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Lot 3030


Image Information

Type Coin
Title Lot 3030
Date '1776'
Side obverse
Grade 62
Service NGC
Service Catalog # 460
Denomination 1/2 P
Description 1776 1/2P Georgivs III, Machin's Mills Halfpence, Small Date MS62 Brown NGC. Breen-992, Vlack 9-76B, W-7800, Low R.7. 115.7 grains. The obverse has the legend CEORCIVS III REX, with the Cs not corrected to Gs, while the reverse has small digits in the 1776 date. Perhaps a dozen examples of this variety are known today, with this piece clearly finer than any others. In our May 2014 catalog of colonial coins from the Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society, we reprinted Newman's 1958 article "A Recently Discovered Coin Solves a Vermont Numismatic Enigma," originally published in the American Numismatic Society Centennial Publication. Today, we are proud to offer the very coin that solved that Vermont enigma. Newman wrote in his article: {blockquote}"The enigma to be solved is why the series of 1787 and 1788 Vermont coppers with bust facing right displayed a distinctively British insignia, namely, the British Union in the shield on the reverse and not the emblem of Vermont."{/blockquote} A hoard of copper coins was excavated in Stepney, Fairfield County, Connecticut in 1950, including 125 Connecticut coppers, 11 Vermont coppers, one Nova Eborac, and 72 British and Irish halfpence, mostly imitations and counterfeits. One of the latter is the present piece, the first Machin's Mills halfpence identified with the same head, seated lady, and letter punches as the Vermont cents. The number punches in the date are identical to those on 1786 Connecticut reverse A in Miller's reference. This impressive example, plated in Newman's 1958 article, on the Vlack plates of Machin's Mills coppers, and in Walter Breen's Complete Encyclopedia, has extraordinary surfaces that are nearly flawless. The strike is weak, with little visible central detail. The apparent surface roughness on the obverse device remains from pre-striking, the pressure created by the press being insufficient to eliminate that roughness. It is likely that this outstanding Machin's Mills copper, related as it is to Vermont and Connecticut coppers, will set an auction record for the series. Ex: Stepney Hoard; Eric P. Newman; Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society. Realized $35250.00. Description courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

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