Description

    1793 S-3, B-4 Chain Cent, AU53 PCGS
    From the Herman Halpern Collection

    1793 1C Chain, AMERICA, AU53 PCGS. CAC. S-3, B-4, Low R.3. Our EAC Grade XF45. Large R / AMERICA. Ex: Halpern. The obverse die, appearing only on S-3, has a large R in LIBERTY that leans to the right, suggesting a "Leaning" R nomenclature to some. The reverse die has AMERICA spelled in full, appearing on four of the five known Chain cent varieties (S-2, S-3, S-4, and NC-1).

    Emission Sequence of the Chain Cents
    When Walter Breen prepared the manuscript for Encyclopedia of Early United States Cents 1793-1814, he built upon the work of previous students and numbered the early cent varieties in the order he believed they were struck. He took that study a step further and attempted to assign a "mintage figure" for each variety and correlate those figures with original delivery dates, presenting the actual dates for the mintage of each variety. His study seemed logical. However, the limited sample of surviving early cents, especially those of 1793, is insufficient for a statistical study. While an emission sequence is plausible on its own, any further correlation is impossible, in this cataloger's opinion.
    All five die pairs are linked to the others. The first obverse die was used for S-1 and S-2, and the second reverse die was used for S-2, S-3, S-4, and NC-1. Obverse die 1 is found perfect, with a small bulge through the date, and with clash marks, all on the S-1 Chain AMERI. variety. The same die was lapped (resurfaced), with the bulge still visible but no clash marks, and later with clash marks, for its use on S-2. The evidence clearly shows that S-1 came first and S-2 second. The second reverse die is found without or with clash marks. Varieties S-2 and NC-1 are found without clash marks, S-3 is found without or with clash marks, and S-4 is found with the reverse die repolished. The evidence suggests the order of S-2, NC-1, S-3, and S-4. The extremely rare NC-1 may have come before or after S-2 but is placed second since S-2 shares the obverse die with S-1.
    Although the Chain cents provide an easy illustration of an emission sequence, the 1793 Wreath and Liberty Cap cents, along with most later dates, are more complicated. Perhaps the most complicated aspect, one that is seldom considered, is the possibility that more than one coin press was used for production of a single issue. If all 1793 Chain cents, for example, were struck on a single press, as they probably were, the emission sequence is readily apparent. However, suppose that one press was used to coin S-1 (Dies 1-A) and a second press was used to coin NC-1 (Dies 2-B) and then S-3 (Dies 3-B), all at the same time. Then the first press was taken out of service and that obverse die was put into use in the second press, creating S-2 (Dies 1-B), followed by more S-3 coins and eventually the S-4 (Dies 4-B) coins. If a second press was used, the emission sequence will be impossible to determine with accuracy, and any correlation with delivery figures is impossible.

    The Loring 1793 S-3 Cent
    Breen Die State III, with heavy obverse clash marks. The reverse field is wavy, especially below UNITED, a result of die resurfacing or, as Breen writes, "grinding away the clash marks." Choice surfaces exhibit chocolate-brown interspersed with light tan that offers traces of frosty luster. Some apparent field roughness is exclusively a result of the late die state, with a small patch of magenta on the reverse. A tiny reverse rim bruise at 2 o'clock is the only blemish. Our description is virtually identical to the Stack's description in 1988:

    "Light brown and olive toning, with hints of original color in and around the devices on the reverse. A trifle softly struck at the centers, with a minuscule reverse rim nick. The obverse surfaces as nice and clean as anyone could expect on a large cent of this series. Apparently tied for 6th finest known of this popular variety."


    This lovely cent was graded XF45 in the Halpern catalog, and that grade is equally appropriate today. Although the Loring specimen is not enumerated therein, the Bland census of the finest known examples includes five coins that grade MS63 down to AU50 and five others graded XF45, all tied for sixth finest known.
    Ex: Herman Halpern (Stack's, 3/1988), lot 2; McCawley & Grellman (8/1995), lot 134; Denis W. Loring.
    From The Denis W. Loring Collection of 1793 Large Cents.(Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 223F, PCGS# 1341)

    Weight: 13.48 grams

    Metal: 100% Copper


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

    View all of [The Denis W. Loring Collection of 1793 Large Cents ]

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    Auction Dates
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