US Coins

$1,057 Nova Constellatio from 1785 a good representative example

A collector looking for a quality example of the Nova Constellatio type would likely be pleased by this 1785 Pointed Rays, Large Date example in EF-45 that brought $1,057.50.

Images courtesy of Heritage Auctions

The following post is pulled from Coin World editor Steve Roach’s Market Analysis column in the Dec. 15 issue.

Nova Constellatio coppers are listed in A Guide Book of United States Coins under “Speculative Issues, Tokens, and Patterns.” These pieces are dated 1783 and 1785, do not clearly state a denomination on either side, and were struck in large quantities in Birmingham, England. They circulated widely in New York and are well-loved for their all-seeing eye on the obverse. The simple design has made it popular with generations of collectors including St. Louis’ Eric P. Newman.

Here is one of three Coin World is profiling that sold at Heritage’s Nov. 14 and 15 auction of selections from his collection.

The coin: 1785 Nova Constellatio Copper, EF-45

The price:  $1,057.50

The story: Newman was an expert in many areas, including Nova Constellatio coinage. His article “New Thoughts on the Nova Constellatio Private Copper Coinage” appeared in the 1995 Coinage of the American Confederation Period compilation, edited by Philip L. Mossman and published by the American Numismatic Society.

A collector seeking a representative example of this type would do well purchasing this example, graded Extremely Fine 45 and of a moderately scarce variant of the Pointed Rays, Large Date style. 

Heritage described it as “a charming chocolate-brown” representative with “minimally abraded and verdigris-free surfaces.” 

It sold for $1,057.50, just between the Extremely Fine and About Uncirculated price listed for the most common variant in the “Red Book.”

Read the rest of the "Newman's Novas" Market Analysis:

Counterfeit 1785 Nova Constellatio copper that sold for $7,050 a unique piece

‘Extraordinary’ 1783 Nova Constellatio copper graded MS-66 sells for $41,125

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