Light to moderate patina with several tiny contact marks scattered about in the fields.
The Assay Commission medals of 1869 were produced in two major varieties, one without stars around the figure of Columbia on the obverse (Julian AC-5) and one with 13 stars added around the portrait (AC-6). Additionally there were minor letter placement variations on the reverse of both pieces, the left leg of the A in ASSAY in relation to the nearest oak leaf being diagnostic. Normally, the No Stars (AC-5) variety has the foot of the A at the middle of the leaf to its left, and the With Stars (AC-6) variety has the A at the top of the same leaf. This particular With Stars example, however, has the reverse usually associated with the No Stars variety. The practice of producing rare varieties for influential collectors was not common at the time, as noted by Julian's comment on his AC-7 variety, a rare muling of 1868 and 1869 Assay Commission dies. This piece was almost certainly made to provide some collector with yet another variety. Perhaps unique, and certainly unlisted.