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Patterns - PR
Year, MintMark, & Major Variety
1861 $10 J-284 (Proof)
David Akers (1975/88)
: Description: Obverse. The regular die with the head of Liberty facing left wearing a coronet inscribed LIBERTY. There are 13 stars around the border and the date, 1861, is below the bust. Reverse. Similar to the regular die. An eagle with outstretched wings and a shield on is breast is in the center. In its left talon are three arrows; in its right an olive branch. Above the eagle's head is the motto GOD OUR TRUST on a scroll. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA is around the border and the denomination TEN D. is below the eagle.
Comments: This pattern and the next, J-286, are the first gold patterns to bear a version of the motto that was adopted on most U.S. coins in 1866. Of course, in 1866, the motto was changed to the now standard "
In searching through more than 1500 auction catalogues, we were unable to find a single offering of this pattern in gold although there were numerous offerings of the copper trial pieces that Director of the Mint James Pollock referred to in a letter dated December 2, 1861 to Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase. (Judd, 1974, P.66.)
Judd's book states that two pieces were struck and the Adams and Woodin reference corroborates this by stating that this pattern is R-14 meaning two or three known. On the other hand, Robert Coulton Davis, in his listing of patterns in the October, 1885 volume of The Coin Collector's Journal, stated that specimens in gold of both this pattern and the next, J-286, were "known to the writer to be unique." Of course, Davis was unaware of a number of gold patterns and perhaps another specimen came to light prior to 1913 when Adams and Woodin first published their book, but since there is no definite evidence to substantiate a second specimen, I have listed this pattern as unique rather than R-8.
In addition to the total absence of auction records, there is also no information available concerning the present whereabouts of this pattern. Davis obviously had seen the specimen he referred to in his article, but no trace of it remains today of which I am aware.
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