US Coins

Market Analysis: Big 1863 Indian Head cent die cap error

A huge 1863 Indian Head cent representing a deep obverse die cap error type and graded MS-65 sold for $18,000 at Stack’s Bowers auction on Aug. 6.

Images courtesy of Stack's Bowers Galleries

An example of a magnificent error that traded hands in August was this 1863 Indian Head cent graded Mint State 65 by Professional Coin Grading Service that is a deep obverse die cap.

Stack’s Bowers Galleries explained, “This single planchet somehow stuck to the obverse die and was struck multiple times, pushing the outer rim of the planchet up around the die and forming a die cap.” The resulting piece, is much larger in diameter and depth than a typical 1863 cent. Stack’s Bowers said, “Undoubtedly unique and of incredible quality for such an important, early mint error.”

The obverse exhibits strong details, while the reverse shows considerable design distortion from the multiple strikes, with ONE CENT appearing massive, framed by an enlarged wreath of laurel leaves.

The cataloger wrote, “While similar obverse die cap errors are known for 1859 and 1862, this appears to be the unique example from the 1863 issue. It is both dramatic and impressively preserved,” before calling the offering “an important opportunity for both Mint error enthusiasts and Indian Head cent specialists.”

It realized $18,000 at the firm’s Aug. 6 Rarities Night session in Las Vegas.

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