1851 OC-1
High Date

Die Pair 1 - 1848 A
Date Grid JL of RE /4-4.0 / VS down
Obverse Die States a, b
Estimated Rarity R5
1, 1 Vertical VH, H
Reverse Die States e, f, g

   This is the only use of Obverse 1 and the only use of Reverse 1848 A in 1851.
Reverse 1848 A is transitional. It was used previously to strike business strikes in 1848, 1849, and 1850.

Obverse 1

The photo below shows the Obverse 1 attribution grid. This is the only business strike obverse die. It’s referred to as the “high date” due to the position of the date near the rock base.

1851 Obverse 1 attribution grid

Obverse 1 Die States
  1. Perfect die.
  2. Light clash marks are visible in the right obverse field under Miss Liberty's arm.
No later die states have been observed. 1851 examples are almost always seen with obverse state b. We can't recall seeing any with perfect dies, but there must be at least a few out there somewhere.

Reverse A

1848 Reverse A was well-documented in Gobrecht Journal issue #120 (reference 11). It was used for 4 years, beginning in 1848 and ending in 1851. In the 1851 usage most of the die lines in the shield recesses have been polished off the die. A new line appeared in 1850, seen in the next photo. It angles across the horizontal shield lines, crossing the right shield border.

1848 Reverse A die line appeared in 1850

Reverse A Die States
  1. Perfect die.
  2. A light die crack crosses the top of STA.
  3. Polished dies. The die lines at the top of reverse shield recess #1 and the die crack across the top of STA are virtually gone.
  4. Faint die cracks at the top of some of the letters, barely visible under a glass.
  5. A notable die line slants down through the right side of the horizontal shield lines, extending very slightly into the feathers on the right. This die line is apparently the result of work on the die which occurred after its use in 1849 and before its use in 1850.
  6. A light die line from the top of the left side of the U through the lower tip of the left wing, through the leaves, ending at the upper left side of the O in DOL.
  7. Die cracks: one arcs from the field left of the O in DOL up through the bottom of the O back to the denticles below the right side of the N; another from the denticles below the left wing tip across the top of UNITED, continuing above S1, back to the denticles at the left edge of T2.
1848 Reverse A was used in 1851 only for business strikes, die marriage OC-1. 1851 examples are seen only with die states e, f, and g.

Photo credits:

Obverse 1:   1851 NGC AU58, from the Osburn-Cushing reference collection.
Reverse 1848 A:   1848 NGC AU58, from the Osburn-Cushing reference collection.

Copyright © 2015-2021, by Dick Osburn and Brian Cushing, All rights reserved.