Click to enlargeJ456/P530

The regular dies trial piece. These were eiter deliberately struck for sale to collectors or are mint errors as described with each piece.

Examples were struck in the following combinations:

Copper J455/P529. These are presumably on thick planchets. They may actually be mint errors on bronze planchets that were of the wrong thickness. Only 2 or 3 are believed to exist.

Copper-Nickel J456/P530. These are believed to have been struck on leftover planchets used for regular coinage from 1857-1864 and thus may be mint errors. About a dozen are believed to exist including the illustrated example.

Nickel J457/P531. There is a strong possibility that these are also mint errors struck on stock intended for either regular nickel 3 cent or shield nickel coinage. One example was tested and found to be 80% Copper and 20% Nickel and weighing 47.84 grs which casts doubts on that theory, however. Only 2 or 3 are believed to exist.

Photo courtesy of Bowers and Merena.