Some Choice Copper

The first coin for today is a 1793 Wreath Cent, Lettered Edge variety. As mentioned in the Red Book, the wreath reverse was instituted in response to heavy criticism of the chain design, in which critics associated the chain reverse with slavery. Although the wreath reverse featured a slight redesign of the obverse portrait of Liberty, critics still felt that representation was not correct and after only three months production of wreath cents was halted, and the Liberty Cap cent was introduced. The present example is a very well struck example with AU details according to PCGS. They note a code 97 for environmental damage, which is present in some micro-pitting of the fields, though it is far from distracting overall. The obverse is fairly well centered, though the dentils aren’t quite fully pronounced from 6:00 to 7:30. There is a gash to the right field, opposite Liberty’s chin, although the rest of the obverse is relatively free of marks. The reverse displays a bit more micro-pitting than the obverse and the dentils are weak and ill-defined from 9:30 to 2:30. The only major mark on the reverse is a small gouge at 6:00 starting at the dentils and going nearly until the 1 in 100. Overall it’s a very pleasing example for its type.

Today’s second coin is an 1839 Silly Head cent. The Silly Head variety is named for the small curl of hair at the front of Liberty’s brow at the base of her coronet. The present example is graded MS-66BN by PCGS and is CAC approved, though this coin is nearly deserving of a Red Brown designation. The obverse is perhaps 40% or more red, and displays beautiful original cartwheels. The star at 1:00 on the obverse has a discoloration spot that’s not overly distracting, nor deep into the surface of the coin; another spot is noted at the 3:00 star. On the reverse perhaps 25% mint luster remains, and the only mark noted is small mark on the left side of the O in OF. The surfaces look very original and although a bit more splotchy color-wise (though not black spots, simply darker copper coloring), very pleasing. A carbon spot is noted at the top of the C in CENT, and there are a few other carbon flecks scattered on the reverse.

Our final coin is a 1955 Doubled Die Obverse Lincoln cent graded MS-64RD by PCGS. Most 1955 Doubled Dies are found in brown or red-brown condition and original red pieces are few and far between. Although this piece is not the finest graded piece in our sale (note an NGC MS-66RB), it is the only red example offered. Among the original red pieces left, it is truly rare to find as lustrous a piece as this one. We note some deep contact marks on Lincoln’s profile and some discoloration on the obverse fields. The reverse is relatively free of distracting marks though some dots of discoloration are present, the largest of which is at 5:30.

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