US Coins

MS-64 1821 Coronet cent still carries Mint color

An archive tracing the Eckfeldt family’s career at the U.S. Mint over two centuries and including a unique gold 1839 medal presented to Adam Eckfeldt upon his retirement from the U.S. Mint, several original presidential appointments and an 1803 Draped Bust gold $10 eagle graded Mint State 61 by Numismatic Guaranty Corp. brought $270,250 and topped bidding at Ira and Larry Goldberg’s June 4 to 7 pre-Long Beach auction. As is often seen at the Goldbergs’ auctions, large cents counted prominently among the top lots, showing the sustained demand for these rarest survivors from the first decades of the U.S. Mint.

Here’s one of three large cent lots reviewed from the pre-Long Beach auction:

The Lot:

1821 Coronet cent, MS-64 red and brown, CAC sticker

The Price:


The Story:

While not a rare variety, this 1821 Coronet cent graded Mint State 64 red and brown by PCGS with a green Certified Acceptance Corp. sticker sold for a hearty $30,550. The Newcomb 2 variety, listed in Howard Rounds Newcomb’s book United States Copper Cents, 1816–1857, comes from an 1821 issue that is tough in all grades and rare in grades above Extremely Fine. In fact, Proof examples are more often seen than true Mint State examples.

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The subject coin was offered in 1923 where it was cataloged as the “Finest specimen known,” and time has done little to mellow the color, with the description observing, “Lustrous mint red fading to light steel brown and olive with about 80% of the obverse covered with fading mint color and at least a third of the reverse showing mint red.”

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With a provenance tracing back over a century and with it being the only Mint State red and brown example of either of the two varieties of 1821 Coronet cents certified by either PCGS or NGC, it attracted strong competition.

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