1881H obv 1a Large Cent

rjd65
Posts: 57
Joined: Sat Sep 20, 2014 1:09 am

1881H obv 1a Large Cent

Postby rjd65 » Wed Mar 27, 2019 6:12 pm

Is the 1881H obv 1a large cent rare? The reason I ask is there is no pricing info about this variety on this site, which I thought strange as this variety is certainly not unknown. RD

Bill in Burl
Posts: 607
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2008 7:41 am
Location: Golden Horseshoe, ONT

Re: 1881H obv 1a Large Cent

Postby Bill in Burl » Thu Mar 28, 2019 8:24 pm

Post a photo and I'll tell you ... you have Obv 1's, 1a's and 1a/1's for the year, all pretty common. It's a variety in a way, but not scarce by any means. The one to look for is the single serif N's ... very very scarce. There's also many varieties with repunched letters, sometimes MD all the way around to go with the repunches.
Bill in Burl

rjd65
Posts: 57
Joined: Sat Sep 20, 2014 1:09 am

Re: 1881H obv 1a Large Cent

Postby rjd65 » Fri Mar 29, 2019 7:59 am

Yep. Have come to conclusion, after assessing some of my 1881s, that the Obv 1a is more common than the Obv 1. I did discover one very nice 1a/1 with some distinctive markers - die cracks, a repunched 'N' in REGINA (not at like the one pictured on this site #3810), some subtle doubling of a few legend characters (which reinforces the 1a/1 assessment) and a broken or gapped lower part of 'C' in VICTORIA. Coin has a lot going on. Suspect this variety is not very common and could very well be a single obverse die type. Site needs to modify the 1881Hs list - the line which states 1881H could state 1881H Obv1, move the 1881H Obv 1a line to a position below the Obv1 line and add a 1881H Obv1a/Obv1 line - basically exactly as shown for the first three lines of the 1882H list. Perhaps the 1881H as currently stated is meant to cover both the 1 and 1a types as it is deemed there is no difference in their relative rarities and thus values however I think this just confuses things, and I stated above it is my belief that the Obv1a is more common than the Obv1 and thus the Obv1 should perhaps command a slightly higher premium. Even the CCN trends list does a poor job of designating the 1881s - they do an especially poor job of designating the hybrids for both the 81s and 82s. Granted, the 1881H/1882H years were a mintage mess and the different varieties can be very confusing but any catalogue or guide should try illustrate these as clearly as possible.

As an aside, I also discovered an 1882H Obv2/Obv1a hybrid which also is not designated on this site. Perhaps there is a more extensive list in a Charlton catalogue, the latest of which I haven`t viewed in years. Perhaps I`ll visit the local Chapters and have a gander at the latest edition. I may have to obtain a copy of Rob Turners`Dies and Diadems`as I am hopeful it may contain some further insight on all these hybrids. I`ve contacted him about my findings and am awaiting a reply. RD

Bill in Burl
Posts: 607
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2008 7:41 am
Location: Golden Horseshoe, ONT

Re: 1881H obv 1a Large Cent

Postby Bill in Burl » Fri Mar 29, 2019 9:33 am

Rob & I, along with 2 others wrote the variety section for Vicky cents in the back of the 2011 (65th edition) of Charlton. On p303, you will see how to identify the 1a/1, but it is just as common as the regular Obv 1 or straight 1a. The 1a carries no premium. I think that I had about 500 1881's when we wrote the guide for Charlton and they were split about 40/40/20, with the 20 being a straight Obv 1, just like the 1876's are. All of the 1881 mintage started out using the Obv 1 hubs and working dies from the 1876's, but there was a slight difference in where the neck truncation almost meets the beads. The 1a is rounded and sits further away from the beads and the reg Obv 1 comes to a point and closer to the bead... the 1a/1 comes to a point, but you see a little dimple where the rounded doesn't mesh with the pointed. There is also a small difference in the crown tip .. there are no differences to the portrait itself or in any lettering.

There is no pricing differences between any of the 3 Obv types .. all common and many coins were struck. Any premium $$ for the date are due to the repunches and amount of offset of the repunches and how many letters are involved.. All that comes from changing 1876 working dies(and hubs as they struck more working dies) with single serif N's into Obv 1a's and 1a/1s with re-entered serifs. The "variety" section on this site is just submissions from collectors and the info has not been checked, vetted or verified. Get a copy of the 2011 Charton and pick up Rob's "Dies and diadems".

We only included 2 of the 1882 2/1 hybrids in the guide, as we were restricted on how many pages we could use. There are 3 1882 2/1 hybrids, 2 of them fairly hard to find. The one we didn't include (the type 2) has minor repunching/doubling in Canada and Regina, but the big indicator is that the denticles are doubled between Canada and Vicky. That one is hard to find, but not as hard as the heavy doubled one.
Bill in Burl

rjd65
Posts: 57
Joined: Sat Sep 20, 2014 1:09 am

Re: 1881H obv 1a Large Cent

Postby rjd65 » Fri Mar 29, 2019 9:55 am

That at least confirms what I have surmised, in that the 1881H Obv 1 is the least common of the three main types. I am a bit surprised that there are relatively so many 1a/1s. My small sample size only has one definite 1a/1 which clearly shows the 'dimple' and one probable (dimple is very faint). The majority are obv 1a' s with some having some interesting errors.

For the 1882 hybrids could you share your insight for the Obv2/Obv1a as opposed to the Obv2/1?

Bill in Burl
Posts: 607
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2008 7:41 am
Location: Golden Horseshoe, ONT

Re: 1881H obv 1a Large Cent

Postby Bill in Burl » Fri Mar 29, 2019 11:02 am

The 1882 hybrids essentially group the 2/1 or 2/1a in the same boat. Because the neck truncation direction/width of an Obv 2, when struck over an Obv 1 or 1a partially finished working die, ir obliterates what was under the Obv 2 strike of the hub on the working die. It took 2-4 strikes of the hub onto the working die surface to have the design incuse enough to strike coins. Those blows with the hub onto the working die may have come hours, days or weeks apart, since the hub had to be hardened and the die annealed. It was not done in one evolution. A partially finished Obv 1 or 1a working die was struck by an Obv 2 hub to produce the variety. The Obv 2 hub may have struck over a partially finished 1a/1 working die .. who knows?

As far as the commonality of the 3 types of Obv 1 1881 coins .. the regular Obv 1 isn't really "less common" in any collectible sense. The Obv 1's were struck using left over 1876 working dies or new working dies made from 1876 hubs. They had the 1a master and matrix, so they struck for the rest of the year using those hubs .. some onto partially finished Obv 1 working dies, some on new die blanks. 1881 was a 2 million mintage .. I wouldn't call 500,000 Obv 1's less common, even if the other 2 had 750,000 ... those are HUGE numbers for early Vicky coinage.
Bill in Burl

rjd65
Posts: 57
Joined: Sat Sep 20, 2014 1:09 am

Re: 1881H obv 1a Large Cent

Postby rjd65 » Fri Mar 29, 2019 12:41 pm

Yes, have to keep the mintage numbers in perspective.
One thing though when you stated: Because the neck truncation direction/width of an Obv 2, when struck over an Obv 1 or 1a partially finished working die, ir obliterates what was under the Obv 2 strike of the hub on the working die
. The Obv2/Obv1a I possess does show a very miniscule part of the lower part of the truncation of the Obv1a so in the case of this hybrid the Obv 2 wasn't able to totally obliterate it - its actually neat to view but you need a 30X loup to do so.
I think we covered a lot of good stuff I hope other site members will find useful and appreciate if they were at all curious about Victoria hybrids.

Thanks Bill! Rich


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