1792 Copper Disme, Judd-10
1792 P10C Disme, Judd-10, Pollock-11, SP64 Brown PCGS
Secure. On April 2, 1792, Congress passed legislation enabling
an official United State Mint. Commonly known as the Mint Act of
1792, the legislation laid out all aspects of operation, and
specified several denominations from copper half cents and cents,
to silver half dismes through dollars, and gold quarter eagles to
eagles. A substantial quantity of silver half dismes were coined
just three months later, and those coins are considered the first
regular issue U.S. government issues produced under authority of
the 1792 Mint Act. However, they were not coined inside the Mint
walls, as the facility was still under construction.
SP64 Brown, Ex: Garrett-Simpson
The Finest Known
Honors for the first coins struck inside the Philadelphia Mint are awarded to the 1792 pattern cents, dismes, and quarters. The 1792 pattern coinage combined technical coinage experimentation with differing representations of Liberty. Three distinct styles of Liberty appeared. Loosely curled hair appeared on the Birch cents and the half dismes, tightly coifed and braided hair appeared on the Eagle-on-Globe quarters, and Flowing Hair appeared on the silver-center and fusible alloy cents, as well as the copper and silver dismes.
Invariably, each time we offer a 1792 pattern coin, someone asks how many were made. Those figures are unknown, and were likely never recorded. A survival rate is impossible to determine, so the original mintage will likely never be known. All we can say is that those varieties existing in higher numbers, Judd-1, 2, and 10, were probably struck in a large enough quantity to distribute to members of Congress. A dream discovery would be a personal journal of a member of Congress who recorded that he received a 1792 cent or disme on a certain date.
Both sides of this finest-known example display even chocolate-brown color, with scattered splashes of crimson toning on the reverse. Pleasing blue, pink, and gold overtones enhance the already exceptional eye appeal. The smooth mirrored surfaces are indicative of the impressive grade. Its rarity, historical significance, and close association with David Rittenhouse and the founding of the first Mint will ensure that only the strongest bid will secure this numismatic treasure for the advanced cabinet.
Rarity of the 1792 Patterns
Current rosters suggest that a total of 67 patterns of 1792 exist for all 12 varieties. The count does not include the 1792 silver half dismes, Judd-7, that are almost certainly regular issue coins, although they were not struck inside the physical first U.S. Mint building. The patterns can be divided into five broad classifications, the silver-center and fusible alloy cents with 24 known, the Birch cents with 12 known, the unique copper half disme, the dismes with 25 known, and the Eagle-on-Globe quarters with six known. In an absolute sense, each category is a major rarity. The following accounting exhibits the number known for each of the 1792 varieties.
14 - Judd-1 plus one example without the silver center.
9 - Judd-2
2 - Judd-3
7 - Judd-4
2 - Judd-5
1 - Judd-6
1 - Judd-8
3 - Judd-9
18 - Judd-10
3 - Judd-11
2 - Judd-12
4 - Judd-13 plus two uniface pieces.
Complete 1792 Disme Roster
There are just two dozen 1792 dismes known today, including three in silver, 18 in copper with a reeded edge, and three in copper with a plain edge. The copper and silver dismes are the most plentiful of the 1792 pattern varieties. These pieces carry extraordinary historical interest, in addition to their obvious rarity. The present example is considered the finest of the 18 Judd-10 copper dismes, and it has but a single peer among the other disme varieties. The following roster lists all 24 pieces known today.
Roster of the 1792 Silver Dismes (Judd-9)
1. AU50 NGC. Thin planchet. 41.5 grains. Dr. J. Hewitt Judd (acquired in 1946 or before), An Illustrated History of United States Coins (Abe Kosoff, 1962), lot 13; Kosoff reported this coin sold to an anonymous collector in the January 24, 1973 edition of Coin World; Donald Groves Partrick Collection (Heritage, 1/2015), lot 5507, which realized $998,750.
2. XF Details NGC. Thick planchet (Judd-9a). 66.1 grains. Joseph J. Mickley Collection (W. Elliot Woodward, 10/1867), lot 2131, realized $39 to Mendes I. Cohen; Colonel M.I. Cohen (Edward Cogan, 10/1875), lot 379, realized $20 to Jules Fonrobert, bidding as "Roberts"; Die Jules Fonrobert Sammlung (Adolph Weyl, 2/1878), lot 366; George Ulex Collection (Lyman Low, 7/1902), lot 431, realized $33.50; Henry Jewett Collection (S.H. Chapman, 6/1909), lot 1605, realized $280 to Thomas Elder; Colonel E. H. R. Green; Eric P. Newman and Burdette G. Johnson; Celina Coin Company, offered on page 1327 of the November 1946 edition of The Numismatist for $750; J. P. Morgan et al. (Hans M. F. Schulman, 4/1952), lot 855M, realized $300; Wayte Raymond; New Netherlands Coin Company, purchased by the Norwebs on January 31, 1958; Norweb Collection Part III (Bowers and Merena, 11/1988), lot 3390, realized $28,600; Donald Groves Partrick Collection (Heritage, 1/2015), lot 5508, which realized $458,250. Note: It seems likely that S.H. Chapman was the buyer at the Ulex sale and placed the coin in the Jewett auction for his own account. Henry Jewett died in 1897, so he could not have purchased the coin from the Ulex sale in 1902.
3. F15 NGC. Thin planchet. 39.5 grains. This coin was presented by Edward Cogan in the introductory letter to the J.P.W. Neff Collection (Cogan, 1/1864), but not listed in the catalog, sold to George Seavey for $205; Seavey Descriptive Catalog (William H. Strobridge, 6/1873), lot 839, not sold as Lorin G. Parmelee bought the collection intact before the sale took place; Parmelee Collection (New York Coin & Stamp, 6/1890), lot 1, realized $61 to Charles Steigerwalt; offered in Steigerwalt's FPL numbers 22-25 at $125; H.O. Granberg, displayed at the 1914 ANS Exhibition; Waldo Newcomer; "Col." E.H.R. Green; Eric P. Newman and Burdette G. Johnson; offered on page 946 of the August 1946 edition of The Numismatist by the Celina Coin Company, price on request; purchased by Floyd T. Starr in late 1946 for $750; 65th Anniversary Sale (Stack's, 10/2000), lot 478; Rick Sear; southern collection; Bob Simpson (Heritage, 1/2016), lot 5304, which realized $329,000.
Roster of the 1792 Reeded Edge Copper Dismes (Judd-10)
The 1792 reeded edge copper disme is the most available of the 1792 patterns, but remains rare in an absolute sense. Fewer than 20 examples are traced, similar to the Getz silver half dollars of the same year. The population profile is similar to that of the silver half disme. A disproportionate number of high grade examples survive, yet, at the same, time, a good number of coins exhibit signs of circulation. The following roster is based on work by Pete Smith, as part of research for the book 1792: Birth of a Nation's Coinage, to be published, along with co-authors Joel Orosz and Leonard Augsburger, by Heritage Galleries.
1. SP64 Brown PCGS. 58.6 grains. James W. Ellsworth private sale (3/1923) to John Work Garrett; The Garrett Collection Part IV (Bowers and Ruddy, 3/1981), lot 2352, realized $54,000; Marvin Browder; Alhambra Coin Center, private sale (1998); Hanks & Associates; Heritage (E-Fair Signature, 10/1999) lot 6187, not sold; Coin World ad 5/22/2000, listed at $700,000; Rare Coin Wholesalers; Benchmark Ventures L. P; Legend Numismatics; Bob Simpson. The present coin.
2. PR62 Brown NGC. Dr. J. Hewett Judd; Abe Kosoff, 1962, Illustrated History lot 14; Stuart Levine private sale 3/26/2001; Ed Price; ANA World's Fair of Money (Heritage, 7/2008), lot 1406, realized $690,000; Greensboro Collection; ANA National Money Show (Heritage, 10/2012), lot 366, realized $587,500; Cardinal Collection Educational Foundation.
3. Uncirculated. ANA Sale (Jess Peters, 8/1973), lot 1088, realized $9000; Alan V. Weinberg.
4. Uncirculated. 58.8 grains. Mint Cabinet (T. L. Comparette 1914 catalog, #1494); Smithsonian Institution #87.060.28/29.
5. AU58 PCGS. Crosby plate X, 18; Allison W. Jackman (Henry Chapman 6/1918), lot 224; Loye L. Lauder (William Doyle Galleries 12/1983), lot 237, realized $15,000; Stuart Levine and Anthony Terranova; Bertram Cohen; Dana Linett; David Henderson; Benson Collection (Goldberg's 2/2001), lot 152, realized $109,250; Stuart Levine; Ed Price; Stuart Levine 10/4/2004; William H. LaBelle, Sr. (American Numismatic Rarities 7/2005), lot 604, realized $175,000.
6. SP55 PCGS. 57.6 grains. Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society (Heritage 5/2014), lot 3042, realized $499,375; Anthony Terranova.
7. AU55 PCGS. 60.2 grains. Hollinbeck (7/1954), lot 964; Norweb Collection Part III (Bowers and Merena, 11/1988), lot 3391, realized $28,600; Andy Lustig; David Hall; 73rd Anniversary Sale (Stack's, 10/2008), lot 32, not sold; Rarities Night Auction (Stack's Bowers, 8/2011), lot 7481, realized $362,250.
8. AU50 PCGS. Midwest Collector; Stuart Levine (privately 3/2001); Ed Price; Stuart Levine (3/2003); Liberty Collection, Part III (Heritage, 8/2015), lot 3986, which realized $182,125.
9. XF40 PCGS. 57.0 grains. Illustrated on the August 1869 multi-denominational plate in the American Journal of Numismatist. Edward Cogan (6/1869); George Earle Collection (Henry Chapman, 6/1912), lot 2180; Carl Wurtzbach (exhibited at ANS Exhibition of United States and Colonial Coins, 1914, plate VI); Sol Kaplan; Phillip E. Benedetti; Gary Fitzgerald; Donald G. Partrick Collection (Heritage, 1/2015), lot 5509, realized $211,500; Heritage (9/2015), lot 3798, realized $211,500.
10. XF40 NGC. Virgil M. Brand; New Netherlands (9/1953), lot 416, realized $160; June Sale (Stack's, 6/1973), lot 879, realized $10,000; Laird U. Park Collection (Stack's 05/1976), lot 203, realized $18,000; Ellis Robison (Stack's 02/1982), lot 968, realized $25,000; Allen Lovejoy Collection (Stack's 10/1990), lot 1; Andy Hain; Julian Leidman; Ed Price; Stuart Levine; Haig A. Koshkarian Collection (American Numismatic Rarities 3/2004), lot 300, realized $101,200; Harry Laibstain and Rick Sear; Denis Loring and Donna Levin.
11. XF40. New England Rare Coin Gallery (11/1975), lot 383, realized $21,000; ANA (Stack's, 8/1976), lot 131, realized $19,000.
12. VF30. 52.82 grains. Byron Reed Collection; Omaha Public Library; Durham Museum.
13. VF25 PCGS. 57.8 grains. Superior (2/1997), lot 2646; Stack's (5/1998), lot 108; Stuart Levine and Anthony Terranova, private sale (5/1998) to Ed Price; Stuart Levine; Pre-Long Beach Sale (Superior, 5/2001), lot 1046, realized $45,425; New York Connoisseur's Collection (American Numismatic Rarities, 3/2006), lot 37, realized $87,400; Coin Rarities Online; Park Avenue Numismatics; private collection; Americana Auction (Stack's Bowers, 2/2014), lot 2002, realized $211,500.
14. VF. Colonel Mendes I Cohen (Edward Cogan, 10/1875), lot 378; Heman Ely (W. Elliot Woodward, 1/1884), lot 446, realized $26; W. Elliot Woodward (5/1888), lot 1605; James Ten Eyck (B. Max Mehl, 5/1922), lot 566-A, realized $73.50; Virgil Brand; Burdette G. Johnson; Michael F. Higgy (Abe Kosoff, 10/1943), lot 1397, realized $167.50; Will W. Neil (B. Max Mehl, 6/1947) lot 1197, realized $210; Abe Kosoff / Numismatic Gallery (8/1958), lot 37, realized $650.
15a. F12 PCGS. FUN Signature (Heritage 1/2007), lot 1200, not sold; FUN Signature (Heritage 1/2008), lot 3463, not sold. Probably the same as the next.
15b. VG/Fr. 52.33 grains. New England Rare Coin Galleries (10/1981), lot 334, realized $5170; Stack's (5/1985), lot 51, realized $4,400; Bill Subjack, private sale (1/1992), to Ed Price; Stuart Levine (3/2001); private collection.
16. AG. River Oaks Collection (Bowers and Ruddy, 11/1976), lot 937, realized $3600; Stack's (1/1987), lot 515, realized $7,150; Denis Loring, private sale (2/1988), to Kenneth Goldman.
17. AG. Frank H. Stewart; Congress Hall Collection; Independence National Historical Park, catalog #9267.
18. P01 PCGS. Bowers & Merena (11/2001), lot 2516, which realized $10,925; John Dannreuther; Stacks-Bowers (3/2015), lot 7, which realized $32,900.
Roster of the 1792 Plain Edge Copper Dismes (Judd-11)
1. MS64 Red and Brown NGC. 61.5 grains. Mint Cabinet, Dr. Edward Maris (H. P. Smith, 6/1886), lot 147, realized $67.50; The Garrett Collection Part IV (Bowers and Merena, 3/1981), lot 2353, realized $45,000; Donald Groves Partrick Collection (Heritage, 1/2015), lot 5510, which realized $1,057,500.
2. MS61 Brown NGC. Lenox Lohr (Empire Coin Company FPL, c. 1961), offered at $9,750; Hazen B. Hinman (Paramount Century, 4/1965), lot 52, realized $3,200; John L. Roper, 2nd (Stack's, 12/1983), lot 429, realized $19,800; Anthony Terranova and Stuart Levine; Bertram Cohen; Dana Linett (San Diego Show, 10/1988), lot 12, realized $41,250; 70th Anniversary Sale (Stack's, 10/2005), lot 1378, did not sell; southern collection; Bob Simpson.
3. PCGS Genuine. 58.2 grains. Pre-Long Beach Sale (Goldberg's, 2/2005), lot 805, realized $55,200; Long Beach Signature (Heritage, 2/2008), lot 2301, not sold; Peter Cabral. The coin is uncirculated but exhibits severe obverse cuts. The Goldberg's description speculated these were cancellation marks.
Selection from the Bob Simpson Collection.
Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.
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