Sunday, May 17, 2015

1793 Wreath Cent Vine & Bars Edge in Long Beach Auction

A beautiful Gem Uncirculated 1793 Wreath Cent with Vine and Bars Edge will be offered by Heritage Auction in their June 4 – 7 Long Beach Expo US Coins Signature Auction. This coin is unpictured in the Noyes reference, although it is listed in its proper place in the Census at number 4 for the Sheldon-9 variety, awaiting photography. Few 1793 large cents of any variety can exceed the eye appeal and lustrous surfaces of this lovely Gem cent.

1793 Wreath Cent

More than 55 years ago it appeared in the Stack's Philip G. Strauss Collection sale, where it received a lengthy description for those days:

"UNCIRCULATED. Lustrous chestnut brown, well struck and centered, full border beading on each side. Reverse die break from rim through CA and right stem to right ribbon end. Beautiful, well-nigh flawless surfaces, with adhesives of mint color on the reverse. Here is a cent to dream on. The three qualities – sharpness, surface, color – that, when present, confer premium value over and above book value upon an early large cent in this condition are here blended in perfect aesthetic harmony."

Later, the coin was part of the E. Yale Clarke and the Reed Hawn collections, where it received equally (if not so eloquent) glowing accolades. Noyes grades the coin MS62(60) Choice in his most recent Census listing, and our assigned EAC grade of MS62 closely corresponds with this.

In hand, the coin is every bit a Gem, as graded by PCGS, and even under a strong glass there are few imperfections to note. Most are Mint-caused and related to Die State, which closely matches Breen Die State IV. Faint die cracks on the portrait are seen on the neck, cheek, and temple. The reverse die crack at CA of AMERICA is bold and extends from the edge to the right ribbon.

Some inconsequential microgranularity is visible under magnification – beneath OF, within the upper wreath leaves, and sparingly around the 3 in the date, although die rust is a possibility for the minor roughness. The strike is amazingly sharp throughout in spite of swelling around the lower right wreath. Glimpses of mint red still appear beneath the glossy, light steel-brown surfaces.

The Breen reference suggests 22,000 pieces were struck from the die pair, making S-9 by far the most available 1793 large cent variety. The condition rarity of this coin makes the mintage merely a point of interest.

Visit Heritage Auction official website for more information about June 4 – 7 Long Beach Expo US Coins Signature Auction.