If you guessed 1857 then guess again. 1868
Yep, you read that correctly - 1868!
Although the Large Cents series was discontinued by Act of Congress in 1857, examples of 1868 Large Cents are in existence. As part of an experimental coinage in 1868, a ten-cent piece of similar design had been struck. The obverse die for this had been prepared from a Large Cent hub, the current date then being punched in. For some inexplicable reason, a regular reverse die of a Large Cent, which had been stored away, was brought out. About 12 large Cent planchets of exact size and weight were found, and the 1868 Large Cent was perfectly proofed.
Technically the 1868 Large cents are not patterns but more like a clandestine struck US Mint product, much like the 1913 Nickels, or the 1804 dollars. Speaking of those two the 1868 Large Cent falls in between them as to mintage with about dozen struck, so not as rare as the 1913 nickel but far more rare than the 1804 dollar.
Here is an ad from 1961 in an early Bowers price list showing one, one of the first times it was reported in the numismatic community at large, though they were known previously, not much had been mentioned until this ad came out.
"The Bowers Review Issue #2 March-April 1961, page #27" only $7250.00 back then.
Quote:From the EAC PennyWise Quiz in 1968 Vol. 2 page #18
The 1868 large cent does not logically fall into the pattern series. The only difference between an 1857 large cent, for instance, and the 1868 large cent is the date. As large cents were officially discontinued eleven years earlier and no further coinage of large cents was being considered, we would not call the 1868 large cent a pattern. It would more properly belong in the class of coins such as the 1913 Liberty nickel
, the 1804 dollar, and the 1884 and 1885 Trade dollars
, coins which were struck at the Mint in later years, without authorization, in order to provide rare varieties for collectors.
As to the value of the 1868 large cent, we have no basis on which to make an estimate. To our knowledge, none have appeared in auction sales or have been publicly offered for sale within recent years. We would estimate that fewer than five or six specimens are known, of which the American Numismatic Society
collection contains one."
They are listed in Judd, they are not truly patterns, Judd correctly calls them fantasy pieces. There are also around 7 examples known struck in nickel, however those are not as popular as the copper struck ones with collectors. The first one sold to collectors was found in Mint Director Linderman's collection auctioned in Lyman Low's sale of 1888 Lot #69 where it is marked sold for .40 cents in the bid book. Yet this story has a twist it wasn't exactly the first time Linderman sold his collection at auction.
It's an intriguing story which surrounds Lyman Low and the Linderman Sale(s) he conducted (twice). Linderman's collection was originally offered for sale by Lyman Low on June 28,1887, however it was impounded by the United States Government and the sale did not take place until the following year. The change of venue is attributable to Low's having ceased independent operations in the interim, entering the employ of J. W. Scott for nine years before resuming his own business. The hiatus is perhaps attributable to financial problems precipitated by the unrecovered costs of producing the original Linderman catalogue.
In its new covers, the Linderman collection was twelve lots lighter from the 1878 printing, and the number of pieces were reduced in three other lots. These items were confiscated by Treasury agents as being in violation of the 1873 coinage law that Linderman himself had helped to draft.
From Alison Frankle Author of the "Double Eagle: The Epic Story of the World's Most Valuable Coin" this is actually a short item she wrote for the Asylum Vol. 24 No. 22:
On at least two occasions before Harry Strang's hunt for 1933 Double Eagles, the U.S. government set about seizing rare coins held by collectors. In 1887, New York coin dealer Lyman Low prepared a catalogue for the sale of the collection of Henry Linderman, the former Mint Director and Treasury Department official. Linderman had been at the heart of the mint chicanery of his time, engaging in patronage abuses, restriking of valuable specimens, and covert distribution of experimental coins to favored dealers. When he died, Linderman's own collection was found to be filled with rarities, most notably an 1804 silver dollar and all manner of unique pattern coins. Lyman Low expected the Linderman sale to be a blockbuster, and spent lavishly on the catalogue. Before the auction came off, however, Treasury agents arrived at Low's door and confiscated all of Linderman's coins, claiming that the collection contained coins improperly obtained from the mint. The chief result of the seizure seems to have been financial devastation for Low, who was forced to give up his own business and join the Scott Stamp & Coin Company. The government eventually returned the Linderman collection to Low, though when his new firm sold the collection in 1888, a dozen lots from the original Low catalogue were missing.
Some more information and photos here:https://uspatterns.stores.yahoo.net/j611p676.html
Now you know.