The primary purpose of this book is to present detailed die diagnostic descriptions and photographs to be used to identify and authenticate Lincoln cent matte proofs. Die states diagnostics are also included. Leonard Albrecht published a list of die diagnostic photographs in 1983. This book contains many more photographs of diagnostics not published before and a few new die combinations which were not previously listed.
Another objective of this book was to present an analysis of the striking characteristics for Lincoln cent matte proofs. Lincoln cent matte proofs were struck on a hydraulic press which could strike coins at a much greater pressure than was used for business strikes. Side by side comparisons and photographs were done between matte proofs and business strikes showing the details of the primary design elements and the rims, edges, and corners. In studying Lincoln cent matte proofs side by side against EDS business strikes of the same year, different striking characteristics were found for each year. Normally, only small differences were found on the design elements. The rims and edges were similar in width, flatness, and general appearance for most years. The primary difference on most years was the sharpness on the corners on matte proofs. For other years, the corners on the business strikes were also sharp. Studying matte proofs for each year will help understand what to expect.
A date-by-date analysis for the matte proof series is presented. Included for each year is an analysis of striking characteristics, surface characteristics, scarcity analysis, general comments, prices realized from Heritage auctions, current values, and certified population counts. All of this information being useful in collecting and understanding Lincoln cent matte proofs.
A detailed analysis is presented on all of the silver and minor proofs counts between 1909 and 1916. This includes all delivery dates for each series. This information is extremely important in determining exactly how many coins were struck. This information is also helpful in determining how proof coins were distributed, whether in minor sets, silver sets, or individually. Archive letters are also presented which show how many collectors did not get 1909 VDB proof coins and were upset and that the mint was not obliged to notify collectors of new proofs.