1793 S-8, B-13 Vine and Bars Wreath Cent, AU55+
    Tied for 10th Finest Known

    1793 1C Wreath, Vine and Bars, AU55+ PCGS. CAC. S-8, B-13, R.3. Our EAC Grade AU50. Horizontal Stem / Triangular Bow. The Horizontal Stem is seen only on one obverse die that was used for S-8, S-9, and NC-4. The reverse die with its triangular-shaped ribbon bow appears only on S-8. The reverse has a diagonal die bulge inside the wreath that is seen to some extent on all known examples, becoming stronger in late die states.

    1793 Cent Coinage -- Copper
    The Mint Act of April 1792 established a Mint at Philadelphia, intended to solve the coinage needs of the young nation. There was a great amount of work to be done in a short period of time once Congress approved the legislation. David Rittenhouse was appointed director of the Mint, accepting the position with reservations, but soon proved to be an exceptional choice. Even before he officially accepted the appointment, Rittenhouse acquired property on behalf of the government and went about the work of readying a new Mint building.
    The initial legislation authorized a weight of 264 grains for the large cent and 132 grains for the half cent. However, Rittenhouse soon realized that increased copper prices meant producing copper coins at a loss; he approached Thomas Jefferson who appealed to Congress for a reduced standard. In January 1793, Congress approved a new weight standard of 208 grains for the large cent and 104 grains for the half cent. The weight was further reduced nearly three years later in December 1795. Even after the early-1793 weight reduction, the actual weight of the copper coins was near enough to the copper value that there were few attempts at counterfeiting.
    A major hurdle developed near the end of 1792 and continuing into early 1793. A supply of copper for the new coinage was nearly nonexistent. Unlike gold and silver that was deposited by individuals for coinage, the Mint purchased copper for its own account with any profit or loss benefiting the Mint. Finding a supply of copper for coinage, and later for assaying with gold and silver, posed challenges. In his essay on production of the large cents, "How the Early Cents Were Made," appearing in Walter Breen's Encyclopedia of Early United States Cents, Craig Sholley writes:

    "One of the most vexing problems for the Mint in producing the early copper coinage was obtaining a sufficient supply of the metal itself. There were no major producers in the United States at the time, thus, initially the Mint had to settle for whatever was locally available, usually scrap, but also at times crude ingots or sheet."

    Working with Rittenhouse, Henry Voigt supplied more than 6,000 pounds of scrap copper in the final quarter of 1792. That copper came from two major suppliers and several smaller sources. Merely obtaining the copper was insufficient. The material then had to be prepared for coinage. That meant melting and refining scrap copper, forming ingots that required rolling into planchet strip of the proper thickness. If sheet copper was purchased, it still had to be rolled into strip. Converting the copper sheets and scrap to planchets was the next step in coinage.

    The Loring 1793 S-8 Cent
    Breen Die State III, the latest state recorded in that reference. This piece has a prominent bisecting reverse die crack from the first T in STATES to the final A in AMERICA. A visual treat with Choice surfaces, this Wreath cent exhibits light chocolate with slightly deeper brown on the high points. A sharp and well-centered strike is evident with full border beads on each side. The surfaces show only a few inconsequential marks. Satiny fields are slightly reflective and lustrous with only traces of high-point wear. A small planchet flaw at the top center of the ribbon bow will allow collectors to track the provenance.
    Ex: Early American Coppers Convention (1991); Thomas Reynolds, Denis W. Loring, Anthony J. Terranova (2003); Denis W. Loring.
    From The Denis W. Loring Collection of 1793 Large Cents.(Registry values: N4719) (NGC ID# 223J, PCGS# 1347)

    Weight: 13.48 grams

    Metal: 100% Copper

    View all of [The Denis W. Loring Collection of 1793 Large Cents ]

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    Auction Dates
    January, 2012
    3rd-8th Tuesday-Sunday
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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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