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    Description

    1793 S-4, B-5 Chain Cent, AU53
    Periods Obverse

    1793 1C Chain, AMERICA, Periods, S-4, B-5, R.3, AU53 NGC. Breen Die State I. This is the earliest example we have seen, and has no evidence of the die crack from the rim to hair curls. Breen comments: "Claimed to exist from perfect dies, but I have seen none." Today, a few examples are known from perfect dies.

    This important Chain coin has minimal wear, limited to the high points of the chain links and the hair behind Liberty's ear. The walnut-brown surfaces lack spots, abrasions, or planchet deficiencies. A tiny edge bump at 3:30 is the best identifier that can be found to track any future auction appearances. Chain cents are the initial type struck by the fledgling U.S. Mint, and high-grade examples are greatly outnumbered by those seeking quality examples.

    Sheldon-4 is the sole die marriage with periods after LIBERTY and the date. The reason for this may have been a different engraver than the initial Chain cent varieties. Liberty has a smaller nose, more luxuriant hair, and a youthful appearance. In his posthumous early cent Encyclopedia published in 2000, Walter Breen hypothesizes that "perhaps this was a sample die by Joseph Wright leading to the engravership." Breen notes that the Judd-12 1792 quarter engraved by Wright has a period after LIBERTY. He then backtracks, adding "if Wright did this, why is there no record of his part-time employment before appointment as engraver?"

    The Periods variety is an important subtype of the Chain design. The Mervis specimen is tied for the sixth finest Periods Chain cent in our Permanent Auction Archives, tracking Heritage auction records since 1993. Our EAC grade VF35.
    Ex: Chicago Platinum Night Sale (8/2011), lot 7012; Adam Mervis Collection (Heritage, 1/2014), lot 2404..
    From The Joseph D. Osborne Collection. (NGC ID# 223F, Variety PCGS# 35444, Base PCGS# 91341)


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

    View all of [The Joseph D. Osborne Collection ]

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2020
    8th-12th Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 27
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 600

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