US Coins

Market Analysis: ‘Soothing shades of brown’ captivate large cent collector

Collector John Pijewski’s Westwood Collection of Middle Date Coronet cents anchored Ira and Larry Goldberg’s Sept. 1 to 4 Pre-Long Beach Auction. The collector wrote in the catalog forward why he was attracted to large cents in part, saying, “They came in many beautiful soothing shades of brown: russet, mahogany, walnut, caramel, chestnut, coffee, chocolate (to name only a few).” 

Large cents dated 1816 to 1839 are called “Middle Date” large cents. John D. Wright, author of The CENT Book 1816–1839, thinks these large cents offer “more bang-for-the-buck than the ones either before (too many bucks) or after (not enough bang).”

The Newcomb 1 1839/6 Coronet cent has a strong 9 over 6 overdate that remains visible on even low grade coins. The Westwood collection offered one that had a bold date and was graded Very Good 8 by the auctioneer, but housed in a Fine 12 PCI Coin Grading slab. The cataloger added, “Rather glossy steel brown and chocolate with lighter brown in protected areas on the reverse. The surfaces are smooth and there are no significant marks.” The overdate cent, listed in the “Red Book,” brought $504.  

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