US Coins

Exceptional 1788 Massachusetts cent technical marvel

The star collection of the Baltimore Expo auctions conducted by Stack’s Bowers Galleries in October was the Archangel Collection of Colonial Coins and 1792 Coinage, which featured a selection of coins that showcased the charm and often exceptional quality achieved by minters in the late 18th century. 

A 1788 Massachusetts cent graded Mint State 65 brown by Professional Coin Grading Service was a technical marvel described as “extremely well struck and boldly lustrous, with hard frosty surfaces on both sides.”

three auction catalogsInside Coin World: Pick strawberries, get tokens: Strawberry pickers tokens, 1883 Liberty Head 5-cent coins and a die marriage of the 1878-CC Morgan dollar are among the topics of columns in the Nov. 26 issue of Coin World.

The coinage of Massachusetts consisted of copper cents and half cents dated 1787 and 1788, and they are important as the first coins bearing the denomination “cent” as established by Congress. 

The standing Indian is sharply defined as is the reverse’s eagle, “with every line of the Indian’s tunic and every feather of the eagle exactingly realized.” The rich, chocolate brown cent with solid luster is listed as Ryder 3-A and W-6210 in the references to the series.

It was purchased by the consignor at Stack’s sale of the David Spence Collection in March 1975. In Baltimore, it sold for $24,000. 

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