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    Description

    Extremely Rare GEORGIVS / VTILE DVLCI
    1722 Rosa Americana Penny
    Gem Brown Proof, Finest of Four Known

    1722 PENNY GEORGIVS, VTILE DVLCI PR65 Brown PCGS. CAC. M. 1.1-A.1, W-1252, R.8. Ex: Garrett. One of the great rarities in the Early American series, the GEORGIVS / VTILE DVLCI penny is known by only four examples, two in bath metal and two in copper. All four were eventually obtained by the persistent and determined John J. Ford, Jr. and appeared in consecutive lots in the Part IX Stack's catalog of his voluminous collection. Two were graded Very Fine and one was graded Choice Very Fine, but the present copper specimen was listed as Gem Proof, a grade confirmed by PCGS.
    Only a single die pair was used to coin this introductory Rosa Americana penny subtype. The obverse legend was changed to GEORGIUS for subsequent prevalent varieties, usually with a UTILE DULCI reverse, though scarce transitional "mules" pair a GEORGIUS obverse and a VTILE DVLCI reverse. The UTILE DULCI legend can be translated from Latin as "for business and pleasure" or "the useful with the sweet."
    The present Gem is easily the finest known of the four GEORGIVS examples, and was obviously saved as an important piece from the day of its production. It is fully struck and devoid of contact with rich chocolate-brown toning. The borders display glimpses of the initial orange-gold color. A more important example of William Wood coinage can hardly be imagined.
    Wood (1671-1730) was an English copper mine owner who saw an opportunity producing base metal coinage for Ireland and the American Colonies. At considerable expense, he secured the requisite patents, but his coinage was largely rejected in Ireland. In America, a shortage of coppers allowed acceptance by weight, but at a rate sufficiently low to deny export profits. Wood's business venture was a commercial failure, but two centuries later, unwittingly brought him a measure of numismatic fame.
    Ex: Col. James W. Ellsworth; John Work Garrett; Johns Hopkins University; Garrett 3 (Bowers and Ruddy, 10/1980), lot 1240; John J. Ford, Jr.; Ford IX (Stack's, 5/2005), lot 102.

    Coin Index Numbers: (PCGS# 152)


    Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2012
    2nd-5th Thursday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 15
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,796

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