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January 16, 2015

COIN OF THE WEEK

1793 Chain AMERICA 1C NGC AU55 BN
Click on Coin Image to enlarge


1793 Chain AMERICA 1C NGC AU55 BN - $114,500.

AMERICA VARIETY. S-3. WELL STRUCK. This is a more than pleasing, midrange, circulated example of the classic 1793 Flowing Hair, Chain “America” cent. This 1793 Chain AMERICA 1C NGC AU55 BN is appealing to those assembling a set of all major design types. It also needs to be considered by anyone interested collecting Large cents by date or type. It most certainly appeals to collectors of early copper in general.

This coin is among the first struck at the first Mint in Philadelphia. The Chain cent has been prized as long as people have been collecting American coinage. This one is an important survivor as an example of the spelled-out AMERICA reverse subtype. It is identified as Sheldon 3 by the irregular letters of LIBERTY in both size and position. The R is too large and too high, and it leans to the right. The date is nearer the point of the bust than the hair. The S-2 and the S-4, the other AMERICA reverse coins are struck from the same reverse but different obverse dies.

Please contact me by email or telephone 1-800-624-1870 to reserve this great coin.

Henry Voigt designed the Flowing Hair, Chain cent. The AMERICA subtype is actually a correction of the first cent that has AMERI. because of a spacing error. The obverse shows a profile of Liberty looking to the right. Her hair is untied, and she wears no cap, hence the designation Flowing Hair. LIBERTY is above the portrait and the date is below. Contemporary critics said that Miss Liberty appeared to be “in a fright.” The reverse shows a fifteen-link chain motif, intended to represent the unity of the Union, with each link representing a state at the time. The chain design was criticized as being a “bad omen for liberty.” Within the chain is the denomination ONE CENT on two lines with the fraction 1/100 below, which causes us to remember that the public still had to be reminded that a cent was part of the decimal system rather than pounds, shillings and pence. The legend UNITED STATES OF AMERICA is at the periphery. The rims are raised on both sides, and there are no beads or dentils. The edge is designed with a Vine-and-Bars pattern.

Henry Voigt was the first Chief Coiner for the Mint. His permanent commission was signed by President Washington on January 29, 1793, and he remained in his position until his death in 1814. Voigt was born in Pennsylvania in 1738. During the Seven Years War of 1756 to 1763, his family moved to Saxony Germany, their homeland. When the war was over, he took a position at the Royal Mint of Saxony where he learned how to use all of the machinery and how to make every part himself. He even made improvements to the minting machinery during his time there. He was an ideal candidate to work at the first United States Mint. When he returned to America, he worked as a clockmaker in Philadelphia and became an assistant to David Rittenhouse, a well known watch and clock maker.

In 1771 he assisted Rittenhouse in the construction of an orrery, a mechanical device that illustrates the relative positions and motions of the planets and moons in the Solar System. The first orrery was made in 1704 and presented to the Earl of Orrery, from whom the device received its name. They are usually driven by a clock work mechanism. When the Revolutionary War broke out, Voigt helped manufacturer gears, guns, and gunlocks for the Continental Army. In 1780 he manufactured wire in Reading, Pennsylvania, and, with his brother Sebastian, once again became a clockmaker.

In 1787 he developed a steam engine to power a boat, and he and his brother manufactured steam engines. Both applied for work at the new Mint. Voigt gained the position probably because of his previous association with David Rittenhouse. He became Chief Coiner and Superintendent, the second person in charge. He oversaw the construction of the buildings and the installation of the equipment. In addition to contemporary criticism of the cent, as noted above, the Chain cent is recognized as a work done by an amateur. Vermeule notes that the men who designed America’s first coins were from backgrounds, “… as diverse as those of the Revolutionary patriots themselves.” It was not until the arrival of Barber and Morgan that the Mint was fully staffed by trained die engravers.

In his book The U.S. Mint and Coinage, Don Taxay notes that, “Elias Boudinot remarked that the chief coiner [Voigt] had been forced to make the Mint’s dies until a permanent engraver could be hired.” He goes on to say, “The 1793 chain cent is an exceedingly crude piece of work.” The realization of this truth probably led Voigt to assign Adam Eckfeldt to cut the new Wreath cent dies for the coins that were issued in April 1793.


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NEW COINS ADDED - (The week of 1/16/2015)

1794 LIBERTY CAP 1C PCGS VF35 BN. S-31. HEAD OF 1794

1860 Indian 1C PCGS MS66. GEM COPPER-NICKEL CENT

1855 Large 1C NGC MS65 RD. UPRIGHT 55

1847 Large 1C NGC MS67 BN. Braided Hair. GEM!

1839 Large 1C NGC MS65 RD. BOOBY HEAD

1813 Classic 1C NGC MS64BN. GEM CHOCOLATE BROWN

1859 Liberty Seated Silver $1 PCGS PR66. GEM PROOF

1904 Morgan Silver $1 NGC MS65

1900-S Morgan Silver $1 NGC MS65 DPL. GEM WHITE

1899-S Morgan Silver $1 NGC MS65. GEM WHITE

1897 Morgan Silver $1 NGC PR68 CAMEO. GEM WHITE CAMEO

1882-S Morgan Silver $1 NGC MS65 DPL. GEM WHITE

1890-O Morgan Silver $1 PCGS MS65 DMPL

1878 Morgan Silver $1 7TF Reverse of 1879 NGC MS66

1922-D Peace Silver $1 NGC MS67. GEM SATIN WHITE

1840 Liberty Seated Silver $1 NGC PR65. VIRGIL BRAND PEDIGREE. 50 STRUCK.TIED FOR HIGHEST GRADED

1872 Liberty Seated Silver $1 PCGS MS64. SATIN WHITE

1879 Trade $1 PCGS PR65

1876 Trade $1 NGC MS66. GEM MINT STATE. TIED FOR HIGHEST GRADED AT NGC

1795 Draped Bust Silver $1 PCGS AU50. OFF-CENTER. NICE LUSTER. B-14, BB-51

 

Very Truly Yours,

Tom Pilitowski
www.usrarecoininvestments.com
Toll Free:
1-800-624-1870
Email: TomPilitowski@yahoo.com


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