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    Important 1793 S-8 Wreath Cent, MS64 Brown

    1793 1C Wreath Cent, Vine and Bars MS64 Brown PCGS. S-8, R.3. Die State II. The obverse has a faint bulge in the upper right field, a tiny die crack from the tip of the bust that developed with a different reverse for S-9, and clash marks that are probably also left over from its previous marriage. A web of fine die cracks appears on Liberty's face. The digits 93 are poorly formed as a result of die crumbling. The reverse has a diagonal bisecting crack from the first T in STATES through the center dot, to the final A in AMERICA. The crack has formed along a bulge that developed early in the life of this reverse.
    The Wreath cents are known with a Vine and Bars edge design, like the earlier Chain cents, and also with a Lettered edge, like the later Liberty Cap cents. All eight die varieties of the Vine and Bars edge coins are interlinked in a combination of five obverse dies and four reverse dies. Of course, the rare Strawberry leaf cents, which also have a Vine and Bars edge, are not linked to any of the other Wreath cents. Careful study of die states has shown that the Vine and Bars edge Wreath cents were issued in the following order: S-5, S-6, S-7, NC-5, S-10, NC-4, S-9, and S-8. Breen believed that the S-8 Wreath cents were part of the delivery of 8,000 coins struck on April 27-28, and delivered on April 28. He also wrote that the reverse die was similar to reverse B of the 1793 half cents, possibly made about the same time. The problem with the timing is that the half cent dies were finished about July 15, after all Wreath cents had been coined.
    After the Chain cents were discontinued in March 1793 due to public criticism of the "Liberty in chains" design, new dies were created for the Wreath cents. The new design was introduced with the cent deliveries of April and July 1793. The first Wreath cents were delivered on April 9, with about 53,000 pieces coined during the month. The final 12,000 coins were delivered in July 1793. R.W. Julian writes about the Wreath cent: "The new obverse and reverse dies, which were put into service early in April, were a dramatic improvement over the chain-cent dies. The head of Liberty is much better, although the hair is still too high in relief and not well modeled. The reverse now has a wreath, with numerous tiny berries; it has been described as somewhat cluttered, which is true, but still the improvement was as dramatic as the obverse."
    The actual engraver of the Wreath cent dies remains unidentified. Various individuals have been named as candidates over many years. They include: Adam Eckfeldt, Henry Voigt, Robert Birch, Joseph Wright, and Robert Scot. In April, when the dies were being prepared, neither Joseph Wright nor Robert Scot had been hired. Adam Eckfeldt was not a trained artist, rather he was a mechanic and blacksmith. Robert Birch and Henry Voigt most likely worked together on the Wreath cent dies.
    Graded XF45 by Bill Noyes and AU55 by Del Bland, we feel that AU50 is the appropriate EAC based grade. The sharpness is easily that of AU55, with a slight discount for minor reverse rim disturbances over NI of UNITED and ME of AMERICA. Impressive surfaces have considerable luster with light golden-brown on the obverse and darker chocolate-brown on the reverse. EAC 50.
    From the Joshua Collection.(Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 223J, PCGS# 1347)

    Weight: 13.48 grams

    Metal: 100% Copper


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

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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    Jul-Aug, 2008
    30th-3rd Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 19
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