1793 S-5, B-6 Wreath Cent, MS65 Brown
    Second Finest Large LIBERTY Cent
    Crosby Plate Coin
    Prooflike Surfaces

    1793 1C Wreath, Vine and Bars MS65 Brown PCGS. S-5, B-6, R.4. Plated in Sylvester S. Crosby's The United States Coinage of 1793. Breen Die State I. Struck before the border beads at the upper right obverse began to crumble. The reverse has a thin die crack through the tops of TE in UNITED. A few tiny die lines or "splinters" are evident on each side, especially at the base of EN in CENT. A tiny die bulge is visible between IT of UNITED, and delicate clash marks are evident below OF. Most of those die defects disappear with only slight wear, but they are prominently visible on this remarkable prooflike cent. Both Sheldon and Breen listed this variety first in the lineup of Wreath cent varieties, suggesting that it was the first Wreath cent variety minted after that design was introduced in April 1793. If it was first, then this early die state represents the first-of-the-first, one of the earliest strikes of the design. The mirrored surfaces support that theory.

    In his Encyclopedia of United States and Colonial Proof Coins, Walter Breen mentioned this exact coin with the comment: "Three or more are known which can qualify as presentation pieces." Breen was always looking for reasons to justify calling certain early coins presentation pieces. For the S-5 Wreath cents, he wrote: "A very few struck on burnished blanks carefully centered in the press, possibly given two blows apiece, early in 1793. Occasion: achievement of a reasonably satisfactory new design for the cent, after so much scurrilous newspaper criticism had been made of Henry Voigt's rather primitive Chain design."

    Del Bland grades this piece MS61, and places it second in his condition census, tied with the Charles Dupont specimen that he also grades MS61. Bill Noyes grades this example MS65, and finer than the Dupont coin. Our own view falls in the middle, and we agree with Bob Grellman's MS63 grade that was presented in the Holmes catalog. Only five Mint State examples of this variety are recorded in the Bland and Noyes census records.

    Splendid medium olive surfaces show faint traces of delicate blue toning in the protected areas, with additional iridescence adding to the eye appeal. Both sides are prooflike, with mirrored fields and reflective devices. A delicate line of lamination crosses the right obverse field from the border to the tip of Liberty's nose. That feature has the appearance of a die crack, but is unobserved on any later die state example. Our EAC grade MS63.
    Ex: W.F. Johnson (6/1892); Dr. Thomas Hall; W.S. Sisson (Henry Chapman, 4/1916), lot 988; Wayte Raymond (The United States Coin Co.); Henry C. Hines (1945); Dr. William H. Sheldon (4/1972); R.E. Naftzger, Jr. (New Netherlands Coin Co., 11/1973), lot 326; Stack's; later Stack's (10/1990), lot 1591; Anthony Terranova; Stack's; Larry Stack (Stack's/American Numismatic Rarities, 6/2004), lot 4028; Stack's; Chris McCawley (7/8/2004); Daniel W. Holmes, Jr. (Goldberg Coins, 9/2009), lot 9.
    From The Jim O'Neal Collection of U.S. Type, Part One.(Registry values: N10218) (NGC ID# 223J, PCGS# 1347)

    Weight: 13.48 grams

    Metal: 100% Copper

    View all of [The Jim O'Neal Collection of U.S. Type, Part One ]

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    Auction Dates
    April, 2014
    23rd-27th Wednesday-Sunday
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