Gem Proof (13: 4,5,4) BN. Copper. This is one of the few Confederate States collectible coins. The dies for this issue were made by Robert Lovett Jr. in Philadelphia, presumably on contract for the newly formed Confederacy in early 1861. Between the formation of the Confederacy until the first shots at Ft. Sumter there was still trade between the states and this coinage proposal was likely made during that time. Lovett struck 12 examples in the metal of the then-current cent, copper-nickel. By then the war had started and completing the order would have been treason. The dies and coins were hidden during the war. In 1879, their existence became known and the copper-nickel examples were purchased by coin dealers. The dies were also purchased and a few examples in gold and silver were struck. Copper examples were then struck until the dies broke on the the fiftieth example.
This is one of the fifty copper examples struck in 1879. To preserve the dies for the mintage, the striking pressure was made as low as possible. As such, most examples show weakness on the base of the cotton bale on the reverse by the initial "L". On most examples there is also weakness on the tobacco leaves on the right side. I mention this, because this example is a very strong strike - the most well struck example seen! This is a very important consideration for this issue.
Another important consideration is the surface quality and originality of this coin. It has hardly any post-strike marks and is much nicer than the grade suggests. It is one of the top examples known. It is a beautiful and historical coin. Ex: Elbert Henry Gary Collection.