1793 Chain 1C AMERICA, BN MS (PCGS# 1341)
The June 2011 Baltimore Auction
Lot Number: 248
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The periods on the obverse after the word LIBERTY and the date 1793 are diagnostic of this popular die marriage for the first year 1793 Chain cent. The first issue struck in the new United States Mint building in Philadelphia (the first coins struck under authority of the Mint are the 1792 half dismes), the 1793 Chain cent is one of the most eagerly sought pieces in all of U.S. coinage history. The issue is also a one year type, the chain motif on the reverse meeting with quick and sharp disapproval among the contemporary public and yielding to the Wreath design type even before the end of that year. (Ironically, the Wreath cent itself also succumbed to the vagaries of coinage redesign within a short period of time, for the first examples of the incoming Liberty Cap type soon appeared bearing the 1793 date.)<br /> One of just 36,103 Chain cents struck, this piece presents very well for having acquired moderate wear from circulation. The reverse is typically sharper than the obverse with the chain motif and denomination 100 CENTS 1/100 particularly bold. All major devices on the obverse remain suitably bold, however, although the bottom of the date is somewhat indistinct. Mostly olive-gray in tone, lighter copper-brown patina is mostly confined to the reverse. A few old, dull nicks over and around the obverse portrait are noted for accuracy.