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THE 1909VDB LINCOLN CENT MATTE PROOF***UPDATE FROM 2005

This thread was started by me just a little over two years ago. With recent interest in the MPL's by a number of forum members, I thought this thread would be of interest again now.

The subject talks about the mintage of the 1909VDB Matte Proof. Is it 420 or is it 1,194 ? Kevin Flynn, who determined the 1,194 quantity that is now in the Red Book happened to post his thoughts. Doug made some very thoughtful comments and posted some great pictures of the key diagnostics. Even our old friend Don Merz came by. Subsequently Roger Burdette has also done research in this area and he might find this thread interesting also. Hope you enjoy it again. Steve

==================================================================
The purpose of this thread is to discuss this very rare Lincoln proof cent.

In looking thru the various PROOF Lincoln cent Set Registries I found a number of collectors who are missing ONLY this coin for completion of a complete set 1909 thru 2005. Since it took me eight years to finally get my piece, I thought it might be interesting to hear what others feel about MY observations:

1. There were only 420 coins issued in 1909 and most experts believe that no more than 200 are still in existence.

2. This coin is primarily in the hands of collectors today. These collectors do not want to sell the coin. Therefore, very few dealers have access to the coin and it is very seldom seen for sale in dealers ads.

3. A coin available in raw condition is most likely NOT a legitimate 1909VDB Matte Proof. The legitimate example MUST exhibit three key diagnostics that identify the coin as genuine. Therefore, the 160 or so coins that have been slabbed by PCGS,NGC & ANACS probably account for the large majority of available genuine examples. Some of these pop counts are duplicates of the same coin because of crossovers and resubmissions.

4. When this coin comes up for sale at auction, it will sell only if the price realized is satisfactory to the seller. In otherwords, if this coin doesn't have a reserve on it, it probably isn't genuine.

5. A lot of the buying and selling of this coin is done privately, outside of auctions.

These are my thoughts. If you own one or desire to own one, I'd appreciate hearing your comments. Thanks.
Steve image

Comments

  • kevinjkevinj Posts: 972 ✭✭✭
    Just a note, there were actually 1,194 1909 VDB Matte Proofs struck

    The 420 figure was given by the Mint in 1948 to the collecting community.

    In my Lincoln cent book, I proved from the national archives that there were actually
    1194 struck, this figure was accepted by the Red book as the accepted standard.

    kevin Flynn
    Kevin J Flynn
  • SteveSteve Posts: 3,313 ✭✭✭
    Kevin,
    Welcome to the boards! You have a lot to contribute and I'm sure many members here on the CU forums will look forward to what you say.

    Regarding the mintage of the 1909VDB Matte Proof, your number of 1,194 represents the quantity MANUFACTURED. The 420 figure represents the quantity SOLD. There is a lot of detail and correspondence I have had with Ken Bressett of Red Book and Roger Burdette who did similar research as you did at the archives.

    I would like to correspond with you on this privately if you will open your PM (Private Message) capability on your profile screen. Again, welcome!
    Steveimage
  • kevinjkevinj Posts: 972 ✭✭✭
    hi Steve,

    This might be true regarding the 420 number sold, have not heard that before, curious where
    the number sold came from.

    What I go by on mintage, and what I remember what the law states is a coin becomes part of
    the mintage when it is delivered from the coiner to the superintendent, which is what the totals
    I have are.

    For example, if I remember right from the archives, in 1863, they only sold half of the proof indians
    that were made, and sold more over the next few years, some were melted after a few years, yet
    the count reflects the number struck and delivered.

    On the two cent coins, while they were striking them up until 72 for business strikes, the started
    melting them around 70 for the Indians. I am sure many of the duces went from the coining press
    to the melting pots. The counts still reflect the number melted and delivered.

    Have you read that little book on Matte proofs, I remember reading that one individual submitted
    100 sets of each year, including 100 1909 VDB Matte Proofs. Its been a while since I read it.

    What drove me nuts on this in the first place was that these totals for all proofs for this time period
    were requested from the Mint around 1948, we accepted from the Mint what they gave us
    without question or verification, during that time, we were not permitted to question the mint.

    I think I opened my profile for emails.

    Thanks for the nice comments

    Kevin J Flynn
  • DMWJRDMWJR Posts: 5,975 ✭✭✭✭✭

    In the absence of concrete evidence of the true number of 09vdb's minted and distributed, I think current population reports do give some guidance in this area. Below is a table showing the total number of MPL's graded by the two major services, along with their mintages and a percentage graded of that mintage. I am assuming that the number of regrades and lost certs have a similar distribution for each year making the figures relatively comparative.


    ...............Mintage.....PCGS......NGC........Total.........%Graded
    1909vdb...?????..........93..........44..........137...............??%
    1909.........2618........359........187..........546...............21%
    1910.........2405........301........196..........497...............21%
    1911.........2411........287........146..........433...............18%
    1912.........2145........292........163..........455...............21%
    1913.........2848........403........250..........653...............23%
    1914.........1365........246........138..........384...............28%
    1915.........1150........202..........96..........298...............26%
    1916.........1050........141..........78..........219...............21%

    TOTALS...17186......2324......1298........3622...............21%


    As you can see, the number graded of each year falls fairly consistently in the 21% range. If you assume that there were 1194 09vdb's struck and distributed, it would mean that only 11% of the mintage have been graded. If you assume that 420 were minted, then it would mean that 33% have been graded. Given the fact that the vdb is the key coin, carries the most value, and is a one year type coin, it is easier for me to believe that there were only 420 minted.

    If you believe that 1194 vdb's were distributed, you should ask yourself why only a small percentage of these have been certified by the major grading services.
    Doug
  • kevinjkevinj Posts: 972 ✭✭✭
    The number 1194 is based upon the number struck and delivered to the superintendent,
    which based upon coinage laws is the number "Minted" for that year.

    It does not reflect the number sold.

    I have found many years in which at the end of the year when the proof mintage figures are
    listed, they include all proofs struck, even those which were not sold and sold over several
    years, or melted.

    Coins which are assayed and melted are included in mintage totals.

    For example, if we know that 2 of the 1894-S dimes were assayed, and therefore never sold
    or distributed, and these two coins were melted, should the proper mintage total be 22?

    There are many examples such as this.
    Kevin J Flynn
  • DMWJRDMWJR Posts: 5,975 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Hi Kevin, I agree with your analysis with respect to coins like the 94-s. My point would sound rediculous if applied to that coin. However, we have a little more information with respect to the VDB. I didn't challenge either the 420 or the 1194 numbers, but merely used some provable data to show why I am more likely to believe the 420 figure.

    Notwithstanding, the 09vdb is the real king of all Lincoln cents, both MS and PR, and its rarity is unquestionable.

    I do remember some issue surrounding the mint records for proofs. I saw somewhere (maybe in your book) that recorded figures for several denominations were combined, so it was difficult to break out mintage figures for the denominations. Can you shed any light on that?
    Doug
  • DMWJRDMWJR Posts: 5,975 ✭✭✭✭✭
    And what would a thread about 09vdb's be without pictures?

    image
    image
    Doug
  • kevinjkevinj Posts: 972 ✭✭✭
    Doug,

    I do not disagree that the 1909 VDB Matte Proof is rare, and based upon your analysis,
    it is obvious that it is the rarest of the Matte Proofs.

    These go towards Steve's original point that these coins are rare and valuable.

    I agree with Steve that there should be some basis for the total mintage which is
    accepted.

    Let me give you another example which shows how there can be many exceptions to the rule
    therefore you must start at the beginning.

    I was at the archives today research for the barber book, I found a 1891 document which stated
    that 1890 proof sets which were left over were released into circulation based upon a suggestion
    from the Chief Clerk. That was a first I have seen regarding this. Based upon this, should the
    1890 proof count be lowered?

    I think most collectors are aware that the rarity is not soley based upon mintage, again, we have
    only 9 known 1894S Barber dimes when 24 were minted. In the extreme example, there is only
    1 known 1873CC dime, yet in the Red book it shows the mintage to be 12,400

    In my Lincoln cent book, I reference a national archive document which states that 1194
    cents were delivered on August 2, 1909 with a specific notation that "One Cent New Design"

    I do agree with Steve that the 1909VDB is rare and undervalued compared to the other Matte Proofs.
    Kevin J Flynn
  • segojasegoja Posts: 6,112 ✭✭✭✭
    One pretty Lincoln!
    JMSCoins Website Link


    Ike Specialist

    Finest Toned Ike I've Ever Seen, been looking since 1986

    image
  • SteveSteve Posts: 3,313 ✭✭✭
    Hi Doug,
    With Kevin here to discuss Lincoln Matte proofs I thought I'd attach a file I did in April, 2004 showing the same data from pop reports and mintage that you now show above. Percentages seem consistent. You have the updated pops for PCGS & NGC. I had also included ANACS numbers. As far as your reported mintages, you are using a combo of numbers for 1909 thru 1911. For 1909 you use 2,618, Kevin uses 2,352 and the historical "sold" number is 2,198. For 1910 you use 2,405 which is the historical "sold" number. Kevin uses 4,083. For 1911 you use Kevin's number of 2,411. The historical "sold" number is 1,733. See how confusing these Matte proof mintages are. And that is without discussing the VDB mintage issue. The hobby would be better served if we all used one set of numbers CONSISTENTLY.
    One other item that I know you and I were discussing last year that Kevin might be able to shed some light on. We both know of one set of dies used for the 1909VDB Matte Proof and that yielded three key diagnostics shown. Kevin reports in his 1996 book that there was a second obverse die used and two more reverse dies used on that coin. He lists a number of specific diagnostics for those dies. I would like to know if Kevin has any pictures of those die diagnostics and I also wanted to know if PCGS, NGC or ANACS has slabbed any 1909VDB Matte proof Lincoln cent with THOSE diagnostics.
    This discussion should probably move to another thread, but I guess we can keep the discussion here because to Lincoln cent matte proof collectors it is very interesting.
    Kevin, any comments?
    Steveimage
  • kevinjkevinj Posts: 972 ✭✭✭
    Steve,

    All of the 19th century proof counts that I have found reflect the mintage of the number
    struck and delivered.

    The problem with the Matte proof coins occurred in 1948, before this, the totals were not
    published anywhere in the numismatic community. When I was researching for my Lincoln cent book, I wanted to know
    where the counts came from. if I remember right, Breen and or others requested these figures
    from the Mint. The Mint supplied numbers which were not questioned or verified.

    The individual in 1948 from the Mint found totals I assume which reflected the number sold
    (if that is what this number reflects).

    I found the totals which are normally accepted by the numismatic hobby as the mintage, and which
    is also used by the Mint to track mintage, this is the number struck and delivered.

    Regarding your second subject, I did positively and personally identify 2 different obverses and
    3 different reverses for 1909 VDB matte proofs. These coins were either from auctions or from
    certified coins. I most likely shot photographs of the diagnostics, but it would take me a while
    to find them as I have about 30,000 - 40,000 photos I believe.



    Kevin J Flynn
  • DMWJRDMWJR Posts: 5,975 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Hi Steve! Actually I just pulled the data off coinfacts.com, because the point is more of a general one, and not a specific one. Using your numbers, it seems even more probable that only 420 vdb's left the mint.

    ...............Mintage.....PCGS......NGC........Total.........%Graded
    1909vdb.....420..........93..........44..........137...............33%
    1909.........2618........359........187..........546...............25%
    1910.........2405........301........196..........497...............21%
    1911.........1733........287........146..........433...............25%
    1912.........2145........292........163..........455...............21%
    1913.........2848........403........250..........653...............23%
    1914.........1365........246........138..........384...............28%
    1915.........1150........202..........96..........298...............26%
    1916.........1050........141..........78..........219...............21%

    TOTALS...15314......2324......1298........3622...............24%

    Here are some pics of a PCGS PR66RB that I used to own, showing the diagnostics.

    Diagonal scratch below Liberty to Lincoln's Jacket:
    image

    Multiple die polish lines off Lincoln's nose:
    image

    Die chip above right wheat ear:
    image

    And I include this one, relative to your question about different dies. The 66rb had a die gouge right through the period and "B" of VDB, that my 66red does not have. This is not conclusive of a different die, but with proofs, die diagnostics are sometimes hard to come by.

    image
    Doug
  • tradedollarnuttradedollarnut Posts: 20,146 ✭✭✭✭✭
    The mint used to release unsold proofs to circulation [ie: sell them to favored dealers at face value]. Was this practice still in place in 1909?
  • SteveSteve Posts: 3,313 ✭✭✭


    << <i>

    And I include this one, relative to your question about different dies. The 66rb had a die gouge right through the period and "B" of VDB, that my 66red does not have. This is not conclusive of a different die, but with proofs, die diagnostics are sometimes hard to come by.
    >>



    Kevin did not report that diagnostic in the book.

    Steveimage
  • merz2merz2 Posts: 2,474
    Steve
    I love this thread ! The knowledge the (3) of you have on the subject is beyond reproach.As a Lincolnman,I too understand all the info.I tend to agree with you on # sold. It does explain the prices realized when these coins do come up. The #'s Doug gives shows that their are still some out there unaccounted for. I believe there are some to be found in some of the old Whitman folders,mistakingly as MS coins.
    Don
    Registry 1909-1958 Proof Lincolns
  • SteveSteve Posts: 3,313 ✭✭✭
    Don,
    Good to see you back on these boards. I hope all is well with you. For us, the Lincoln cents are a lifelong hobby.
    Steveimage
  • DMWJRDMWJR Posts: 5,975 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Hi Don! Long time no see! I'm thinking about going to Baltimore in December, are you going to be there?


    Steve, you are correct that Kevin doesn't mention it as a diagnostic. I thought it was interesting because it raises some questions that I can't answer.

    1. If the mint were going to set out to make this low mintage proof, would they only use one die?

    2. Is it likely that the mint would have repolished the dies during a mintage of only 420-1194? Would that have been necessary?

    3. We know that there were several dies used to produce 1909 plain MPL's, including the same obverse from the vdb issue. We also know that after a limited number of business strikes and proofs, the mint unexpectly (at the time they began) stopped production and ground off the vdbs on all the dies. If the mint used several dies on the 1909 plain, wouldn't it seem logical that they started vdb production with several dies, to be later ground off and used for those that struck the 1909 plain? I can't see them deciding to put a few more dies into production of proofs just days after they started coining proofs with the vdb. I don't have anyway of proving or disproving what Kevin is saying, and I add the part about the coin with the gouge because it is the only variation that I have personally seen.

    4. (And specifically to TDN's question), David Lange postulates in his 1996 book in regard to 1912 production that the mint may not have released all of the 1912's that were produced, and may have melted the unsold issues. Lange doesn't suggest that the unsold issues could have been sold at face to favored dealers.

    Maybe these points just confuse the issue even more, but we really don't have much evidence to go on, do we?

    Doug
  • SteveSteve Posts: 3,313 ✭✭✭
    Doug, some comments regarding your last post:

    1. I believe they used only one die unless it can be shown by PCGS, NGC or ANACS that THEY have graded as genuine 1909VDB Matte Proofs OTHER THAN the one discussed by Leonard Albrecht in his 1983 article.

    2. I have no idea about repolishing of the proof die. Obviously, the business strike dies would be handled differently. Kevin may have some input on this one.

    3. I really don't know how the US Mint determined how many PROOF dies to prepare before production. For Business strike, I am sure you are correct. I belive, based on Kevin's account from the archives that the whole striking of VDB Proofs took place on July 30th, 1909 and amounted to 1,503. Of course many of those strikings were "no good" and supposedly destroyed.

    4. Kevin can comment on this point. Apparently the US Mint during this period of time was selling or giving away to dealers proof coins that did not sell to collectors.

    Since Kevin has visited the archives many times I am sure he can lend much knowledge to all of us on this subject.

    Steveimage
  • DMWJRDMWJR Posts: 5,975 ✭✭✭✭✭

    In 1983, Leonard Albrecht wrote a pamphlet for the ANA on Matte Proof Lincoln Cents. Mr. Albrecht at the time worked for ANACS which I believe was operated by the ANA for authentication of coins. Text is sparce in the pamphlet, as the author spent most of the pages on photographs of key diagnostics which would aid in the authentication process. Here is the majority of the text:

    Preparation of dies for Proof production involves a special process in which a stock or inventory die is carefully selected and then highly polished and cleaned. In the early 1900's an experimental technique was initiated, whereby the dies or coins (or perhaps both) were sandblasted or chemically etched to acheive a finish that was granular in appearance. Proof coins displaying this particular finish are commonly referred to as Matte Proofs.

    The exact method of manufacture of Matte Proof pieces has yet to be fully documented, but it is evident that they were struck twice at low speed and high pressure. Generally, a single pair of dies was used for Matte Proof production.

    In James Rankin Young's book, "The United States Mint at Philadelphia (1903)," the author describes the operations of the Mint, room by room. His description of the medal room supports the use of sandblasting in the production of Proof coins:

    [ I have omitted the quoted text from that book because it doesn't speak directly to the issues in this thread, but can supplant it if anyone wants me to]

    Matte Proof coins have been known to differ slightly in style. Some appear to have a "satin" finish (a very fine but slightly subdued luster), while others are considered to have a "deep matte" finish (a dull, granular luster) caused by variations in the method of production.

    *** some minor parts omitted ***

    The diagnostics described here are drawn from the ANA Certification Service files of the known dies and die states. However, other genuine matte proof coins could exist, the products of different dies or die states. Authentication of any coin requires consideration of all diagnostics, not just a single diagnositic. Occaisionally, business strikes can be mistaken for matte proof pieces, but as far as our records show, the diagnostics discussed in this article have appeared only on proof coins.


    After this, the article simply provides pictures with small boxes describing the characteristics. For the VDB coin, only one obverse die and one reverse die are noted. For the 1909 plain, there are three obverse dies (one of which is the VDB die), and two reverse dies.

    Doug
  • kevinjkevinj Posts: 972 ✭✭✭
    Steve,

    When I wrote my Lincoln cent book, and documenting Matte proofs in 95, I was getting certified
    Matte proofs that were in auctions sent to me, I will have to dig the photographs up at some
    point. These coins were in PGCG and NGC holders.

    The 09 VDB were struck starting Aug 2, no Lincolns were struck before this time, except
    for patterns.....

    What would be great is if we had some documentation which stated what happened to these 1194
    coins, were then sold, distributed into circulation, melted...... There is no record of what happened
    to the normal Lincoln VDB cents on Aug 5th.

    I would guess that they would continue to distribute, as people were hungry for the new cents,
    and Barber took several days to make a new hub, but this is just my hunch.

    My expertise on archives in 19th century, as for most 20th century archive docs were destroyed
    in the early 70s by as I remember as per the instructions of Eva Adams.

    It would be nice if someone had a connection inside the Mint to see if there are any melt records
    between Aug 2-5 in Phila

    Kevin
    Kevin J Flynn
  • kevinjkevinj Posts: 972 ✭✭✭
    Forgot, I think I remember that in 1995 I spoke to Leonard Albrecht about his research.
    I specifically remember that Leonard told me that most of his research for his book
    was based upon 100 Matte proofs of each date (including 09 VDB) being submitted by a
    single collector.

    Kevin
    Kevin J Flynn
  • SteveSteve Posts: 3,313 ✭✭✭


    << <i>Steve,

    When I wrote my Lincoln cent book, and documenting Matte proofs in 95, I was getting certified
    Matte proofs that were in auctions sent to me, I will have to dig the photographs up at some
    point. These coins were in PGCG and NGC holders.

    The 09 VDB were struck starting Aug 2, no Lincolns were struck before this time, except
    for patterns.....



    Kevin >>



    Kevin,
    I think it would be great if you could document with pictures at least one or two PCGS and NGC slabbed 1909VDB Matte Proof Lincoln's showing diagnostics as you refer to in obverse 2 and reverse 2 and 3 in the book. As you can see from Doug's super pictures above, the three diagnostics that Albrecht sated are clearly evident. Such information would help me and I believe other collectors to also rationalize a higher quantity number for this coin.

    According to your reported information on page 349 of "The Authoritative Reference on Lincoln Cents" it states quite clearly from Book I that 1503 of the coins were struck on July 30th, 1909 and that 1,000 were "accepted". I have assumed since reading this information a number of years ago, that the struck coins were then delivered from the metal room presses to the coiner on August 2, 1909 and the coiner's "Book II" shows 1,194 delivered on that date. Since no other proof coins were shown to have been struck again until August 16th, 1909 it has been my impression that this represents the total of these VDB coins. Since there were obvious differences between the reporting in Book I and Book II the only conclusions I can guess from the numbers shown is that (1) they made 1,503 of the coins,(2) it was a new issue, (3)they may have had problems with some of the strikes and those were distroyed. How many actually survived no one really knows. Based on some other data you presented from the Annual Mint Report, I tend to accept that "officially" 420 were sold to collectors.

    Steveimage
  • DMWJRDMWJR Posts: 5,975 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Steve, man I need to update those pics!!!

    Like I said a couple of years ago, I don't have any reason not to believe Kevin's numbers. I just find it hard to believe that so few have been graded if the real number is 1194. I do understand also that while 1,194 may have been minted, not all of those may have been released. Kevin certainly has a lot more experience and research under his belt, and is more qualified to give an opinion than I am.

    (I sure would like to meet a collector who owned 100 MPLS of each date!!)
    Doug
  • 1909VDBMPL

    posting so I can find this thread again some other day. it only took 14 forevers .. thanks
  • SteveSteve Posts: 3,313 ✭✭✭
    Rob,
    Subscribe to this thread by clicking on the first icon on the right top of each post. (The icon to the LEFT of the envelope. Then, whenever you wish to see it click on "today" at the top left of each thread. It is the fifth button after customize. You can "save" all your favorite threads this way. There are loads of MPL threads in the Set Registry forum from about 2004 forward. Enjoy! Steveimage
  • Kevin,
    Is it at all possible that the 1909 MPL Die 2 could have first been used near the tail end of the 1909 VDB MPL production. If they changed the Dies after roughly 1,000 proof strikes, and the mint made 1,194, is it feasible that there could be about 194 VDB Matte Proofs produced with the known Die 2, but, prior to the VDB removed to fill demand for the 1909 MPL? If so the 420 VDB MPL's sold would most likely be from the first ones produced and if they did use a Reverse Die 2 for a hundred or so it would be extremely rare they survived. I ask this because I have a 1909 V.D.B with the colors you would expect from the high sulfur paper they came in, the diagnostics of the Obverse for the 1909 VDB MPL but with a striking number of the 1909 MPL Reverse Die 2 diagnostics. The Rims also seem to be Very flat.

    Here is a PCGS True View photo of a 1909 MPL Die 2. I added some arrows.

    Here are photos of my Reverse 1909 V.D.B






    Obverse



    RIMS

  • ConnecticoinConnecticoin Posts: 12,517 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Have you attempted to get your 09 VDB certified? The die marker comparison looks very convincing!

  • I have not attempted yet because I want to know such a theory is not crazy. Plus if the above could be true, I am sure the TPG's would not certify it in till an expert like Flynn has acknowledged it as a possibility. Maybe I should just send it in and see what they say.

  • kevinjkevinj Posts: 972 ✭✭✭

    I am lost on your question
    The 1909 MPL die #2 does not have the VDB, 1,194 1909 VDBs were struck and delivered Aug 2, 1909, problem arose
    August 5th, production stopped. New reverses created without VDBs. All of the original 09 VDBs contain a VDB. Only one obverse/reverse combination is know for the 1909 VDBs matte proofs.

    Lets look at the delivery dates and history
    August 2, 1909 - 1,194 delivered with notation "One Cent New Design"
    August 5th - production is stopped on the Lincoln Cent, barber states he can remove VDB on reverse
    August 17 - 892
    August 26 - 810
    Dec 8 - 500
    Dec 24 - 180

    Are you suggesting that the 1909P die #2 reverse first contained a VDB, then the incused VDB was removed, but either
    abrading it down, which would have created a hole there, or abrading down the whole reverse, which would have removed most of the diagnostics? Please outline in detail the sequence of events you are suggesting.

    I cannot tell from your photos the diagnostics, the photos are blurry, I would need to see the coin or please have
    clearer photos taken. The diagnostics need to match exactly in size, shape, location, angle and such, I have seen coins
    with similar diagnostics, which did not match exactly, which is why clear photos are required. Remember also that
    some diagnostics, such as the scratch below UNUM was on the master die.

    Please remember that the matte surfaces on MPLs, is also found to some degree on 1909 VDBs from new dies. Also
    I have seen many coins struck from circulation with sharp rim edges and squared sides. The cent was a small denomination,
    it did not require that much pressure as compared to larger denominations, therefore, rim edges on new dies were
    usually sharp. On some years, such as 1909 and 1911, I have seen coins struck for circulation stronger than the edges
    on the matte proofs.

    From the photos, the details in the design elements do not appear as sharp as seen on MPLs, which the sharpest are
    seen on 1916, then the 1909 IMO.

    Kevin

    Kevin J Flynn
  • SteveSteve Posts: 3,313 ✭✭✭

    I again Kevin,
    I don't post very often on the boards these days but I do enjoy seeing some of my old 1909VDB MPL stuff show up on the Set Registry forum. Your reply to Jsalsa123 regarding only ONE obverse and ONE reverse is , of course correct based on your own research which you published. The confusion some may have is DIFFERENTIATING the separate striking's of business strike and proof 1909VDB's. I will not go into the business date striking's here because I do not know when they actually started or when they actually stopped. You indicate above that the business date striking with the VDB reverse was ordered stopped on August 5,1909. We know from your research that after July 30th no 1909 proof coins were struck again until August 16th when 1,287 coins were struck. We all believe that this proof striking was of coins WITHOUT the VDB. If jsalsa123 has an example of a 1909VDB it is a business strike if it shows the diagnostics in his picture.
    Per your reporting, 1,503 PROOF 1909VDB's were struck on July 30th, 1909. Proof book #1 shows that 1,000 of those coins were "accepted". Three days later, on August 2nd, 1909 Proof book #2 shows that 1,194 coins were delivered from the medal room to the coiner. Your understanding of what should be considered quantity minted is the quantity reported to the coiner. From your research you know there are other discrepancies between what is reported in proof book #1 and proof book #2 and you have used your best judgment to report the correct quantities for each date in the Lincoln cent matte proof series 1909 thru 1916. I still enjoy discussing this subject with you. My best to you.
    Steve :)

  • FunwithMPLFunwithMPL Posts: 328 ✭✭✭

    Steve,
    I also have a problem with the 1,194 1909 VDB mintage numbers. If the Secretary of Treasury only approved the design and authorize the coinage and the issue on July 15, 1909. And the mint officals only decided to strike Matte Proof Lincoln cents after that, and the Mint struck the proof coins one at a time, in that of short time to me that number is high. I and think that the number of 420, 1909 VDB MPL's that LEONARD ALBRECHT used is more realistic.

    Collector
  • SteveSteve Posts: 3,313 ✭✭✭

    Fun with MPL,

    The authorization was to strike Lincoln cents, BOTH business strike and proof. The proof version was the MATTE PROOF which was different in looks from the prior brilliant proof Indian cents. The number of the 1909VDB matte proof cents struck on July 30, 1909 was 1,503. Obviously, many of those coins struck were "no good" and were destroyed. Kevin's records and his determination of what should count as "quantity minted" is 1,194. based on the report of what was received by the "coiner". What wound up in the hands of the public (ie) collectors was much less. For 50 years of reporting the Red Book said that number was 420. I have always felt that was a fair representation of the number of 1909VDB MPL's that got to collectors. Today, I believe there are only about 150 remaining and ALL are in major third party certification holders INCLUDING the 53 that are currently in the ownership of the so called HOARD. Very few transactions involving this coin are occurring in the hobby during the past few years because of the "hoard issue" JMHO. Steve :)

  • FunwithMPLFunwithMPL Posts: 328 ✭✭✭
    edited March 19, 2018 2:37AM

    Steve, Think about it. In 1909 with one press which struck one coin at a time, struck that many coins in 13 days. I have a problem with that. And I'm sure it took more than a few minutes per coin. Things did not move that fast in 1909.

    Collector
  • SteveSteve Posts: 3,313 ✭✭✭

    @FunwithMPL said:
    Steve, Think about it. In 1909 with one press which struck one coin at a time, struck that many coins in 13 days. I have a problem with that. And I'm sure it took more than a few minutes per coin. Things did not more that fast in 1909.

    I just do not agree with your explanation of the proof Lincoln cent striking and production process on July 30th, 1909 at the US Mint.
    Steve :)

  • kevinjkevinj Posts: 972 ✭✭✭

    IMO, it is much better to research the source of information, rather than just quoting a book.
    It drove me nuts in the 1990s, when collectors would state, Breen has it in his book, it must be true........

    The 420 reflects I believe the total provided by the Director of the Mint in 1947.

    Proof counts were requested from the Director of the Mint in 1947 and printed in the 12/20/1947 issue of the
    Numismatic Scrapbook. Could not open this document in the Newman Portal, says it is still copyrighted.
    I forget what it says for 1909 cents.

    The Red Book added Lincoln cent matte proof counts between 1960 and 1963, the 420 is listed there, which matches
    Breen's count.
    NO ONE VERIFIED THESE COUNTS FROM THE DIRECTOR OF THE MINT, if that is the count in the 1947 Numismatic Scrapbook

    The two books from the National Archives, show
    1. The number struck and that were acceptable
    2. The number that were delivered to the Coiner.

    Since 1858, when proof counts were first kept, the number delivered to the Coiner is the accepted mintage for that
    series and denomination, irrelevant if some were melted, or otherwise not sold to collectors.

    These records clear show that 1,194 Lincoln cent proofs were delivered to the Coiner on August 2.

    Kevin J Flynn
  • kevinjkevinj Posts: 972 ✭✭✭

    Steve,

    If you have evidence that some of the 1909 VDB proofs were not sold or distributed, please present, would love to see.

    Kevin

    Kevin J Flynn
  • SteveSteve Posts: 3,313 ✭✭✭

    @kevinj said:
    Steve,

    If you have evidence that some of the 1909 VDB proofs were not sold or distributed, please present, would love to see.

    Kevin

    Kevin,
    Of course I do NOT have proof of what 1909VDB MPL's were not sold or distributed. I DO believe that many collectors of this coin believe from a very practical point of view that a quantity of 420 of these coins WERE approximately the number of coins SOLD to collectors before production was shut down. To me, 1,503 coins were struck, the coiner accepted 1,194 of those coins and the mint eventually sold 420. Now you and I both know that nobody can prove or disprove my logic. It really doesn't matter. Of those 420 coins I say were sold, I believe only about 150 legitimate examples still exist and they are all in third party holders. Why do I say this? Because if a legitimate 1909 VDB MPL is out there RAW, nobody could get fair value for the coin unless and until it was certified. Just some more of my thoughts. If others have different ideas, let's here them. Steve :)

  • kevinjkevinj Posts: 972 ✭✭✭

    Steve,

    From book #1, 1,503 were struck on July 30, 1909, of these 1,000 are listed as accepted.
    It does not state if these are Indian cents or Lincoln cents, plus how can 1,194 be delivered to Coiner in book #2
    if only 1,000 are stated as accepted. It is speculation to state that these two refer to the same. I agree with you that
    it is strongly probable that they were Lincolns, but cannot be absolute.

    I disagree with you on that the Mint only sold 420 and that the rest were melted/not sold/or something else.
    1. Having studied Mint history through the archives and other sources, I believe strongly that the Mint is primarily about making money. It is up to the Director of the Mint and usually reflects the Director's policies at the time, but in most cases it is about selling their product.
    2. Contributing to this is the extremely high demand for the new Lincoln cent that was advertised, highly sought after by collectors, I believe creating a new generation of collectors, from the photos, collectors waiting around the block for a chance to get a new coin.
    3. On page 100 of my .book, look at the spike of Liberty head nickel proofs struck around August 2nd, 1,497 delivered on August 2 to the Coiner, obviously in anticipation of greatly increased sales of the silver and minor proof sets.
    4. I believe, IMO, that by August 2nd, the Mint had extensive orders for the new Lincoln cent in proof, that all of the new coins were sold and mailed to collectors by August 5th.
    5. Some collectors were unhappy about the non-mirrored proof surfaces of the new Lincoln cent, not sure if this would have directly affected how collectors viewed or would have treated these coins. We do see several letters to the Mint requesting 1909 VDB proofs later in 1909 and were denied, which shows demand for these coins.
    6. IMO, I believe many of these matte proofs, especially those in the minor sets were used during the Great Depression. The minor sets cost 8 cents, if you have a starving family and have coins, IMO the choice is obvious, family first. Of course, if this was true, we should in theory be able to find coins in circulation, which I have not seen.
    7. If I remember right, Albrecht primarily based his study upon 100 sets of each date submitted to the ANA back in the 70s by a single source. Having read through the sale requests for proof coins in the 1870s and 1880s, most of which were multiple sets from a single collector/dealer, I am not surprised that a single collector may have purchased this many sets.

    Theories are great, we can twist circumstantial evidence in any way we choose, but the clear fact is that 1,194 were
    delivered to the Coiner on August 2nd. This is indisputable.

    If we used estimates on the number of proof coins sold for each year, then we would have numbers which are
    constantly in dispute, what if proofs were returned, how many melted, how many restruck, the list goes on as does
    having a non-consistent means to measure proof counts.

    Not sure if you know, one of the first 1909 VDB proofs, which is uncertified, is up at the ANS, this specimen was given to Victor D. Brenner and donated by Brenner to the ANS.

    On certifications, I recently studied a counterfeit AU 1916 Liberty Standing quarter in a counterfeit PCGS holder, with a number, which matched an 1916 PCGS certified quarter. The date was obviously different in relative position and the actual digits, be careful even with certified coins, verify the coin always.

    Kevin

    Kevin J Flynn
  • SteveSteve Posts: 3,313 ✭✭✭

    Kevin,
    I really appreciate your detailed reply. There is no question in my mind that you and Roger who have both done detailed research and publication concerning the Lincoln cent know much more detail and history of what happened at the mint in the early years of production. While I can appreciate your answers regarding how many of the 1909VDB MPL's actually were distributed, I continue to believe that for some unknown reason 500 to 700 of those 1503 struck coins never got into the hands of collectors. That reported number of 420 seems very logical and reasonable to me. And why did the leading publication of its time, the Red Book, continue to report that 420 number each year in the 1970's and 1980's and 1990's? I don't recall ANY real questions about that number until you convinced Red Book to change, ultimately to the 1,194. I do NOT dispute that the quantity reported by the coiner was 1,194 and that your research into what "should" be shown as mint quantity is the quantity reported by the coiner. I just feel more comfortable saying that 420 coins were distributed to collectors (ie) the public. Not 1,194 or any number close to 1000. I think we need to agree that we each can have our own thoughts about that subject. Thanks again for your input. Steve :)

  • dbldie55dbldie55 Posts: 7,719 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I am curious where you come up with the 420 number. I have found other issues with mintages listed in the Red Book when compared to the actual mint documents that Roger has recently put up on the NNP.

    Collector and Researcher of Liberty Head Nickels. ANA LM-6053
  • SteveSteve Posts: 3,313 ✭✭✭

    @dbldie55 said:
    I am curious where you come up with the 420 number.

    Number was reported in Red Book from early 1960's thru 1997. Once the hobby agrees that Proof mintage should be the quantity reported by the coiner it appears that the 1,194 quantity is correct for purposes of what Kevin's research shows. I just don't believe more than the 420 made it to collectors. Anyone able to prove me wrong?
    Steve :)

  • kevinjkevinj Posts: 972 ✭✭✭

    Steve,

    I had asked Ken Bressett before why he used 420 for the Red Book, Ken said that he was following Breen at the time.

    I still have to go back to the 1947 Numismatic Scrapbook to see if they list the 1909 VDB totals there.
    I know a 1937 letter from the Mint on proof counts did not separate 1909 VDB from 1909 non-VDB proof counts.

    Your right in that we do not know how many are distributed, these counts were not kept. Perhaps some day we will
    uncover evidence on this. Another reason to build a time machine.

    Kevin

    Kevin J Flynn
  • SteveSteve Posts: 3,313 ✭✭✭

    Kevin,
    Based on your research on this subject, can you say with much certainty that the quantity of proof cents. nickels, dimes, quarters, half dollars and dollars as CURRENTLY reported in the Red Book for the years from 1858 to current are supported by mint documents indicating the quantity WAS accepted by the coiner for each of those years for each of those denominations.
    I ask you this question because it seems to me that such detail records may not currently exist, particularly for recent years. Your input to this question is appreciated. Thanks.
    Steve :)

  • dbldie55dbldie55 Posts: 7,719 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 21, 2018 3:25PM

    The numbers of 1913 Type 2 proof Buffalo nickels are incorrect.

    Mintages first appeared in the 16th edition (1963), the numbers were unchanged through 1966 and showed: *2,594

    The asterisk indicated this was the total for both Type 1 and Type 2.

    From 1967 - 1974, the number changed to *3,034 (also for a total for both Type 1 and Type 2)

    Starting in 1975, they listed the numbers for each

    1,520 Type 1
    1,514 Type 2

    Which totals the 3,034 that was listed from 1967-1974.

    The numbers from 1963-1966 match the numbers in the mint documents showing daily deliveries.

    1,520 Type 1
    1,074 Type 2
    for a total of 2,594

    For Type 1, the daily break down is:

    Mar 5: 1,000
    Mar 20: 300
    May 4: 220
    Total: 1,520

    For Type 2, the daily break down is:

    May 27: 250
    Oct 14: 110
    Nov 20: 285
    Dec 2: 233
    Dec 24: 196
    Total:1,074

    Collector and Researcher of Liberty Head Nickels. ANA LM-6053
  • kevinjkevinj Posts: 972 ✭✭✭

    Steve,

    The objective was the same, but the method was sometimes different between 1858 and 1916.

    For example, in the 1860s, the proof set counts (gold and silver) were included in the regular coinage ledgers, listed as number of silver sets for example.

    In other times, we see monthly totals of proof counts

    Sometimes there were issues, for example, in 1865 the Mint started to sell minor sets, but there was no record on these minor sets being delivered, this was fixed around 1873 I believe

    Kevin

    Kevin J Flynn
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