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    1793 S-2, B-2 Chain AMERICA Cent
    AU53, Pedigreed to the 1790s

    1793 1C Chain, AMERICA, S-2, B-2, High R.4, AU53 PCGS Secure. CAC. Ex: St. Oswald (1992)-Weinberg. There has been confusion regarding the Lord St. Oswald pedigree. Rowland Winn wasn't born until 1820, and the title Baron St. Oswald of Nostell wasn't created until 1885. David Tripp's well-researched article in the September 2015 Pogue catalog is worth reading and provides a likely candidate as the 18th century English collector who visited America for 10 months in 1794 and 1795. He was Sir William Strickland (1753-1834), the grandfather of the 1st Baron St. Oswald.

    In his Large Cent Encyclopedia, Walter Breen attempted to suggest the actual date when each of the Chain cent varieties were coined. He suggested that this variety was included in the delivery of March 1, 1793. His premise was to compare the rarity of each variety and the emission sequence, and relate that information to the original delivery dates for the Chain cents. There were eight deliveries from Chief Coiner Henry Voigt to Mint Treasurer Tristram Dalton, between March 1 and March 12. While the emission sequence is well established, Breen's accounting depended on exact rarities for each variety. A slight variance in the individual rarities could make a large difference in the actual accounting. His accounting also assumed that a single coining press was used for all of the Chain cents, a reasonable assumption for those coins, but not necessarily the case for the Wreath and Liberty Cap cents, rendering a similar accounting impossible. Based on the delivery information, the best we can suggest today is that each of the Chain cent varieties were coined during the first two weeks in March 1793.

    Alan Weinberg's commentary:
    What is remarkable about this S-2 Chain cent is the amount of wear but extraordinarily clean surfaces this cent sustained in only two years of circulation. Out of the coins gathered in 1795 U.S. circulation, and formerly attributed to Sir Rowland Winn, the Lord St. Oswald, but separately consigned by a descendant of the 18th century collector for sale in a 1992 Christie's auction (far less known) instead of the original publicized 1964 London sale - there were plenty of 1794 large cents in the 1964 auction but no Chain cent at all, reflecting the difficulty of finding a nice 1793 Chain cent in circulation in 1795. The obscure 1992 auction also contained a superb part red 1794 half cent, a coin not represented in the 1964 auction.

    The Weinberg Specimen.
    While lightly worn, the surfaces of this beauty are amazing. A lovely olive-brown cent with splashes of golden color on both sides. Although he assigns a conservative grade of VF35, Bill Noyes calls this example a Choice Chain cent, and we concur. A glass reveals trivial circulation marks acquired during its brief period of use, including a shallow mark below the first S in STATES, but otherwise, there are no grading issues visible, even with strong magnification. The existing detail is a match for the XF40 image in the EAC grading guide. Our EAC grade XF40.
    Ex: Christie's (2/1992), lot 281.
    From The Alan V. Weinberg Collection, Part I. (NGC ID# 223F, Variety PCGS# 35435, Base 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 Alan V. Weinberg Collection, Part I ]

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