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Image Information

Type Coin
Date 1737
Grade F15
Service NGC
Service Catalog # 201
Denomination HIGLEY

1737 THREEPENCE Higley Copper, CONNECTICVT, Freidus 1.3-A, W-8215, R.7, Fine 15 NGC. 124.0 grains. Die alignment: 180?. An American classic. The obverse detail on this coin is exceptional for the grade level, with any number of higher-grade examples having less to offer in terms of visible design elements. The deer is outstanding, fully formed with distinct edges, a clearly rendered eye, and antlers on which one can easily count four points apiece. Given the importance of the Higley deer as one of the premier instances of early American folk art on coins, the viewer could hardly ask for more. The obverse legend is affected by pitting around the border, especially clockwise between 12 o'clock and 7 o'clock, but it remains clear and fully legible. Even the minor aspects of the coin's artistry -- the double line on which the deer stands, the single line encircling it, and the dentilation around the border -- are unusually distinct. It is indisputable that the obverse of this example must have been unusually well-struck. Higley coppers tend to be well-centered, and this one is no exception. The reverse is less firmly struck and the level of detail visible is more in keeping with what one expects of a coin in this grade. The central crowned hammers are mostly soft, with the one on the lower left being the sharpest. CONNECTICVT is somewhat faint, with TIC being especially light. The small numerals of the date are easy to miss at first glance, but they are all present and reasonably clear, as is the star to their left. The marginal pitting seen on the obverse is also present here, but to a lesser extent. On both sides, tan highlights distinguish the design from darker brown fields. The overall eye-appeal is very strong. This particular die variety was unknown to Crosby, and was brought to the attention of the numismatic community in an article by Henry Chapman in the March 1916 issue of The Numismatist. Dan Freidus traced six examples of it in his 1994 Coinage of the Americas Conference presentation subsequently published by the ANS in The Token: America's Other Money. The Higley coppers have long been regarded as among the most important early American coins, and the lack of documentary evidence relating to them has made them the stuff of legend. This piece provides exceptional value and will be a point of pride for its next owner. Listed on page 50 of the 2018 Guide Book. Ex: Waldo Newcomer; "Colonel" E.H.R. Green; Eric P. Newman and Burdette G. Johnson; Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society.

Heritage Newman IX, November 2017, lot 15017, realized $102000. Images and description courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

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