US Coins

Washington pieces popular in 18th century

This undated George Washington “Double Head” token bearing the cent denomination on the reverse, graded Fine Details, Rim Damage, brought $117.50 at Heritage’s May 17, 2014, auction of the Eric P. Newman Collection in New York City.

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Washington pieces are medals, tokens and proposals for circulating coins dated from 1783 to 1795. Many were of English origin and were produced later than the dates indicate. All depict George Washington. 

It’s a popular collecting area and more than a dozen distinct types are available in well-worn condition at around the $100 level.

Such is the case with this undated George Washington cent, popularly called the “Double Head” type since Washington’s profile portrait in military dress with a wreath crowning his head is depicted on both sides. 

The “Double Head” type has traditionally been grouped with several Washington token types that bear the date 1783 and this date is noted on Newman’s original brown paper envelope that housed the coin. However, it was potentially produced decades later. 

Heritage described the piece in the auction as “a plentiful and popular Washington piece.” This example, colored medium-to-dark brown with corrosion, rim bruises and a tinge of red patina, brought $117.50 at Heritage's May 17 auction of the Eric P. Newman collection.

Read more Coin World coverage of the May 16-17 Newman collection auction:

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