Insights

$5,785 price for 1793 Wreath cent graded Very Fine 25 by PCGS at Summer FUN auction

Portion of Market Analysis column from Aug. 11, 2014, issue of Coin World
By , Coin World
Published : 07/29/14
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The following post is pulled from Coin World editor Steve Roach’s Market Analysis column in the Aug. 11 issue.

Scotsman’s Midwest Summer Sale, held July 18, 2014, in St. Louis, brought $1,124,107. Among the lots offered were several 1793 Flowing Hair, Wreath cents. It is a scarce one-year large cent type that is in demand from both early copper aficionados and type collectors.

When buying this type of early copper, a buyer has to often balance a variety of issues inherent in a hand-produced copper coin more than two centuries old.

Here is one of three from recent auctions that showcase the varied market for this tough issue below $10,000:

The coin: 1793 Wreath cent, Very Fine 25 Details, Corroded

The price: $5,875

The story: Heritage offered four 1793 Flowing Hair, Wreath cents at its July 10 Summer Florida United Numismatists auction ranging from one graded PCGS Very Fine Details, Tooled, that sold for $2,552.10, to one graded PCGS VF-20 that brought $9,400. A third, graded PCGS Very Fine Details, Environmental Damage, sold for $5,287.50. 

An ANACS VF-25 Details, Corroded example of the Sheldon 11b Lettered Edge variety sold for $5,875.  

From the image it seemed to be highly attractive, despite the uneven surfaces that showed the effects of corrosion (sometimes described as Environmental Damage by grading firms). Heritage wrote: “The obverse is boldly detailed overall, while the reverse exhibits the typical softness around the periphery” and that the coin has “still-pleasing visual appeal.”

Corrosion can be tricky to evaluate on a coin. Sometimes it can be light, but other times it is heavy and can severely impact the eye appeal. In this case, the light devices contrasted pleasantly with darker devices, although a touch of green verdigris is found on the reverse. It brought a price consistent with what a standard problem-free Fine example might bring, and more than many comparably graded Very Fine, Corroded, examples have sold for recently. 

Read the rest of Steve Roach's Aug. 11 Market Analysis:

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