1793 Vine and Bars Wreath Cent, AU50
1793 1C Wreath, Vine and Bars, AU50 PCGS. CAC. S-11a, B-16a,
High R.4. Our EAC Grade XF45. Obverse Leaves Lean Right /
Fraction Right of Center. Vine and Bars Edge. All three leaves of
the obverse sprig lean to the right, the leftmost leaf nearly
vertical. The fraction favors the right ribbon end.
A Top Ten S-11a, B-16a
About Grading Standards
The grading standards employed by members of Early American Coppers, Inc., are based on the standards that Dr. William Sheldon established in Early American Cents, published in 1949. The same standards appeared in his revision, Penny Whimsy, first published in 1958.
Sheldon established a 70-point grading scale that might seem to be a random use of numbers to some but was actually ingenious at the time, although it quickly became dated. Sheldon's 70-point grading scale, the same scale employed almost universally today, was a value-based grading system. More specifically, it was based on the value of common varieties of 1794 large cents at the time. He chose 1794 as it was (and still is) the "most famous and popular date for the big cents." Sheldon observed thousands of transactions involving 1794 cents during the second quarter of the 20th century.
He noticed that coins he called Good had an average sale price of about four dollars, those he called Fine sold for about 12 dollars, and top-grade circulated 1794 cents, those called AU, averaged about 50 dollars each. Sheldon writes: "In the Newcomb sale of February 7, 1945, there were fourteen common or near common 1794 cents in approximately AU-50 condition. Their average selling price was within a few cents of 55 dollars, and probably there will never be a better test of the cent market than the Newcomb sale."
The next step for Sheldon was to define a condition-value relationship. He defined the lowest possible grade as "Basal State" and assigned the number 1 to that grade. He defined that grade as "identifiable and unmutilated, but so badly worn that only a portion of the legend or inscription is legible." Once the grade was defined, he assigned a "Basal Value" to every variety, common or rare. Common varieties of 1794 cents, for example, were assigned a Basal Value of one dollar, following his earlier observations. Rare varieties received higher values. The famous 1794 Starred Reverse cent, for example, was assigned a basal value of $8.50, the same value assigned to the 1793 Chain AMERI. Cent.
Although the condition-value relationship no longer applies to the early cent market, the numerical scale of 1 to 70 is still used by early copper collectors and has been adopted by third-party grading companies such as PCGS and NGC. The difference is how the grading numbers are utilized, and the objective of those using the numbers.
Although value is still important, early copper collectors employ a grading system that is best called "technical grading" and is exactly what Sheldon had in mind. Technical grading provides a means for collectors to compare the specific quality of their coins with those of other collectors. Technical grading is easily defined as a measurement of how much a coin has deteriorated since it left the dies.
The third-party grading companies, as well as nearly all coin dealers, while using the identical numbering system, employ a grading style best called "market grading." The objective of market grading is a means for collectors and dealers to compare the specific value of their coins.
The objective of each grading system means that the actual numbers cannot be compared with each other, and some variance will be observed from coin to coin. Consistency is the key word for any grading system. If coins are graded consistently, the actual system being used is irrelevant.
The Loring 1793 S-11a Cent
Breen Die State I with a faint ridge from the O in ONE to the T in CENT. In 1960, Abner Kreisberg wrote a concise description: "Well centered, attractive light brown and extremely sharp strike. Very pleasing Extremely Fine-50 [sic] specimen." The Loring specimen presents above-average surfaces with a tiny rim bruise outside of the beads below the 17 on the obverse, and a tiny small mark on the cheek. A few other minuscule handling marks are evident on each side, with a tiny area of verdigris at the final S in STATES. Otherwise, this is a remarkable example of an elusive variety that is rarely found so fine. Bill Noyes lists this piece as tied for ninth finest and relists it as tied for 11th finest in his photo book of the 1793 and 1794 large cents. Del Bland splits the difference and places it in a tie for 10th finest.
Ex: Christian M. Petersen; Hollinbeck Coin Co.; Hollinbeck Kagin Coin Co. (8/1958), lot 4; Leo A. Young (2/1959), lot 1296; Abner Kreisberg and Hans M.F. Schulman (2/1960), lot 885; Philip E. Benedetti (Pickwick Stamp & Coin Co.); 1961 ANA, lot 1404; A. Kosoff (10/1961), lot 11; Hollinbeck Kagin Coin Co. (1/1971), lot 818; Kagin's Numismatic Auctions (10/1976), lot 779; Ed Hipps (8/1980); Dr. Robert J. Shalowitz; Stephen Fischer; Chris Victor-McCawley (2/2000); Denis W. Loring.
From The Denis W. Loring Collection of 1793 Large Cents.(Registry values: N4719) (NGC ID# 223J, PCGS# 1347)
View all of [The Denis W. Loring Collection of 1793 Large Cents ]
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This hard bound volume contains the magnificent Wes Rasmussen Large Cent Collection, formed by a former President of the Early American Coppers society which was auctioned at the 2005 Florida United Numismatic Auction. Reserve your copy of this remarkable volume for just $75 today.
A hard bound limited library edition of the Wes Rasmussen Collection Catalog, signed by Wes Rasmussen, Mark Borckardt, Greg Rohan, and Denis Loring, is available while supplies last. Only 100 produced. Reserve your copy of this remarkable limited edition signed volume for just $150 today.
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