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    Description

    (1785) Bar Copper, MS65 Brown
    Original Issue, W-8520
    Ex: Newman

    (1785) Bar Copper MS65 Brown PCGS. Breen-1145, W-8520, R.4. Ex: Eric P. Newman Collection. 86.4 grains. Die alignment about 345 degrees. Two versions of the Bar copper are known. The first is the original issue that was struck about 1785. The second is the Bolen copy produced in the middle or late 19th century. The Eric P. Newman piece represents the original issue. There are two important diagnostics that identify the original issue. First, the S passes under the A, so that the left diagonal of the A is visible on top of the S. Second, a spur juts upward from the left end of the 12th bar (second from the bottom), assuming these were struck with medallic alignment.

    Public notice of the Bar coppers appeared near the end of 1785, as reported in the New Jersey Gazette for November 12, 1785. The same article appeared in the Pennsylvania Mercury for December 23, 1785:

    "Trenton, December 19. A new and curious kind of coppers have lately made their appearance in New-York, the novelty and bright gloss of which keeps them in circulation. These coppers are in fact similar to Continental buttons without eyes; on the one side are thirteen stripes and on the other U.S.A., as was usual on the soldier's buttons. If Congress does not take the establishment of a mint into consideration, it is probable that the next coin which may come into circulation, as we have a variety of them, will be the soldiers old pewter buttons, for they are nearly as valuable as the coppers above described, and hardly so plenty."



    Little else is known about these small copper coins, although the late Russell Rulau speculated that they were minted by Thomas Wyon in Birmingham. At coins.nd.edu, Louis Jordan writes:

    "At an average weight of 80.8 - 87.2 grains this coin was even lighter that most Birmingham products. Thus, it is unlikely they passed for more than the standard rate of fourteen coppers to the shilling. For this reason, we may assume they do not deserve their traditional name of "bar cents" but rather should be called coppers or tokens. They are usually found on narrow planchets with incomplete rim denticles."



    This example is a lovely golden-tan Gem, with exceptionally smooth surfaces that display bluish-steel toning and traces of original mint red. Unlike the typical example that Jordan describes, this piece has full and complete borders on both sides. Listed on page 70 of the 2022 Guide Book.
    Ex: Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society; Newman Collection, Part IV (Heritage, 5/2014), lot 30383; realized $64,625.
    From The Warshaw Family Collection, Part IV.

    Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# 2B5J, PCGS# 599)


    View all of [The Warshaw Family Collection, Part IV ]

    View Certification Details from PCGS

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2021
    17th-20th Thursday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 17
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