Click to enlargeJ316/P381

The large motto design of 1864 with 'In God We Trust' as the motto and the regular reverse die here dated 1863. From its appearance one would think that it is a transitional pattern similar to the 1882 Liberty Nickel J1690-J1692/P1892-P1894 but this is actually a novodel (backdated fantasy) produced circa 1870 as the large motto hub used matches some regular 1870 proofs with the tops of the 2 shield swirls under the word "We" touching the mottos ribbon and the reverse with the missing serif on the 'D' in 'United'. On the 1864 - 1869 and some 1870 large motto proofs examined, the tops of the swirls would complete behind the ribbon. This also explains why no examples appear in any pre-1870 auction catalog.

It is believed that these were made for inclusion with other novodels as part of complete sets combined with quarters, half dollars and silver dollars with the "In God We Trust" reverses on them as used from 1866 onward. For more on this, click here.

Examples were struck in the following combinations:

Copper/Bronze J316/P381 with over a dozen known. The illustrated example above is courtesy of Superior.

Copper-nickel J317/P382 with less than a half dozen believed to exist.

Aluminum J318/P383 with only 3 or 4 believed to exist including one ex Heritage 8/14 and another, the illustrated example below, formerly in the J.E. Drew collection.



An incomplete white metal splasher of this design, P3260, is in the collection of the Library Company of Philadelphia.