Conservation Showcase: 1871 5 Cent J-1050

A recent example from our conservation laboratory.

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Pattern coins were treated special right from their creation, but this special status hasn’t made them completely immune to the effects of less than ideal long-term storage conditions. This 1871 5 Cent pattern coin is attributed in the J. Hewitt Judd reference book on United States Pattern Coins as J-1050. This pattern features a design similar to the nickel 3 Cent coins in production at the time but of the current 5 Cent nickel size. The denomination is inscribed as a Roman numeral and oddly has a backwards V in the design.

This particular example of the J-1050 pattern 1871 5 Cent was submitted to NCS to remove the evidence of years of less than ideal storage. A residue had formed on the surface of the coin resulting in a film obscuring the inherent cameo surfaces. The conservators at NCS were able to remove this obscuring haze to reveal the bright original coin underneath. This coin was able to grade numerically with a cameo designation following the conservation work.

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