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The 1799 S-189 Cent--Joseph Mickley's Nemesis

1799 1C VF Details NCS. Fine 12 EAC. S-189, Die State I, High R.2. It is said that Joseph Mickley was the man responsible for starting the numismatic movement in the United States, the "Father of American Coin Collecting." Mickley was born in 1799, and numismatic legend suggests that his unfulfilled search to locate a cent of his birth year started his numismatic career. When this cataloger was editing Walter Breen's Large Cent Encyclopedia, a search was conducted to find the source of this legend without success.
When seeking a 1799 large cent for a collection, so many factors must be considered. Surface quality is extremely important. This issue is nearly impossible to find with perfectly smooth, medium brown surfaces. On the other hand, it is very easy to find with heavily corroded surfaces and nearly black color. Although this example is not perfectly smooth, the surfaces are much finer than usually seen and the color is a pleasing olive-brown. A few areas of pitting are seen on each side, but these are nicely blended with the surrounding surfaces and are not objectionable. Another factor is the distribution of strike, especially on the obverse. Approximately 90% of all 1799 large cents have LIBERTY strong with the date quite weak. Nearly all of the remaining 10% have a strong date and weak LIBERTY. Possibly 1% of the existing population has both the date and LIBERTY strong, such as this example. Only after these other factors have been considered should one look at the amount of remaining detail. This 1799 cent has considerable sharpness, especially on the obverse. The reverse detail is almost always weak.
So here is a 1799 cent that has everything one could want: good eye appeal with considerable remaining details, pleasing olive-brown color, and strong date and LIBERTY. This is from an early die state, before the die chip developed between E of ONE and T of CENT. This cent will please almost any collector. NCS Corroded.
Ex: Wyoming Collection; EAC Sale (3/87), lot 167.(#1443) (Registry values: N2998) (NGC ID# 2246, PCGS# 1443)

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Auction Dates
January, 2005
12th-15th Wednesday-Saturday
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 10
Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
Page Views: 216

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Rasmussen Special Edition Catalog
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.
Rasmussen Signed Limited Edition Catalog
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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