1851 OC-P2
Proof Restrike
Low Date

Die Pair P2 – 1856 PA
Date Grid C / 4-2.0 / Level
Obverse Die States a
Estimated Rarity R8
1, 1 Vertical SH, SH
Reverse Die States a

   This is the first of two uses of Obverse P2 and the only use of Reverse 1856 PA in 1851.
Reverse 1856 PA was first used to strike original proofs in 1856, 1857, and 1858.
It was subsequently used to strike 1851 and 1852 proof restrikes.

Obverse P2

The photo below shows the Obverse P2 attribution grid.

1851 Obverse P2 attribution grid

Obverse P2 is one of two obverses, P2 and P3, normally referred to as the “low date”. The date positions of the two dies are almost identical. The difference between the two dies is the extent of the unfinished area under Miss Liberty’s chin. On Obverse P2 this area is more than 75% finished. On Obverse P3 it’s almost completely unfinished. The following two photos show the comparison.

1851 Obverse P2
75% finished under chin

1851 Obverse P3 almost completely
unfinished under chin

Obverse P2 Die States
  1. Perfect die.
No later die states have been observed.

Reverse 1856 PA

Reverse 1856 PA was used for all 1856 proofs. It was used again in 1857 and 1858, and subsequently to create the first 1851 proof restrikes. This die exhibits only a few minor markers – die lumps on S1 and L. Since most proofs seen are relatively high grade these lumps are visible on most examples.

Reverse 1856 PA die lump on S1

Reverse 1856 PA die lump on L

The lumps on the L are usually the most visible marker.

Reverse 1856 PA Die States
  1. Perfect die.
No later die states have been observed.

Photo credits:

Obverse P2:   1851 PCGS PR65 cameo, ex. Phil Kaufman, from the Heritage archives.
Obverse P3:   1851 J-132 NGC proof plated, from the Osburn-Cushing reference collection.
Reverse 1856 PA:   1856 PCGS PR62, from the Osburn-Cushing reference collection.

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