Lot #24. 1841 Braided Hair Cent. N-1. Rarity-5. Proof-66 RB (NGC).
The January 2009 Orlando Rarities Sale - 1/4/2009
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This coin is an unmistakable proof striking from the early Braided Hair Cent series. The attribution is easy to make, first and foremost by looking at the manner in which the coin was struck. Both sides possess broad, squared-off rims, fully separated denticulation and pinpoint definition to the devices. The fields are also a dead give-away to the coin's status as they possess glistening reflectivity that is best appreciated at direct light angles. And as if these physical characteristics of the coin were not enough to confirm its proof status, the Newcomb-1 attribution solidifies the conclusion. The sharp point of hair at the base of Liberty's portrait points just left of the upright of the digit 4 in the date, and there is a triangular die lump (as made) over the reverse rim outside the second T in STATES. These diagnostics match the N-1 variety--the proof die of the 1841 Cent.
A very scarce issue, it is likely that fewer than 50 proof 1841 Cents are extant in all grades. In addition to the aforementioned striking characteristics, the present example offers handsome color in a mostly orange-copper shade. A blush of rose-red tinting is also noted over the lower-right obverse. Free of bothersome contact marks, a small spot in the obverse field at the top of Liberty's head should serve as a useful pedigree marker.
This coin is one of only two 1841 Cents certified as Proof-66 RB by PCGS and NGC combined. There are no RD examples certified finer than Proof-65, and no coins have been graded higher than Proof-66 regardless of color designation.