By Mike Byers for Mint Error News ……
Unique Pair of Martha Washington Five-Cent Test Pieces
Judd #2210 – Mint Cancelled
77% Cu, 20% Ni, 3% Mg – NGC (Mint State)
60.5% Ni, 32.5% Cu, 6.8% Fe – NGC (Proof)
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The U.S. Patterns section on Mint Cancelled (waffled) Martha Washington trial pieces includes a total of six known with the new design. Two are the five-cent test pieces featured in this listing, one of which is the only one known in Proof. Two are five-cent test pieces that were struck in copper, one was featured in a 2018 Coin World article. And finally, two 25¢ test pieces, which includes my original discovery.
Newly redesigned Martha Washington dies were used to strike test pieces at the Philadelphia Mint in 2011 and 2013. These pattern coins were struck to test new metal compositions for the five-cent coin, in the event that Congress authorized a composition change. The rising cost of producing the nickel caused the Treasury some concern, but Congress acts very conservatively when it comes to change to the nation’s coinage.
These two five-cent test pieces with the Martha Washington “nonsense” designs were produced and have been assigned Judd #2210 and are listed on the U.S. Patterns website (uspatterns.com). Editor’s Note: The set is currently listed for sale for $25,000 on Byers’ website.
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