The two top images are a comparison of the edges of a 1913 matte proof (left) next to a 1913 business strike (right) coin. At left they are pressed together. At right they are free standing.
The edge of a matte proof will always be flatter, smoother, and more reflective then its more rounded business strike counterpart. A matte proof will stand alone on its edge very easily. Further,
the inside and outside edges of the rim, as seen in the images below with the matte proof on the left and the business strike on the right in each image, will be sharper and crisper. A matte proof will have its
inside edge drop off more steeply and therefore the coin will exhibit less of an inside curved dish than a business strike. A matte proof may also have a slight fin on the far outside of the rim around the coin.
In general a matte proof coin will have the following surface and edge characteristics to help differentiate it from its business strike counterpart:
• More detail in the image and design elements.
• A surface matte appearance resulting from the blasting of the die surface. Wear and toning may result in this surface being lost.
• Flatter, smoother, and more reflective rims.
• Sharper and crisper edges on the outside and inside of the rim.
• Less dishing of the coin than for a business strike.
To be absolutely confident when authenticating a matte proof coin you must examine the die characteristics for that year as described below on the obverse and reverse for the 1913 matte proof.
Two sets of dies were used for 1913. On this coin I found die characteristics from both sets. For the first set here is a c-shaped die scratch
near the rim to the left of the I in IN.
A die scratch above and to the left of the first 1 in the date.
A die gouge below the bottom of the first 1 in the date. A die gouge through the N of IN was not found.
A die scratch from the G to the O in GOD.
Broken element on the left side of the G in GOD.
For the second die set early die state there should be scratches around and through the date I could not find. But there is a die
scratch from the rim to the top left of the N in IN.
A die scratch from the bottom of the G in GOD to the top of the head.
A die scratch from the rim to the right of the D in GOD.
A die scratch through the WE.
A die scratch from the top right side of the second T in TRUST.
A die scratch through the BER of LIBERTY. A semi circle die scratch below the B of LIBERTY was not found.
A die scratch from the eyebrow right to the field.
The following late die state elements for the second die pair obverse were not found:
- Die scratches around the first 1 in the date.
- Curved die polish above the date.
- Die scratch above the G and above the OD of GOD.
Two parallel die scratches between the I and the B of PLURIBUS. These are from a master reverse die used on matte proof
Lincoln cents from 1910 to 1914.
Die scratch from the lower right leg of the M of UNUM in to the area above the E of ONE. This is from a master reverse die used on matte proof
Lincoln cents from 1910 to 1914.
A die scratch from the bottom of the left wheat stalk on reverse number 1.
The following early die state elements for the second die pair reverse were not found:
- Die scratch from the rim above the N of UNUM.
- Many die scratches in the field between the top left wheat stalk and the ONE CENT.
- Many die scratches through the C of CENT.
- Many die scratches in the area between the right wheat stalk and ONE CENT.
- Curved die scratch through ONE CENT and UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
For the late die state there is a heavy scratch to the right of the T of CENT.