US Coins

1992 Close AM cent sells for $24,056 on eBay

For the second time in less than a month, a 1992 Lincoln cent has brought more than $20,000 at public auction.

A Philadelphia Mint example of a 1992 Lincoln, Close AM cent sold for $24,056.53 in an auction on eBay closing July 30.

That auction closed less than three weeks after a similarly spectacular transaction for a 1992-D Lincoln, Close AM cent, struck at the Denver Mint. That piece sold for $20,700 in Heritage Auctions’ July 12 to 13 sale held during the Florida United Numismatists summer convention in Orlando.

Both coins were struck with a reverse design of a type adopted for circulation strikes in 1993, but used prematurely to strike small numbers of cents at the Denver and Philadelphia Mints in 1992, making the 1992 cents transitional designs.

The differences between the two designs are minute but recognizable under moderate magnification. The primary differences are in the spacing of the letters A and M in AMERICA, which is tighter on the Close AM design than it is on the Wide AM design, and in the shapes of designer Frank Gasparro’s FG initials. (See the Page One article in the Aug. 13 issue of Coin World for more details on the adoption of the Close AM design and its use on circulation and Proof strikes.)

From 99 cents to $24,000

The coin sold in the eBay auction has been certified by Professional Coin Grading Service as a Close AM cent and graded by the firm as Mint State 67 red.

According to the seller, five examples of the Philadelphia Mint coin are known, of which the coin just sold is the highest in grade. The other four pieces range in grade from About Uncirculated 55 to MS-63 red and brown, according to the eBay seller.

The seller of the coin on eBay, who goes by the name of courigin on the online auction website, opened the sale July 20 at a price of 99 cents.

The first bid for the coin was made about two hours later, for $100. Between that first bid and the final one late in the day July 30, 19 bidders successively bid the coin to ever-higher levels.

The coin reached the $500 level seconds after the $100 bid was placed, and crossed the $1,000 level at midday July 22. After 21 additional bids on July 22 and 23, a pair of bidders placed $10,000 bids July 23, a level at which bidding rested for a week.

Bidding resumed on the last day of the auction, late in the morning of July 30. Within the space of a few hours, bidding rose above $11,000, $12,000 and $13,000.

The final bid of $24,056.63 closed out the auction, as the single bid placed by the bidder who won the coin.

In all, 19 bidders placed 63 bids for the coin. ¦

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