The Single-Highest Graded 18th Century U.S. Coin of any Date, Variety or Denomination
IRVINE, Calif. — Scheduled to cross the auction block in our New York Americana Sale, January 22-24, 2013 is one of the most extraordinary coins in American numismatics: A 1793 Wreath large copper cent, Sheldon-9, graded MS-69 BN by PCGS and NGC. Tracing its pedigree to the Virgil M. Brand, Dr. William H. Sheldon, and other famous collections, this is the only large copper cent of any date or variety to be graded as high as MS-69 by either of the two leading certification services.
- “In my career I have been fortunate to handle many famous rarities,” said Greg Roberts, CEO of Spectrum Group International, parent company of Stack’s Bowers Galleries. “I fondly recall the King of Siam Proof set with its gem 1804 dollar, the 1913 Liberty Head nickel, and other classics. However, this 1793 cent is unrivaled — a remarkable coin with incredible eye appeal and a unique grade.”
Following the Mint Act of April 2, 1792, the Philadelphia Mint was put into operation that September. Patterns were coined, followed in March 1793 with the first copper cents, first of the Chain Reverse type, then of the Wreath Reverse style as here, culminating with the Liberty Cap obverse motif. The Wreath cents were struck from dies cut in extraordinarily high relief — not equaled earlier or later in the series.
Jeff Ambio, senior numismatist and chief cataloger for Stack’s Bowers Galleries, gave particulars as to its appearance: “The coin has been both expertly produced and carefully preserved, and to study the surfaces is to study a portrait of numismatic perfection in a product of the early United States Mint. Both sides are as fully struck as one could realistically expect in a Wreath cent with intricate, razor sharp definition to both Liberty's hair tresses on the obverse and the leaves, sprigs and trefoils in the reverse wreath. A glossy satin to semi-reflective texture to the surfaces mingles with dominant light sandy brown patina, although we also note remnants of original, faded orange red color in the protected areas around some of the devices, especially on the reverse along the upper left wreath. The aforementioned semi-reflective qualities are best observed when the coin is held at direct angles to a good light source.
As one would expect at the MS-69 grade level, both sides are virtually perfect with hardly even a trivial abrasion in evidence, and certainly no detracting carbon or other spotting. The surfaces are overall smooth, in fact, and only after close, careful scrutiny are we able to offer up a short, dull mark at the border outside the letter D in UNITED as a pedigree marker. A peerless large cent and a monumental example of the one-year Wreath type, this impressive Superb Gem is destined for inclusion in another world-renowned cabinet.”
This is one of two landmark 1793 cents to be offered as part of The Cardinal Collection in the Americana Sale. The other is a Gem MS-65 1793 S-2 Chain AMERICA copper. The collection, formed by well-known connoisseur Martin Logies, is part of a cabinet containing many choice and gem large copper cents gathered over a period of years.
In addition to The Cardinal Collection, the Americana Sale will feature American classics in other series, as well as other United States rarities. The auction will be spread over three days, and will include several thousand lots. Printed catalogs are available upon request by calling 800.458.4646. Online bidding and pre-auction bids will begin in December on StacksBowers.com, by email at auction@StacksBowers.com and by phone at 800.458.4646.
About Stack’s Bowers Galleries
Stack’s Bowers Galleries, a division of Fortune 500 Company Spectrum Group International Inc., was launched in January 2011, combining the extraordinary histories of Stack’s, the oldest rare coin auction and retail company in America, with Bowers and Merena Auctions, one of the world’s preeminent auctioneers of rare coins and paper money. The two companies unite to share a combined legacy that spans more than 100 years, and includes the cataloging and sale of many of the most valuable collections to ever cross an auction block — The John J. Ford, Jr. and Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. collections, The Harry W. Bass Jr., Collection, and The Norweb Collection — to name just a few. Topping off this amazing numismatic history is the inclusion of the world record for the highest price ever realized at auction for a rare coins: The legendary 1933 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle that realized an astounding $7.59 million (sold in partnership with Sotheby’s). The company is headquartered in Irvine, California, with offices in New York, New Hampshire and Hong Kong. Stack’s Bowers Galleries is the Official Auctioneer for several important numismatic conventions, including the 2013 ANA World’s Fair of Money and the ANA/PNG Pre-Show, the 2013 ANA National Money Show, and the Whitman Coin and Collectibles Baltimore Expo, three times yearly.