1793 Lettered Edge Wreath Cent, AU55+
1793 1C Wreath, Lettered Edge, AU55+ PCGS. CAC. S-11b, B-16b,
R.4. Our EAC Grade XF45. Ex: Garrett. 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 two leaves following DOLLAR.
Ex: Garrett; Third Finest S-11b, B-16b
The Third Public Offering Since 1884
1793 Cent Coinage -- Milling
The milling or edging process was accomplished on a machine that is called the Castaing machine, an invention of the French engineer Jean Castaing, for use at the French mints. All early coins, including copper, silver, and gold, had an edge device, usually lettering or reeding, with the intention of preventing coin clipping, an activity of individuals who removed tiny amounts of metal from each coin they handled, eventually accumulating a large amount of ill-gotten material.
The first large cents have an edge known as "Vine and Bars" that appeared on all Chain cents and most Wreath cents. Near the end of Wreath cent production, the Mint switched to a lettered edge proclaiming ONE HUNDRED FOR A DOLLAR. On one Wreath cent variety, S-11b, the edge lettering included two leaves after DOLLAR. This was soon changed to a single leaf for S-11c, all of the 1793 Liberty Cap cents, all 1794 cents, and the earliest 1795 cents. With the December 1795 weight reduction, the new planchet thickness was insufficient to host any edge lettering.
The milling or edging process took place before the planchet was struck. The Castaing machine had two bars that contained the lettering. One of the bars was stationary, the other moved via a hand crank. The distance between the two bars was minutely smaller than the planchet diameter, resulting in a combination of edge lettering and a slightly raised rim.
The edging process occasionally led to errors including doubled or tripled lettering, omission of letters or words, and rarely the complete absence of an edge device. The blundered edge errors were a result of improper planchet feeding or improper positioning of the edge bars during the process. At one time it was believed that the edging errors were the result of the movable bar slipping, but that is not the case. Edge errors on all early coins were infrequent and are highly collectible today.
The Loring 1793 S-11b Cent
Breen Die State III with heavy clash marks. Nearly all of AMERICA is visible in the right obverse field. This piece is third finest known behind two marginally finer examples, and graded XF45 by Bland, Noyes, this cataloger, and Denis Loring.
In their catalog of the Garrett Collection, Stack's wrote:
"About Uncirculated-50. The coin displays some faded mint color and is an even chocolate brown. The surfaces are immaculate and the rims perfect, save for a minute edge nick under the fraction. The die clashing is prominent, clearly showing the wreath under the chin and 'AMERICA' before the face. Certainly superior to the Naftzger specimen sold by New Netherlands in 1973 which was billed as The Second Finest Known. This coin was obviously unknown to Dr. Sheldon when compiling 'Penny Whimsy.' It has a splendid pedigree having been sold in Bangs Sale (#37) of the Frossard Collection, lot 834, October 23, 1884."
Nicely centered with a sharp strike, the Loring specimen has splendid mahogany and olive-brown color on choice surfaces with hints of field reflectivity. This impressive census-level cent has nearly flawless surfaces. A minor splash of verdigris appears at the left ribbon end in the lower reverse field, and a tiny edge nick below the right ribbon end is hidden by the plastic tab on the PCGS holder.
Ex: Ed Frossard Collection (Ed Frossard, 10/1884), lot 834; T. Harrison Garrett; Robert Garrett (1919); John Work Garrett; Johns Hopkins University (Stack's, 3/1976), lot 18; Gary Sturtridge (The House of Stuart, Ltd.); Jan Bronson (Western Coin Exchange); Michael Kliman (Numismatic Enterprises); Kenneth M. Goldman; George Szykier; Kenneth M. Goldman; Martin Haber (8/1990); Dr. Robert J. Shalowitz (8/1990); Denis W. Loring (5/1991); 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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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.
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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