Regular dies trial striking of the 1861 Clark, Gruber & Co. $2.50. Struck in copper without collar. Plain edge.
Fully defined over the obverse portrait, star radials, and throughout the reverse eagle, this otherwise satiny piece also sports modest hints of semi-brilliance in the fields when observed at more direct light angles. Both sides are mostly toned in a blend of medium brown and golden brown patina, although we do see flickers of original pinkish-orange luster in the protected areas around many of the devices. The surfaces are expectably smooth at the premium Gem grade level. Undoubtedly one of the finest examples extant of this rare prize, and probably the finest certified by NGC as well; their website is unclear as to the actual status of this piece. The writer remembers a trip to the Denver Mint nearly 30 years ago where a small hoardlet of the Clark, Gruber & Co. copper patterns of various denominations was on display; unfortunately, they weren't selling any at the gift shop!