1793 S-11c, B-16c Lettered Edge Wreath Cent, AU53
    Tied for Sixth Finest Known

    1793 1C Wreath, Lettered Edge, AU53 PCGS. CAC. S-11c, B-16c, Low R.3. Our EAC Grade XF45. Obverse Leaves Lean Right / Fraction Right of Center. Lettered Edge, two leaves. All three leaves of the obverse sprig lean to the right, the leftmost leaf nearly vertical. The fraction favors the right ribbon end. The edge is lettered with a single leaf following DOLLAR.

    1793 Cent Coinage -- Minting
    The climax of early coinage production was the actual minting of coins on the screw press or presses, a manual operation at the first Mint with two dies placed in the press, one in the lower or stationary position and the other attached to the screw. The stationary die is called the "anvil" die and the movable die is called the "hammer" die, following even older technology when one die was literally affixed to an anvil and the other die was hand-held and struck with a hammer.
    The screw press was a substantial device with a large screw operated by swinging a lever to lower the hammer die until it struck a planchet resting on the anvil die. In The Art and Craft of COINMAKING, A History of Minting Technology, Denis R. Cooper explains:

    "A screw press is a machine for multiplying a manual effort by the use of a lever attached to a screw. ... The screw turned in a nut held in the top part of a rigid frame. ... For coining, the press was used to produce a blow by swinging the lever arm to run the screw down the thread until it impacted at speed with a pair of dies. These were held in the base of the frame and the coin blank was placed between them. The lever arm was pivoted centrally, with weights at both ends, and these intensified the force of the blow. The necessary energy to provide the momentum to the weights came from the efforts of a team of operators. The frame had to be substantial as it had to withstand the high torque, or twist, transmitted from the lever to the base of the frame, and the press required a heavy foundation to prevent the suddenly arrested lever arm from turning the whole machine."

    We know that the team of operators at the Philadelphia Mint consisted of three individuals. In his February 8, 1794 report to the Senate, Mint Director David Rittenhouse itemized the steps necessary to convert 1,000 pounds of sheet copper into actual coins. The quantity was sufficient to produce 20,200 large cents, yielding 400 pounds of leftover clippings to be recast. He reported that two and one-half days were required for three hands to strike those 20,200 planchets. His report also gave the associated cost, in the case of striking, $7.50, meaning that the workmen earned one dollar per day.

    The Loring 1793 S-11c Cent
    Breen Die State II, with light clash marks in the hair curls, in front of the neck, and below the neck. This piece is tied with a half-dozen similar coins for sixth finest known in the Bland census. In the September 1985 Bowers and Merena catalog, they wrote:

    "Glossy, lustrous brown surfaces. Diagonal planchet defect extending from the reverse border toward the A of STATES. In addition, a magnifying glass reveals some truly microscopic pin scratches on the reverse--but these are so lightly impressed that most casual observers would not notice them, and we even feel a bit 'guilty' about describing them--but they are there, so we have no alternative. The coin is truly gorgeous. Held at a certain angle to the light, the obverse displays a prooflike surface. The striking is exquisite, with the central details sharp in all respects."

    Each side of the impressive Loring specimen has a single planchet flaw, in both cases as minted. The obverse flaw is along the lower leaf above the date, and the reverse flaw extends inward from the border at 10:30. Neither flaw has any effect on the grade. The surfaces are glossy and lustrous with intermingled chestnut and steel-brown. The obverse color is slightly lighter than the reverse color. We are unable to improve upon the 1985 Bowers description, as the coin looks exactly the same today.
    Ex: Rare Coin Review #24 (Bowers and Ruddy Galleries, Autumn 1975); American Auction Association (12/1975), lot 270; Rare Coin Review #26 (Bowers and Ruddy Galleries, Summer 1976); Andrew P. Lustig; Bowers and Merena (9/1985), lot 14; Kagin's (1/1986), lot 4100; Andrew P. Lustig; Midwest collector; Jay Woodside (The Scotsman); Harold "Red" Seiler; Jay Woodside (The Scotsman, 9/30/1993); Thomas D. Reynolds (2/1997); John B. MacDonald; Denis W. Loring.
    From The Denis W. Loring Collection of 1793 Large Cents.(Registry values: P4) (NGC ID# 223J, PCGS# 1350)

    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
    January, 2012
    3rd-8th Tuesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 7
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    Rasmussen Special Edition Catalog
    This hard bound volume contains the magnificent Wes Rasmussen Large Cent Collection, formed by a former President of the Early American Coppers society which was auctioned at the 2005 Florida United Numismatic Auction. Reserve your copy of this remarkable volume for just $75 today.
    Rasmussen Signed Limited Edition Catalog
    A hard bound limited library edition of the Wes Rasmussen Collection Catalog, signed by Wes Rasmussen, Mark Borckardt, Greg Rohan, and Denis Loring, is available while supplies last. Only 100 produced. Reserve your copy of this remarkable limited edition signed volume for just $150 today.
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