The following post is pulled from Coin World editor Steve
Roach’s Market Analysis column in the Dec. 15 issue.
Nova Constellatio coppers are
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: Contemporary Imitation
1785 Nova Constellatio Copper, Extremely Fine 45
The price: $7,050
During the late 18th century,
individuals produced counterfeits of issues that were circulating as
money in the United States.
This imitation Nova Constellatio copper was produced on a cast
planchet at around the same time as the production of real Nova
Constellatio coppers, thus it’s called a contemporary imitation
copper. As Newman wrote in the mid-1990s, “The counterfeit 1785 Nova
Constellatio is much cruder than the 1786 pieces. The 1785 counterfeit
maximizes errors by omitting the E in LIBRTAS, by having only 12 sets
of rays and 12 stars, by the leaf stem joinders pointing
counterclockwise instead of clockwise and by having two stops after
the word CONSTELLATIO and before the word NOVA. Its style indicates
Heritage confirms that it is a unique piece and that there is
nothing currently known that it could have been copied from. Although
the design elements are a trifle weak, and the olive-brown surfaces
show microscopic granularity, a pleasant steel-blue overtone appears
on both sides.
The unique piece sold for $7,050.
Read the rest of the "Newman's Novas" Market Analysis:
Nova Constellatio copper from 1785 a good representative example
1783 Nova Constellatio copper graded MS-66 sells for $41,125
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