US Coins

Collector Jim Neiswinter sells large cents collection

Collector Jim Neiswinter bought his first coin in 1963: an 1863 Indian Head cent for $1.25. It took him another 20 years to get interested in large cents.

In Ira and Larry Goldberg’s Jan. 27 Pre-Long Beach auction, his collection of 1793 to 1839 large cents crossed the auction block. 

Early large cents were cataloged by Dr. William H. Sheldon in his book Penny Whimsy, starting with a 1793 Flowing Hair, Chain, AMERI. cent with “America” abbreviated. That coin is cataloged as Sheldon 1, considered the first version struck. The Sheldon numbers continue until S-295, an 1814 Classic Head, Plain 4 cent. 

Jim’s favorite 1793 cent was his S-6 Flowing Hair, Wreath, Vine and Bars Edge cent graded Extremely Fine 45 by Professional Coin Grading Service and with a green Certified Acceptance Corp. sticker. The cent was struck twice, its second strike rotated about 10 degrees relative to the initial impression. 

He explained, “This is one of the few known errors from the first year of the mint. Apparently the quality control was better in 1793 than in following years. In the American Numismatic Society I found additional pedigree information that this cent was sold by Carl Wurtzbach to Virgil Brand in 1919 for $200,” adding, “large cent collectors love knowing previous owners of their cents.” 

It sold for $33,600 against an estimate of $30,000 and up.

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