U.S. coins in Heritage Auctions' Sept. 4 to 6 sale in Long Beach realize $13,434,401

1792 Silver Center cent pattern tops lots at $705,000
By , Coin World
Published : 09/15/14
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A 1792 Silver Center cent once part of the famed Norweb Collection realized $705,000 during Heritage Auctions' Sept. 4 to 6 sale of United States coins held in conjunction with the Long Beach Coin, Currency, Stamp & Sports Collectible Show in California.

The $13,434,401 realized from the 4,364 coins offered includes the 17.5 percent buyer’s fee added to the final closing hammer price of each lot won.

The 1792 Silver Center cent, Judd 1 as cataloged in United States Pattern Coins by J. Hewitt Judd, edited by Q. David Bowers, is graded Mint State 61+ brown by Numismatic Guaranty Corp.

While some other U.S. patterns were struck earlier in off-site facilities, the Silver Center cent is considered to be the first coin series struck within the confines of the newly established U.S. Mint in 1792. The cent pattern derives its name from its method of manufacture.

To create a less bulky coin yet one with intrinsic metal value of one cent, copper planchets were fashioned with a hole in the center, into which a silver plug was inserted. The conjoined planchet was then placed between coinage dies and struck. Had the concept been adopted, cent coins would have been smaller than the first pure copper cents were when actually struck for circulation in 1793.

The 1792 Silver Center cent realizing $705,000 was last offered by Heritage in its April 2013 Central States sale, where it realized $822,000.

Among other highlights from the Sept. 4 to 6 Long Beach auction sessions were a 1796 Draped Bust, Small Eagle quarter dollar, graded MS-65 by Professional Coin Grading Service, which realized $411,250, and an 1877 Small Head half union $50 pattern in copper gilt, Judd 1549a, in PCGS Secure Proof 63, which realized $176,250.

1796 Draped Bust, Small Eagle quarter dollar

This quarter dollar is from a one-year type, with 6,146 coins reported to have been struck at the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia. The coin sold is the Browning 2 variety as cataloged in Early Quarter Dollars of the United States Mint 1796-1838 by Rory R. Rea, Glenn Peterson, Bradley S. Karoleff, and John J. Kovach Jr.

The 1796 quarter dollars feature the Draped Bust obverse modeled from the work of Gilbert Stuart, and the Small Eagle reverse that would soon be replaced with a Heraldic Eagle design.

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