Following his successful win in the Revolutionary War, George Washingon became one of the most revered men on the planet. Numerous coins, medals, and tokens bear his portrait, much to his chagrin. The last thing Washington wanted was to be treated like a king, so when the U.S. government proposed putting his portrait on an official coin, he balked. What he could not prevent were the numerous private issues struck by people who had little concern for his wishes or who were more concerned with making money by using his image.
The 1791 Washington Small Eagle Cent is one such coin. Themotif was clearly American, though the heraldic eagle on the reverse has only eight stars and the arrows and the olive branch are in the wrong talons.
This is a relatively common coin among the realm of Washingtonia, with a fair number of Uncirculated pieces available to collectors. Red and Brown Mint State examples are very rare and no full red examples are known (at least, not with original color). MS66 is the top grade that exists at present.
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