Description and Analysis

Patterns and Trial
(1849) J-113 3CS PF

Description & Analysis

Judd-113, Pollock-127, High R.7.

Design. Popularly known as the Ugly Duckling, this pattern combines "Arabic" and Roman numerals 3 and III, one on each side, with no other legends, date, denomination, or other device. Not only is this a "coin without a country," it is a numerator without a denominator, a quantity with no units. Struck in a "silver-copper alloy of unknown proportions," according to Judd, with a plain edge.

Commentary. Struck as both originals (per Judd) and restrikes, the last of which Judd notes are probably in 90% silver. Saul Teichman of believes all are post-1849 restrikes. Pollock notes that the Lemus Collection piece, presumably this one, weighs 19.2 grains (which Teichman notes is "the same as a standard half dime planchet"), with diameter 0.594 in. Teichman concurs that these pieces "are more likely standard coin silver as opposed to being 50% silver, 50% copper," adding that perhaps a dozen exist. We would not be surprised if the number were lower, perhaps eight to 10 pieces.

Description and Analysis courtesy of Heritage Auctions and may not be republished without written permission.