1795 1C Lettered Edge. MS65 Red and Brown PCGS. S-74, B-2, Low R.4....
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Equivalents. Proskey 4; Doughty 68; McGirk 3A; Clapp-Newcomb 2; EAC 2; Encyclopedia 1672; PCGS #1378.
Variety. Top of the 5 is buried in the bust. Single leaves at IT and CA. The obverse appears on S-74 and S-75. The reverse appears on S-73 and S-74. Lettered Edge.
Surfaces. This is an amazing example with considerable original mint red color over medium brown surfaces that exhibit traces of pale blue toning. Original mint red color is even visible within the edge lettering! Aside from typical planchet imperfections not struck out when this piece was minted, there are no blemishes of any sort. It is essentially a flawless Gem early cent.
Die State VII. Reverse die cracks encircle the entire legend, most quite heavy. Minor clash marks are visible in the left branch of the wreath and below STATES OF.
Appearances. The obverse and reverse are illustrated in Breen's Complete Encyclopedia and in Noyes (1991 and 2007).
Census. The finest known example of the S-74 cent, this Gem is tied with one other example as finest in Bland's Census. There are two other Mint State coins, a single AU-50, and numerous XF pieces. Both Gem Mint State pieces were owned by R.E. Naftzger, Jr., after his purchase of the Sheldon Collection in 1972. Naftzger chose to retain this piece as the finer of the two.
Commentary. Del Bland notes in his Census that Carl Wurtzbach considered this coin to be "the most valuable 1795 cent."
Provenance. Virgil M. Brand; Carl Wurtzbach (1935); Charles R. Mathewson (1953); Dr. William H. Sheldon (4/1972); R.E. Naftzger, Jr. (2/1992); Eric Streiner; Jay Parrino; Superior (5/1999), lot 1465, $26,450.
Personality. Charles R. Mathewson was a postman who resided in Providence, Rhode Island. It is said that many of his large cents were acquired from his rural postal patrons. Copley Coin Company sold his collection on a private basis. (Variety PCGS# 35715, Base PCGS# 1378)
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