S-9, B-12, R.2. Noyes VF20; tied for CC-21. EAC VF25. PQ–.
Variety: Horizontal stem parallel to the date. The bow is large and rounded. The obverse appears on S-8, S-9, and NC-4. The reverse appears on S-9. Vine and Bars Edge. The S-9 is the single most common Wreath cent variety by a wide margin.
Surfaces: An attractive piece with smooth, hard, glossy surfaces. Both sides have mottled golden-brown and deep steel color. A few minor handling marks are visible on the obverse, with a small reverse edge bump over the M. Light corrosion is evident, primarily on the reverse. Full obverse and reverse borders are visible, with the reverse imperfectly centered. Both sides are sharply detailed, and the obverse and reverse types stand boldly against the field.
Die State VII: The reverse has die cracks through R and CA of AMERICA, and from the left stem through UNIT. A late die state, although most of the individual die defects Breen describes are faintly visible.
Census: Perhaps 10 examples are known in Mint State. This piece has considerable sharpness but is downgraded for various minor imperfections.
Commentary: The S-9 is clearly the most common Wreath cent variety, and the only 1793 large cent of any design with a rarity rating less than R.3. Sheldon mentioned in Early American Cents that S.H. Chapman considered this variety to represent 35% of all existing Wreath cents. From a mintage of 63,353 Wreath cents, this would imply a "mintage" of about 22,000 coins.
Raw material for copper coinage at the new Mint came from a variety of local sources, none particularly ideal, generally consisting of scrap, rough ingots, or sheet. In Breen's Large Cent Encyclopedia, contributor Craig Sholley wrote: "The locally obtained scrap proved to be especially troublesome. Copper is a difficult metal to properly melt and it is far more difficult to roll than silver or gold. The Mint, lacking both experience and proper equipment, was not prepared for either of these operations."
The first of the two processes required that Mint personnel melt the metal and pour it into ingot molds, while watching for retained gas bubbles or impurities. Bubbles in the metal resulted in split planchets, laminations, or other defects to the finished coins. Impurities resulted in various streaks or discoloration spots.
The other process was rolling the ingots into planchet strip of the appropriate width and thickness. The Mint used horsepower-operated rollers that were apparently poorly made. Coinage of the Wreath cents was suspended after the April 19 delivery while the rollers were repaired.
Virgil M. Brand - Burdette G. Johnson, 1941 - Ernest Henderson, 1958 - Dorothy Paschal, 1959 - Dr. William H. Sheldon 4/1972 - R.E. Naftzger, Jr., 2/1992 - Eric Streiner - Jay Parrino (The Mint) - Superior 3/2000:67 - Superior 3/2001:12 (as PCGS MS69BN), $172,500 - private collector - Steve Contursi - Cardinal Collection Educational Foundation - Stack’s/Bowers 1/2013:13002, $558,125 - Stack’s/Bowers 8/2013:4019, $481,750
Plated in S.S. Crosby's 1896 The United States Cents of 1793, the standard reference on the date until the publication of Sheldon's Early American Cents in 1949.
Sylvester S. Crosby - Dr. Thomas Hall - Virgil M. Brand 2/1941- B.G. Johnson (St. Louis Stamp & Coin Co.),1941 - Oscar J. Pearl, 1942 - Abe Kosoff's (Numismatic Gallery) fixed price list of the Oscar J. Pearl Collection, 1944:7, $1,150 - Abe Kosoff's (Numismatic Gallery) sale of the Charles Williams Collection, 11/1950:10 - R.E. Naftzger, Jr. - New Netherlands 11/1973:330 - Fred Yee - World Wide Coin Co. 8/1975 - Steve Ivy Rare Coin Co. 8/1975 - Bowers & Ruddy Galleries 8/1975 - Dr. Herbert I. Ketterman - RARCOA “Auction '82” 8/1982:510 - James A. Hayes, the future Congressman from Louisiana - RARCOA - Anthony Terranova - Alex Acevedo - Anthony Terranova - R.E. Naftzger, Jr. 2/1992 - Eric Streiner - Jay Parirno (The Mint) - Marvin Goode - Heritage 8/1998:5852 - Haig Koshkarian - American Numismatic Rarities 3/2004:8, $241,500 - Bowers & Merena 2/2005:637, $253,000 - Oliver Jung Collection - Heritage 8/2014:5520, $528,750
Christie, Manson & Woods, Ltd. (London) - Stack's, sold privately - Frank H. Masters, Jr. Collection - RARCOA 5/1971:39 -R obert L. Hughes (Western Numismatics) - David W. Akers “Auction '88” 8/1988:506 - Loren Barnett - Kenneth Goldman, sold privately in 1/1997 - John B. MacDonald (via Denis Loring) - Tony Terranova - Stuart Levine, sold privately in 2/2000 - Thomas D. Reynolds Collection - Goldbergs 1/2016:3, $193,875
Henry C. Miller Collection - Thomas L. Elder 4/1917:649 - Dr. George P. French Collection - B. Max Mehl 1929 FPL,lot 8 - Henry A. Sternberg Collection - J.C. Morgenthau 4/1933:6 - Charles Green, sold privately in 1954 - Dr. William H. Sheldon Collection - Dorothy Paschal Collection - Dean Oakes Collection - Heritage 1/2014:5115, $211,500
Philip G. Straus Collection - Stack's 5/1959:116 - Stack's “Dr. E. Yale Clarke Collection” 10/1975:39 - Larry Whitlow - Bowers & Ruddy Fixed Price List (1976 & 1977) - John Love - Bowers & Ruddy Galleries - Martin Paul - Anthony J. Terranova - Stack's 1/1992:309 - Reed Hawn Collection - Stack’s 10/1993:5 - Eric Streiner - Stack's 1/1998:1000 - Stack’s 10/2006:2546, $172,500 - Eugene H. Gardner Collection - Heritage 6/2015:3749, $176,250