Worthy VF25 1737 Higley Copper
1737 COPPER Higley Copper, CONNECTICVT VF25 PCGS. Crosby-18,
Breen-238, Freidus 1.2-A. 130.4 grains. The CONNECTICVT is the
first Higley variety, struck before presumed local complaints
compelled the change in the obverse legend, from THE VALVE OF THREE
PENCE to VALVE ME AS YOU PLEASE. The reverse legend changed as well
on later varieties, from CONNECTICVT to I AM GOOD COPPER, and
finally to J CUT MY WAY THROUGH. The latter variety bore an ax
instead of the three hammers.
CONNECTICVT, Freidus 1.2-A, Breen-238
Dr. Samuel Higley had a degree from Yale, and owned a copper mine. Coinage apparently continued after Higley's untimely death in a 1737 shipwreck, since a 1739-dated variety is known. The Higley family was one of the few coiners in the American colonies prior to the Revolutionary War. All Higley coppers are very rare and highly desirable, and authentication is mandatory since counterfeits and electrotypes are often deceptive.
The present example is boldly detailed for a Higley copper. Except for THE, the obverse legends are clear. The deer and hammers have pleasing definition, and the reverse legends are bold aside from the bottom of the 737 in the date. The surfaces are moderately granular, as Higleys are typically encountered, and the color alternates from golden-brown to ebony. A pair of old curved pinscratches reach the deer's antlers. The present piece was housed in a VF35 NGC holder for its San Francisco ANA Heritage auction appearance, and has since been conservatively assessed by PCGS. Listed on page 46 of the 2008 Guide Book.
Ex: F.C.C. Boyd; John J. Ford, Jr. Collection, Part II (Stack's, 5/2004), lot 268; San Francisco ANA (Heritage, 7/2005), lot 10078; Troy Wiseman Collection, Part Two (Heritage, 1/2007), lot 726, which realized $63,250.
From The Liberty Collection of American Colonial Coinage, Part Three. (NGC ID# AUAT, PCGS# 201)
View all of [The Liberty Collection of U.S. Colonial Coins, Part Three ]
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