Numismatic tradition states that Robert Lovett made a small quantity of original copper-nickel Confederate cents after receiving an order from a well-known Philadelphia jeweler who reportedly represented the CSA government. That tradition continues to state that Lovett became nervous over perceived treasonous activities and told no one about the coins until almost a decade had passed since the end of the Civil War. We are unaware of any fact to support this tradition, aside from the coins themselves.
In 1874, coin dealer John W. Haseltine, who himself served in the Civil War, became aware of these pieces and persuaded Lovett to sell them to him, along with the dies. Haseltine then set about making restrikes in copper, silver, and gold. A circular to collectors bearing the imprint of Haseltine, J. Colvin Randall, and Peter L. Krider, notes that seven gold examples, 12 silver examples, and 55 copper restrikes were minted. Three decades later, Haseltine claimed only three were struck in gold and five in silver. Clearly the circular is more accurate.
Our February 22-26 Long Beach auction features one of the aforementioned gold cent restrikes. Both sides have myriad small marks, with a sizeable gouge at CA in AMERICA on the obverse, and short scratches inside the wreath on the reverse. Although noticeably cleaned, this gold restrike has acquired attractive peripheral copper toning. Although NGC describes this piece as damaged, it represents an extremely important opportunity for the collector to acquire the most affordable example among the six surviving specimens.