The $1.27m copper coin...



2015-06-26 11:39:26

The $1.27m copper coin...

One cent coin with double claim to fame sells for record amount

On September 6, the Dan Holmes collection of early large cents went up for auction. Several US coin records were broken, but there could be no doubt about the star of the show: a 1795 reeded edge copper cent.

A reeded edge refers to the series of grooves around the circumference of some coins, which were originally introduced to stop people chipping off bits of metal and re-casting their own coins from them.

This was obviously more important when coin metal was expensive and die-casts were of poor quality - few copper cents have such edges.

The 1795 example is not merely notable for its edge, however.

It is one of the few which has been cast from a pair of dies, the creations of which are referred to as Sheldon 79 (or S-79).

There are only six of these reeded edged S-79s in existence and the Holmes S-79 is the one in best condition, having been graded Very Good-10 by the PCGS.

Last year, one graded as Good-4 sold for $402,500. There is a question as to whether the S-79s counts as a separate issue variety or just an experimental one, as this makes a difference as to whether a collection would be 'complete' without one.

The same day, there was also a sale of a 1799 cent for $977,500 which, had the S-79 not sold earlier, would have broken all copper coin records.

Whilst a rare date, the coin sold on the strength of being graded as Mint by both the PGCS and NGC, the only 1799 cent to be so. Mediocre graded 1799 coins have sold for a only small fraction of this price.

Two Strawberry Leaf cents also sold. There are only four known, and the one in best condition had set the copper coin record in January ($8,625,000) which was broken today.

These two, graded Good-4 and Fair-2 by the PCGS only sold for $218,500 and $264,500, despite the latter having a unique positioning of the words 'ONE CENT'.

Both Strawberry Leaf cents and the 1795 S-79 were bought by collector Greg Hannigan.

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