018 FUN Platinum Night sale is the
finest certified and is graded Proof 66 Deep Cameo by Professional
Coin Grading Service, carrying a green sticker from Certified
Acceptance Corp. The silver dollar is listed as Judd 1608 and Pollock
1804 in the reference books to the pattern series, and copper
strikings also exist. While the original mintage is unknown, of the 15
pieces known to collectors today, four are held in museums.
Two are in the National Numismatic Collection housed at the
Smithsonian Institution, one is in the American Numismatic Society’s
collection, and the American Numismatic Association Money Museum
currently houses the DiBello-Bass example. Morgan would modify this
reverse design for use on the 1915-S Panama-Pacific International
Exposition commemorative gold $2.50 quarter eagle.
Another high point in pattern design is seen on William Barber’s
“Amazonian” design, which Heritage calls “undoubtedly, his most
memorable design in the entire pattern series.” The “Amazonian” name
dates to an 1890 auction, and examples of this design also were struck
in silver and copper.
Only three dollars struck in aluminum are known, since aluminum was
considered a rarer metal in 1872, before more efficient smelting
processes were developed that made the metal better-suited for
The offered example — struck in aluminum and listed as Judd 1207 and
Pollock 1347 — is graded Proof 65 by PCGS and has a green CAC sticker.
Heritage adds, “Many 19th century aluminum patterns show as-made
imperfections, especially planchet laminations. This piece does not.
The fields show the brightness one associates with aluminum strikes
and predictably (for aluminum patterns) the devices are heavily
contrasted against the fields with thick mint frost,” but Heritage
notes only a few tiny abrasions on the right (facing) breast of Liberty.