Confederate 1C Restrike PCGS PR-65RB. A true gem, this
confederate cent only saw ca. 12 original pieces struck
in 1861. This was done by Philadelphia engraver and
die-sinker Robert Lovett Jr., after being ordered to
do so by CSA agents. As he feared prosecution by the
United States government, Lovett hid all coins, dies
and related items in his cellar until after the war.
In 1874, after Lovett mistakenly spent one of the original
cents which he was carrying as a pocket-piece, on a
drink, the originals came to the daylight. Captain John
W. Haseltine bought 10 or 11 originals, the original
dies and some related documentation. In March 1874,
he started restriking the confederate cents in copper,
silver and gold.
After either the 55th or 56th copper strike, one of
the dies badly broke and coinage was terminated and
never restarted. As a result, unlike the planned number
of 500 restrikes, only 56 were produced, at most. The
dies were saved, and 100 years after the originals were
struck, another restrike was made using badly damaged
dies. These, made by Robert Bashlow are easily distinguished
from the “original” restrikes, as they show
die damage as die breaks, cuds and the like. The dies
were eventually gifted to the Smithsonian institution,
where they still remain.
The present piece is a true gem. Lightly toned, nice
original red color remains on both sides. No major hits
are noted on either the obverse or the reverse, making
this one of the finest pieces still in existence. Some
small spots on the obverse and reverse are the only
things that limit the grade. A great find for the collector
or investor who wishes to own a piece of Confederate
and US history.