US Coins

Proof 1880 Indian Head cent is vibrantly colorful

Many of the most beautiful coins at Heritage’s Jan. 9 to 14 Florida United Numismatists auctions came from the collection of Rich Uhrich, who retired as a full-time coin dealer in 2018.

He started his collection of toned Proof Indian Head cents in 2008 with the goal of adding only the most vibrantly colored coins without carbon spots to his set.

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Among the most intense cents was an 1880 cent graded Proof 65 brown by PCGS that was once in the collection of dealer, former American Numismatic Association executive director, and toning connoisseur Larry Shepherd. Its mintage of 3,955 pieces means that it is not rare, and a typical Proof 65 brown 1880 cent — although the color on the subject coin is everything but brown — might bring $500.

This one has brilliant deep blue, purple, gold and magenta coloration and it sold for a decadent $3,000 during Heritage’s Jan. 13 Internet Signature Session.

The star of his consignment was a colorful 1864 Indian Head, Designer’s Initial L cent with designer James B. Longacre’s initial prominently seen on the obverse, graded Proof 64 brown by Professional Coin Grading Service that brought $48,000, but many more were noteworthy and, as Heritage wrote, “any one of them would stand out as a highlight in a group of Indian cent proofs.” 

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