The famous 1792 Silver Center Cent, an example of the first coin to be struck inside the Philadelphia Mint building, led all lots in Platinum Night results from the CSNS US Coin Signature Auction on Thursday, April 19. This coin realized $1,150,000, highlighting a Platinum Night that brought consignors over $12 Million. Overall, the Central States US Coin Auction realized over $25 million, with an additional $3.9 million raised in the Currency Signature Auction, also held at CSNS.
The Silver Center Cent, at MS61 the third finest known, was an early attempt to manufacture a one cent piece in a manageable size that still contained roughly its value in metal. A small plug, believed to be pure silver and worth 3/4 of a cent at the time, was inserted into the center of a copper planchet, making a very early version of a bimetallic coin. It wasn't until 1857 when the US Cent would be permanently minted in a small size.
This auction was rich in proof gold, particularly double eagles. A 1885 double eagle, graded PR67 Cameo by NGC, exemplified the high demand for these large, beautiful coins when it sold for $241,500. Beyond its obvious eye appeal, this coin's popularity is assured by a minuscule circulation strike mintage of 751, which increases the demand for proof issues like this piece. Another extremely low mintage coin, the proof-only 1863 quarter eagle, brought $195,500. With only thirty examples minted and about half of that total believed to be melted, this Proof-66 Ultra Cameo example is an outstanding example of this classic rarity.