Thursday, July 12, 2012

Lincoln Mint "Easter Christ" (1972) Variants.

Presented here are a few variants to this common collectible which have recently joined my collection.

The first is this beautiful Easter Christ in 24K gold on sterling silver (vermeil).  It comes in the same box as the sterling version except that the cover logo is in gold, and the interior is done in white satin. 

This version tends to be far more scarce than the sterling version, but auction results suggest that its value is about the same as the sterling version.

This one is serial number 2153 of a limited edition.

The next variant comes in the form of a sterling version box that is missing the cover logo.  In all other respects, the box is identical to the regular sterling version box.
This plate is still sealed in its original packaging, so I am not sure what serial number it has.  On information and belief, the serial number is likely either 5326 or 5393.

The final variant is a bit of an enigma, and might be in a class of its own.

It comes packaged in a box that, on the outside, looks like a regular sterling version.  However, the logo on the inside of the lid is very different.  It appears to be a sticker stuck on top of the satin.

The plate itself is not stamped with a serial number on the underside.  It only has the number "27" stamped into it.

The metal of this plate feels flimsy.  It can be bent easily with the hands.  In fact, it came to me a bit warped around the rim.

It seems poorly made, and one artifact of its flawed production is the ghost imprint under the nail on one arm of the cross.  This imprint does not exist on authentic versions of this plate.

The plate weighs 321.5 grams within its plastic shrink wrap, which is close enough to the mass of the known sterling version (~ 315-323 g) to make this a decent counterfeit.

I hypothesize that this version is either a sales sample or a proof.  On the other hand, it could just be a counterfeit made of a base metal.

I have not seen another of these, so more information is needed about this item.

Finally, here is something you don't see every day: an original magazine advertisement for the Easter Christ plate.  The purchase price is listed as $150.  At that time, silver cost about $2 per ounce, so the plate had fewer than $20 worth of silver in it!!!