1793 1/2C, BN MS (PCGS# 1000)

2012 September 6-9 US Coins Signature Auction- Long Beach #1174

  • Auctioneer:
    Heritage Auctions
  • Lot Number:
    3361
  • Grade:
    AU58
  • Price:
    $55,813.00
Lot Description
1793 1/2 C AU58 PCGS. CAC. C-3, B-3, R.3. The entire 35,334-coin mintage of 1793 half cents was accomplished through the use of two obverse dies and three reverse dies, with four known combinations. The obverse dies are easily recognized by the bottom bust line, which is smoothly curved on the first die and sharply angled on the second die, as offered here. The second die was combined with two reverse dies, having the stems and ribbons crowding the fraction as on this example, or spread widely apart on the other die. Careful study of the various die states will show that the Cohen and Breen variety classifications reflect the actual order in which the coins were struck. The C-3, B-3 die marriage was the third of the four varieties minted. It is impossible to know exactly when each of the four varieties was struck, but their similar rarities today suggest they were struck in similar quantities back in 1793, or about 9,000 examples of each. Mint records tell us that 7,000 coins were delivered on July 20; 24,934 on July 26; and 3,400 on September 18, 1793. The 7,000 coins of July 20 were probably struck during the previous couple of days, the second delivery was clearly struck from July 21 through July 26, and the final group of 3,400 was likely struck a day or two before the September 18 delivery. Among the exceptional examples of Cohen-3 that exist today is this piece, which PCGS has graded AU58. Much of the reverse is covered in tiny rust pits, interpreted as a late die state by most students of the early coppers. The strike is bold and nicely centered with full beaded borders on each side. A trace of wear appears on the high points, and minuscule rim nicks and other marks are evident on the light olive surfaces. Faint splashes of steel-blue and pale blue-green are evident. Our EAC grade AU55. From The Fred Yee Collection.
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