Second Finest 1792 Judd-10, Pollock-11 Copper Disme, PR62 Brown1792 P10C Disme, Judd-10, Pollock-11, High R.6, PR62 Brown NGC. Copper, Reeded Edge. The smooth fields exhibit slight reflectivity and few abrasions. A few tiny marks are evident only on Liberty's cheek, and they are hardly visible without magnification. A small patch of old corrosion is visible in the lower hair curls, over to the lower right border, and another dull reddish patch can be seen inside the border at about 10 o'clock. The reverse is similarly smooth with only a few tiny abrasions, even less severe than those on the obverse. Both sides have splendid olive-brown color, the obverse with lighter tan that is faded from original mint color, and the reverse with delightful lilac, also faded from original mint red. The strike is bold with virtually full details on each side. Both sides have full borders, the obverse slightly wider at the left.
Die State. There is no visible die deterioration on either side of this piece. As a trial piece with an extremely limited production, different die states are unexpected.
Condition Census. Probably the second finest known behind the Garrett Collection specimen, this piece is one of just two examples that NGC has certified as a proof or presentation piece.
Appearances. Plated in Walter Breen's Encyclopedia of U.S. and Colonial Proof Coins 1722-1989. It also appears to be the same piece illustrated in the second through seventh editions of Judd's pattern book. It is probably the piece that appeared in Abe Kosoff's 1962 Illustrated History price list, and is similar to lot 391 in the June 1909 Jewett Collection catalog.
Obverse Die. Liberty faces left with her hair in nine flowing locks. Her features are in bold and rounded relief. The date is below the bust with the serif of the 1 joined to the bottom bust line, and the remaining digits spaced progressively more distant. Starting below the 1, the legend reads clockwise LIBERTY PARENT OF SCIENCE AND INDUS. with the final S below the 2. A tiny center dot on the back of the head is positioned a short distance below the ear.
State. A short die line connects the bust tip to the left serif of the R in LIBERTY, possibly a tiny die crack but more likely a faint engraving scratch.
Reverse Die. An eagle with wings spread floats in the field, looking over the left wing to the viewer's right. Below is the denomination DISME and around is the statutory legend UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. The eagle's right wing tip joins the left serif of T in UNITED and the left wing tip just touches the base of E in AMERICA, below the upright.
State. No apparent deterioration.
Heritage Commentary. The copper dismes are known with both a plain edge and a reeded edge, but the order that the pieces were coined is unknown. Certified as a proof, primarily based on strike and surface quality. Unlike modern proof coins, the fields are satiny rather than highly mirrored. The reflective, satiny surfaces are entirely unlike those of surviving high-grade 1792 half dismes, the latter typically showing full mint frost. Walter Breen points out that this piece has many of the similar proof earmarks found on the Mint Cabinet piece, now in the Smithsonian Institution, implying that these two pieces are the only ones that should be called proofs.
Consignor Commentary. For a while I was interested in understanding how many of these existed. I reviewed many catalogs and looked at all that were available-buying several. There was a point where I owned six reeded edge copper dismes, ranging in grade from AG3 to this one. Stu [Stuart Levine] suggested I was trying to assemble a grading set. He was involved in the purchase or sale (often both) of all six pieces. I believe there are 20 to 25 extant, mostly in middle grades, some very low grade. Almost all saw some circulation. I believe there are about six in choice AU or better condition.
Provenance. Dr. J. Hewitt Judd Collection; later, Stuart Levine (3/26/2001).
From The Ed Price Collection.
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