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Lot 3107

Image Information

Type Coin
Title Lot 3107
Date 1799
Side obverse
Grade 50
Service Details NGC
Service Catalog # 36140
Denomination 1C
Description 1799 1C S-189, B-3, R.2, -- Obverse Scratched -- NGC Details. AU. Our EAC Grade VF25. Ex: "Col." E.H.R. Green. Breen Die State IV. According to Mint records, 904,585 copper large cents were struck in 1799. Despite this substantial mintage, the 1799 Draped Bust large cent has always been considered the rarest date in the series. Die evidence suggests that most of the coins struck in 1799 were actually dated 1798, accounting for the scarcity of the issue in later years. In recent times, the Guide Book has acknowledged this situation and included the 1799 mintage in the mintage total for 1798. The Mint was suffering from a lack of die steel in 1799, making it impossible to prepare the usual number of dies for cent coinage that year. To compensate, the 1798 obverse dies remained in service as long as possible, and many 1798 large cents show evidence of extensive die wear and cracking. Three 1799-dated die varieties are known, including two overdate varieties (NC-1 and S-188) that were struck from dies altered from 1798. These two overdates employ reverse dies that were also used to strike 1798-dated coins. However, the reverse dies are in earlier die states on the overdate issues than they are on the 1798-dated cents, proving conclusively that some 1798-dated cents were struck in calendar-year 1799. The present coin represents the Guide Book Normal Date, S-189 variety, which may actually have been struck in 1800. The coins were probably struck from planchets ordered from Mathew Boulton and delivered to the Mint on July 3, 1799. Most examples seen are in lower circulated grades and struck from misaligned dies. The great majority show a strong LIBERTY and a weak date on the obverse. The dies were later re-aligned and overcorrected, so the date was sharply impressed, but Liberty was weak. Only a very small percentage of 1799 large cents exhibit both LIBERTY and the date with full details. The coin offered here is a pleasing example that shows only a trace of wear on the sharply detailed obverse design elements. Unlike almost all examples seen, both LIBERTY and the date are strongly impressed. The reverse details are a little softer in the center, and that side shows several planchet flaws and laminations, with some granularity. The NGC-noted scratches are in the left obverse field and are not unduly distracting. Altogether, this coin is a most-attractive example of this sought-after series issue, and should draw serious interest. Ex: "Colonel" E.H.R. Green; Green Estate; Partnership of Eric P. Newman / B.G. Johnson d.b.a. St. Louis Stamp & Coin Co.; Eric P. Newman @ $500.00; Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society. Realized $15275.00. Description courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

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