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1793 S-1, B-1 Chain AMERI. Cent, XF40
First Philadelphia Mint Coinage

1793 1C Chain AMERI. XF40 PCGS. S-1, B-1, R.4. MRB VF35. Ex: Masters-Boka. Breen Die State III, with light clash marks below the bust. The Chain AMERI. cent was the first coin minted at the new Philadelphia Mint building that was completed late in 1792. These coins were struck in late February 1793. The first delivery consisted of 11,178 cents, delivered on March 1. Breen suggests that a little over half of those coins were the Chain AMERI. cents, the remainder from the S-2 dies. Dr. Sheldon wrote in Penny Whimsy: "Still one of the most prized American coins, and common enough that any seriously enamored collector can count on acquiring one." About 150 examples survive today in all grades.
This light brown and chocolate specimen has glossy surfaces with hints of blue and faintly reflective fields. There are a few minor marks on Liberty's jaw and elsewhere on the obverse, a tiny rim nick over TE of STATES, small nicks between EN and over NT, and a few planchet fissures on each side, the latter as struck. The strike is a trifle soft at the center, a characteristic common to nearly every survivor from this die pair. In 1975 Dave Bowers noted: "The coin is completely free of the bruises, weak rims, retooling, and other detriments which are so often encountered on pieces of this class variety." In 1992, the Superior cataloger described the marks on the jaw as "reeding marks," speculating that they may have originated from the bars of the Vine and Bars edge of another cent. Graded VF35 in the Frankenfield catalog, it has been graded as high as XF45 (Superior, 1/1985) and as low as VF20 (Noyes). In his 2005 Official Condition Census, Bill Noyes gave an unverified earlier provenance from Col. E.H.R. Green to Eric P. Newman, with its next appearance in February 1992. His grade of VF20 with average surfaces places this coin at the 21st position in that census. Its actual census rank may be a little higher.
Frank Harris Masters, Jr. (1914-1985) was an attorney from Joliet, Illinois, who served as a state's attorney in Will County, Illinois, from 1952 to 1964. He later served as a special assistant to the Illinois attorney general, and served on his local Zoning Board. He was born on February 19, 1914, the son of Frank Harris Masters and Clara Louise Roelker, and died in Chicago on May 23, 1985.
Ex: Frank H. Masters, Jr. (RARCOA, 5/1971), lot 31; Q. David Bowers; Bowers and Ruddy (12/1975), lot 269; Bowers and Ruddy Mail Bid Sale (5/1978), lot 3; Julian Leidman; Dr. William Rubin; Superior (1/1985), lot 42; Stuart Block; Superior (2/1992), lot 625; John R. Frankenfield (Superior 2/2001), lot 188; Chris Victor-McCawley (3/21/2001); Jon Alan Boka.
From The Al Boka Copperheads Collection.(Registry values: P5) (NGC ID# 223G, PCGS# 1340)

View all of [The Al Boka Copperheads Collection. ]

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Auction Dates
September, 2011
7th-11th Wednesday-Sunday
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 11
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Rasmussen Special Edition Catalog
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