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Description

1793 C-2, B-2 Half Cent, MS61 Brown
From the Richard Picker Collection

1793 1/2 C MS61 Brown PCGS. CAC. C-2, B-2, R.3. Manley Die State 1 as always, with the obverse die rusted and the reverse die perfect. The obverse die was used for C-1 and C-2 and is quickly recognized by the smoothly curved bust line just above the date. This is the most visible diagnostic, although some note the position of the forecurl below the I in LIBERTY. The other obverse has this line sharply bent where it joins the hair and forecurl below the L. The reverse legend is widely spaced, with the final A joined to the right stem end. Each wreath branch has 15 leaves.
Ronald Manley writes in The Half Cents Die State Book that this variety is normally found in low grades, but at least two Mint State pieces exist. Walter Breen recorded five Uncirculated pieces and six AU coins, acknowledging that some of those listings may be duplicates. This specimen is one of the AU pieces in Breen's roster, from the Richard Picker Collection, where it was cataloged as Uncirculated.
For the benefit of those who lack access to the September 1968 Merkin catalog offering this piece, we reprint the description of lot 27:

"1793 Gilbert 3. Forelock below I; fraction bar bent between ribbons; heavily rusted dies. Unc., light brown, plenty of faded mint color. No significant blemishes inflicted after striking. Between Y and hair are two shallow pre-striking flan chips; opposite D and 200 are two edge planchet defects superficially looking like rim dents, though careful examination with a glass shows their true origin. Obv. die rust is as advanced as we have ever seen' rev. die rust is as on some Gilbert 1's [Cohen-3], unpublished die state, hitherto unknown. At present only six are recorded in mint state; which of these is finer is principally a matter of color preference. From a very old noncollector estate; never before auctioned."


Today, we are unable to add more to the description or to clarify any parts thereof. The coin has lovely intermingled light and medium brown, with considerable gold faded from mint red, and patina of pale blue and lilac, especially on the obverse. MRB AU55.
Ex: Richard Picker Collection (Lester Merkin, 9/1968), lot 27; later, The Madison Collection (Heritage, 1/2009), lot 3567, where it realized $126,500.(Registry values: P8) (NGC ID# 2222, PCGS# 1000)

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Auction Dates
Apr-May, 2011
27th-1st
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 10
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