To catch a thief - 1875 cent with "marked" reverse
The following letter excerpt from August 24, 1875 indicates that the Philadelphia Mint Coining Department Foreman marked a one-cent reverse die for the purpose of catching a thief of small coins.
Do any 1875 cents exist with something clearly different on the reverse.
"On the morning after our conference, I was satisfied from the evidence presented to me that [George] Mitchell had taken some of the one cent coin, and had them on his person, but being anxious to fix his guilt clearly beyond any cavil or doubt, I instructed Mr. Downing, the Foreman of the room, to mark the reverse die to be used on Monday so that the pieces struck from the die could be easily distinguished from other coins of the same denomination. I also instructed him not to use more than one coining press, so the Mitchell’s actions could be the more clearly watched, and that he should report to me any suspicious actions on Mitchell’s part. At about eleven A.M. Mr. Downing reported that Mitchell had been acting in a suspicious manner, and that in his judgement he then had some of the marked coin on his person."
Mitchell resigned the same day he was caught, August 16.