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1864 L Indian Head Controversy

9 posts in this topic

Ok I need someone to PLEASE explain this to me

I have 3 coins "poor quality coins I know, but this is for reference purpose only"

I was told by a coin shop dealer if the point was even with the 1 then it was an L. If it was round and goes over it isn't. IDK. Is this CORRECT?


Here are the links for NGC





1864 L





Thank you for your help.




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The position of the date wanders to the right and left on individual dies. Has nothing to do with whether it is an "L" or not.


The hub with the "L" has a pointy bust tip. The previous hub without the "L" has a rounded bust tip.Look at that feature on the pictures.



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Capt Henway is correct as usual. The number alignment in the date is not a 'tell all' for a worn 1864 cent, the tip of the bust is the best identification point, but most would like to "see" the "L" on the ribbon and not just speculate that the coin has the sculptors hidden initial.




Rounded truncation of the bust, no ribbon "L"




Pointy truncation of the bust, ribbon has the "L"

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So is the third coin an 1864 L??


Generally speaking, on a worn coin, if you can still see the letters in LIBERTY on the head band, you can in most cases still make out the "L" on the ribbon...but that coin maybe too corroded to identify as either.


Is "Eagle eye" Rick Snow a member here? If anyone can, he can, but even a professional might have reservations about such a coin. I mean it is really in a state of disrepair.

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If the "L" is not visible, I know of no Indian cent collectors who would buy the coin.

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The third coin appears to have the pointed bust, which would mke it a "With L" coin, but as RWB says if the L is no longer visible it doesn't really matter.

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