US Coins

‘Extraordinary’ 1783 Nova Constellatio graded MS-66 sells for $41K

An incredibly well-preserved 1783 Nova Constellatio copper graded MS-66 brown brought $41,125 at Heritage’s Nov. 14 auction of selections from the Eric P. Newman Educational Foundation.

Images courtesy Heritage Auctions.

The following post is pulled from Coin World editor Steve Roach’s Market Analysis column in the Dec. 15 issue.

Nova Constellatio coppers are listed in 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: 1783 Nova Constellatio Copper, MS-66 brown

The price:

The story: Simply put, an extraordinary coin, this 1783 Nova Constellatio copper with pointed rays on the obverse (they end in points, rather than the blunt rays that are used on some varieties) is graded Mint State 66 brown by Numismatic Guaranty Corp. The quality is exceptional and it is the finest graded by NGC by two grade points. 

The lot description adds, “This extraordinary Mint State copper has an extremely strong strike, with the all-seeing eye sharper than we have ever seen. It is clearly a special piece, showing additional fine obverse die lines that are not visible on most examples.” 

Twenty bidders competed for it and it brought $41,125, a massive price for a coin that is relatively common, but virtually never encountered in this state of preservation.

Read the rest of the "Newman's Novas" Market Analysis:

$1,057 Nova Constellatio copper from 1785 a good representative example

Counterfeit 1785 Nova Constellatio copper that sold for $7,050 a unique piece

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