1858 OC-P1
Original Proofs and Restrikes

Die Pair P1 - 1856 PA
Date Grid L QTR / 4-4.5 /Level
Obverse Die States a
Estimated Rarity R4-
1, 8 Vertical C, C
Reverse Die States a

   This is the first of two uses of Obverse P1.
This is the only use of Reverse 1856 PA in 1858.
Reverse 1856 PA was previously used to strike proofs in 1856 and 1857, and later to strike 1851 and 1852 proof restrikes.

Obverse P1

The photo below shows the Obverse P1 attribution grid. This is the only obverse die for the year. Note that the date is almost exactly centered in the field. Originals show about 60% of the area under the chin unfinished, whereas itís about 30% for restrikes.

1858 Obverse P1 attribution grid

Obverse P1 Die States
  1. Perfect die. The area under Miss Liberty's chin is about 60% finished.
  2. The die has been polished. The unfinished area under Miss Liberty's chin has been reduced to 30%.
No later die states have been observed. OC-P1 is found with both die states.

Reverse 1856 PA

Reverse 1856 PA was used for all 1856 and 1857 proofs, then continued into 1858 to strike all of what we believe was the original issue of 1858 proofs. This die exhibits only a few minor markers Ė lumps on S1 and L. Since most proofs seen are relatively high grade these lumps are visible on most examples. The following photos show these die markers.

Reverse 1856 PA lump on S1

Reverse 1856 PA lumps on L

The lumps on the L are the most visible marker. They should be your marker for identifying this die. Other markers have been mentioned in previous books, most often a depression in front of the eagleís beak. We recommend ignoring this marker if you think you see it. We believe that itís not reliable, and has led to mis-attribution of 1858 die marriages in the past, and confusion in their relative rarity.

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

Photo credits:

Obverse P1:   1858 PCGS PR40, from the Osburn-Cushing reference collection.
Reverse 1856 PA:   1856 PCGS PR62, from the Osburn-Cushing reference collection.

Copyright © 2015-2019, by Dick Osburn and Brian Cushing, All rights reserved.