US Coins

‘Baby Head’ 1786 Vermont copper in Baltimore sale

Nicknames are affectionate, shorthand substitutes for proper names. Some coins have nicknames that have endured, as often seen on the coins produced for Colonial America, like a 1786 Vermont copper that is called the “Baby Head” variety.

The nickname comes from the juvenile appearing bust on the obverse, with a low ribbon that suggests a baby’s bib. 

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It is classified as Ryder 9 in The Colonial Coins of Vermont by Hillyer Ryder. Stack’s Bowers Galleries offered one graded Very Fine Details, Scratch, by Professional Coin Grading Service in its offering of The Archangel Collection of Colonial Coins and 1792 Coinage at its recent October Baltimore Expo sale.

The description observed, “The legends are complete and the central devices manage to marshal nearly all the detail out of these crude dies,” with a few trivial scratches on the obverse seen.

The PCGS Scratch designation comes from a single diagonal scratch across the lower part of the reverse, leaving the cataloger to conclude, “Without these scratches, this would be among the finest Baby Heads this cataloger has ever encountered. With them, it’s still a great coin.” It brought $2,880. 

The variety is listed on Page 84 of the “Red Book.”

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