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Which Are The True Patterns? ANSWER POSTED

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Two of these "patterns are true patterns. The others are fantasy pieces (pieces de caprice). Which are the patterns? Pattern guys disqualified. Answer tomorrow morning (or you can PM me).













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Those who reasoned that the ones that ended up as regular issues were on the right track. As noted on the website of The U.S. Society of Pattern Collectors, an essai or pattern is any coin struck from a prototype die or dies to test a new design or concept. A regular dies trial piece is any off-metal striking from production dies on normal sized planchets. Most of the time you see a regular dies trial piece, it was struck for collectors for the financial gain of someone inside the Mint. The J-765 is a regular dies trial piece struck for collectors, as is the J-1744. The new Judd book defines a piece de caprice as "an authorized piece struck for some other reason than as a pattern, experimental or trial piece. They apparently were struck solely to satisfy the whim of some collector or to perhaps create a rarity that would bring a good price."


In 1881, Charles Barber was asked to prepare patterns for one-, three- and five-cent coins with a common obverse design. The result was Judd 1665 through 1674. The obverse showed the Head of Liberty with “United States of America” along the rim. The reverse showed Roman numerals “I” (J1665-1667), “III” (J1668-1670) and “V” (1671-1674) framed by a wreath of wheat, corn and cotton. Each denomination was struck in nickel, copper and aluminum. The 1674’s reverse had “E Pluribus Unum” across the top of the reverse.


The cent and three-cent patterns did not pass muster and were no longer pursued. However, in 1882, many more pattern nickels were struck (Judd 1675 through 1692). The 1690 is considered by many to be an exact duplicate (except foe the date) of the 1883 no cents Liberty Nickel, though the obverse has a slightly different arrangement of stars. The 1691 was the same design struck in copper, and the 1692 was struck in aluminum.


As well, as Andy Lustig pointed out across the street, "if your premise is that a "piece de caprice" is not a "true pattern", then none of the above are "true patterns". All of the off metal pieces above were struck for the sole purpose of creating something to sell collectors. On the other hand, the nickel version of J-1666 (J-1665) and the silver version of J-1703 (J-1702) are 'true patterns'."


When the Schoolgirl Dollar came up for auction in the 1999, Bowers & Ruddy suggested in the Harry Bass catalog that Morgan may have created the Schoolgirl Dollar pattern as a response to continuing discussions that his Morgan Dollar motif needed to be improved, or in the alternative, that he did so to demonstrate his talent in hopes of becoming chief engraver upon the death of William Barber. Both explanations are plausible. The same argument could be made for the Shield Earring quarter, half and dollar.


The answer is: J-1666 and J-1703, though it can be argued that none is a true pattern.


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rkkay - Thank you for the excellent posts! Unfortunately, not all of the photos show up. However, the informatikon that you provide is truly excellent. thumbsup2.gifthumbsup2.gifthumbsup2.gif



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Nice post; very informational. Too bad that this thread didn't generate much in the way of responses. Perhaps that is symptomatic of the esoteric nature of patterns.


Still, I encourage you to post more about your area of expertise.






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