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SERIES: U.S. Colonial Issues
LEVEL: Year, MintMark, & Major Variety

Bar Cent, BN (Regular Strike)

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PCGS MS64BN

PCGS MS63BN

PCGS MS62BN
PCGS #:
599
Diameter:
Designer:
Weight:
Edge:
Mintage:
Metal Content:
Other
Auction Record:
$70,500 • NGC MS65 • 1-7-2015 • Heritage Auctions
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Rarity and Survival Estimates (Explain)
Grades Survival
Estimate 
Numismatic
Rarity 
Relative Rarity
By Type 
Relative Rarity
By Series 
All Grades 200 R-7.0 1 / 1 2 / 2
60 or Better N/A R-.0 1 / 1 1 / 2 TIE
65 or Better N/A R-.0 1 / 1 1 / 2 TIE
Condition Census (Explain) Show more rows
Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 MS66BN PCGS grade   Offered at the 2002 New York American Numismatic Association convention by RAAB coins for $36,000
1 MS66BN PCGS grade  
1 MS66BN PCGS grade  
4 MS64BN PCGS grade

Liberty Collection

4 MS64BN PCGS grade  
Condition Census (Explain) Show fewer rows
Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 MS66BN PCGS grade   Offered at the 2002 New York American Numismatic Association convention by RAAB coins for $36,000
1 MS66BN PCGS grade  
1 MS66BN PCGS grade  
4 MS64BN PCGS grade

Liberty Collection

4 MS64BN PCGS grade  
4 MS64BN PCGS grade  
4 MS64BN estimated grade  

Richard Picker Collection - Ted L. Craige Collection, sold privately on 5/18/1971 for $850 - Donald Groves Partrick Collection - Heritage 1/2015:5661, $70,500

4 MS64BN estimated grade  

Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society - Heritage 5/2014:30383, $64,625

9 MS63BN PCGS grade  

David Spence Collection - Stack’s 3/1975:753 - Archangel Collection - Stack's/Bowers 10/2018:7103

9 MS63BN PCGS grade  

Ron Guth: Bar "Cents" first appeared in the American Colonies in 1785, when they joined the mix of motley coppers then in circulation.  Their weight was too low to be valued at a Cent, but the name has stuck through use and tradition (in fact, the weight is almost identical to the U.S. Half Cents of 1795 and later years).  The obverse features a U.S.A. monogram nearly identical to that seen on pewter buttons worn on the uniforms of Continental soldiers.  The reverse consists of thirteen parallel bars, signifying the original Colonies.  The simple, patriotic design makes these coins a favorite with collectors, although they are rather scarce and expensive.

Bar "Cents" were made in England, possibly at Wyon's mint in Birmingham (more famous for their Nova Constellatio Coppers).  Various forgeries exist, ranging in quality from crude casts to excellent struck copies and electrotypes.  All genuine examples have a small, thorn-like projection on the far right side of the bottom edge of the second bar from the top.  Electrotypes will also show this projection, so authentication is mandatory.

Breen lists two specimens that are known on larger, oval planchets and speculates that they might have been "...some kind of special presentation or souvenir striking", but this is unlikely.  Until the weights of these two unusual examples is ascertained, we can only speculate that they are normal strikes on misshapen blanks.

Sources and/or recommended reading:
"Walter Breen's Complete Encyclopedia Of U.S. And Colonial Coins" by Walter Breen