High Grade 1793 Chain AMERICA Cent, XF45 NGC1793 Chain 1C AMERICA, Periods XF45 NGC. S.4, High R.3. Further confirmation of Voigt as the engraver of the Chain cent dies was provided by Thomas Jefferson in a report to the Senate dated December 30, 1793. His report discussed the difficulty of finding qualified men to fill the posts of assayer and chief coiner, with these positions requiring a $10,000 security, which neither Albion Cox or Henry Voigt could provide. Therefore, only copper coinage could be produced in 1793. Jefferson noted: "The duties of this last office [chief coiner] have consequently been, hitherto, performed, and well performed, by Henry Voight, an artist of the United States, but the law requiring these officers to give a security, in the sum of 10,000 dollars each, neither is able to do it. The coinage of the precious metals has, therefore, been prevented, for sometime past, though, in order that the mint might not be entirely idle, the coinage of copper has been going on; the trust in that, at any one point of time, being of but small amount."
Several years ago, Walter Breen suggested that the obverse die for this Sheldon-4 variety may have been engraved by someone other than Voigt. His reasoning was that the minute hair details were much differently treated than on the earlier dies. He speculated that this obverse may have been a sample die by Joseph Wright; however, there is no indication of payment to Wright for any such work. Harry Salyards indicated that this die may have been engraved by the same artist who prepared the Wreath cent dies, as there are stylistic similarities. The actual diesinker of the Wreath cents is not currently known, although it may have been Adam Eckfeldt or perhaps Henry Voigt with assistance from Adam Eckfeldt.
The obverse has excellent medium brown surfaces with a light woodgrain pattern, while the reverse has darker steel and tan color. This is the popular Periods variety with small periods immediately following LIBERTY and the date, although on this example the period following the date is extremely weak. The surfaces are very slightly wavy across the lower half of the obverse. This is a late die state with a small triangular rim break near the cracks at the lower left obverse.(#1341) (Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 223F, PCGS# 1341)
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