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SERIES: Indian Cents 1859-1909
LEVEL: Year, MintMark, & Major Variety

1864 1C L on Ribbon, BN (Regular Strike)

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PCGS MS65BN

LOCATION OF L

PCGS MS65BN
PCGS #:
2079
Diameter:
19.00 millimeters
Designer:
James Barton Longacre
Weight:
3.11 grams
Edge:
Plain
Mintage:
39,233,714
Metal Content:
95% Copper, 5% Tin and Zinc
Auction Record:
$3,105 • PCGS MS66 • 1-5-2010 • Bowers & Merena
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Rarity and Survival Estimates (Explain)
Grades Survival
Estimate 
Numismatic
Rarity 
Relative Rarity
By Type 
Relative Rarity
By Series 
All Grades 3,000 R-4.4 6 / 55 TIE 6 / 55 TIE
60 or Better 300 R-6.4 52 / 55 TIE 52 / 55 TIE
65 or Better 10 R-9.5 10 / 55 TIE 10 / 55 TIE
Condition Census (Explain) Show more rows
Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 MS66BN PCGS grade  
1 MS66BN estimated grade  
3 MS65BN PCGS grade  
3 MS65BN PCGS grade  
3 MS65BN PCGS grade  
Condition Census (Explain) Show fewer rows
Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 MS66BN PCGS grade  
1 MS66BN estimated grade  
3 MS65BN PCGS grade  
3 MS65BN PCGS grade  
3 MS65BN PCGS grade  
3 MS65BN PCGS grade  
3 MS65BN PCGS grade  
3 MS65BN PCGS grade  
3 MS65BN PCGS grade  
3 MS65BN PCGS grade  

David Hall: The 1864 Indian cent with the L on the ribbon is one of the most famous U.S. cent varieties. The L is the designer's (James Longacre) initials. The 1859 to 1864 copper-nickel Indian cents did not have the designer's initials. And most of the 39,233,714 1864 bronze Indian cents also lack the initials. Towards the end of the year, the designer's initials were added to the ribbon on the obverse, creating a variety that has been very popular with collectors ever since. The designer's initials remain on the ribbon through the end of the series in 1909.

The 1864-L is scarce in circulated grades and very scarce in mint state. However, its price has as much to do with its popularity and importance to collectors as it does with its scarcity.

All 1864-L Indian cents have a pointed bust on Ms. Liberty, while the no Ls have a rounded bust. So sometimes low grades are designated (correctly) as Ls even if you can't really see the L. Most mint state specimens are Red and Brown and Full Red Gems are quite rare.