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An Historical Choice EF 1793 Wreath Cent with a Sky-High Tale to Tell Carried Aboard Gemini VII for 206 Orbits of the Earth in 1965

Alongside our remarkable offering of Part I of the D. Brent Pogue Collection in New York City on May 19, 2015, there will be another sale of remarkable numismatic items. This “piggy-back” sale will contain numerous rare and important coins, all chosen to bask in the excitement surrounding the Pogue Collection sale. Among the offerings will be a truly unique 1793 Wreath cent of the Sheldon-9 variety. What sets this particular coin apart from the hundreds of other 1793 Wreath cents known? The coin in question logged over 200 orbits around Mother Earth onboard the Gemini VII Mission in late December 1965! The coin was secreted aboard the flight in an in-flight medical kit by Dr. Howard A. Minners who placed the coin there for a friend and collector, William Ulrich. The astronauts aboard the flight were Command Pilot Frank Borman and Pilot James A. Lovell. Both astronauts and Dr. Minners signed letters to the effect that the coin had been onboard and in orbit for the flight, and these historical documents accompany the lot. As noted by our cataloger: “It is rare that items we offer are of strong interest to numismatic and non-numismatic buyers alike, and rarer still when an item can truly be described as one-of-a-kind. This is undeniably such a piece, and is one of the most historically significant pieces of American numismatics that has come to market in recent years. Further, this is the first time it has been offered for sale at public auction, and it may well be the last.” Over the decades we have offered numerous items with an esoteric background – Gobrecht’s own Gobrecht dollar, for instance – but never before have we offered a coin that soared through the heavens in the early days of our space program. We wouldn’t be surprised if this piece “soared through the heavens” again when it crosses the auction block!

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