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Lot 3084

Image Information

Type Coin
Title Lot 3084
Date 1793
Side reverse
Grade 55
Service NGC
Service Catalog # 35444
Denomination 1C
Description 1793 1C Chain, AMERICA, Periods, S-4, B-5, R.3, AU55 NGC. CAC. Our EAC Grade XF45. Breen Die State III. Not only is the 1793 Chain cent the first issue of its denomination, it is the first regular-issue coin ever struck within the confines of the Philadelphia Mint. A reported mintage of 36,103 pieces was struck from dies engraved by Chief Coiner Henry Voigt early in the year, before public dissatisfaction over the possible implications of the chain on the reverse prompted a switch to the Wreath design in late March. The 1793 Chain cent is known in five different die varieties, with this coin representing the S-4 variety, easily identified by the periods after LIBERTY and the date. The styling of Liberty's hair on the S-4 obverse is much different from the hair on the other varieties, prompting some researchers to suggest the die may have been engraved by Joseph Wright, rather than Voigt, but documentation is lacking on this point. The S-4 probably accounted for the 8,800 coins delivered between March 8 and March 12, 1793. The 1793 Chain cents were among the most popular issues with early collectors in this country, and the different die varieties were noticed at a relatively early date compared to those of other series. No one knows who first discovered the Periods (S-4) variety, but Joseph J. Mickley mentioned the 1793 cent in his 1858-dated pamphlet Dates of United States Coins and Their Degrees of Rarity. Since Mickley's collection contained the finest-known example of the S-4 when he sold it through W. Elliot Woodward in 1867, it is possible that he was the first to notice the distinctive periods. The description of that coin in lot 1936 of the catalog notes both the different hairstyle and the periods: {blockquote}"1793 The head on this variety is larger than on the last, the hair flowing more freely back of the head and below the neck; rev. similar to the preceding, period after both date and liberty, stars and stripes on the edge; in the finest possible condition, extremely rare."{/blockquote} Of course, the edge lettering was actually the Vine and Bars motif, not stars and stripes. The coin realized a hefty price of $23 to Col. Mendes I. Cohen. More recent sales of the S-4 include the MS62 PCGS example in lot 2002 of the Long Beach Signature (Heritage, 2/2008), which realized $253,000. The coin offered here is an impressive Choice AU piece, with smooth brown surfaces that show no signs of carbon or porosity. The design elements are well detailed and only a few scattered minor abrasions are visible. Hints of original mint luster are evident beneath the toning. This coin is listed in the number seven position in the Noyes Condition Census for the variety. Ex: Burdette G. Johnson; Eric P. Newman; Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society. Realized $176250.00. Description courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

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