Coins Certified as of 1/20

Large Cent Type Set (1793-1857): Cardinal Collection

Cardinal Collection - 2nd

Current Statistics
Rank 2
GPA with Top Pop Bonuses 66.926
Complete 100.00%
Set Rating 66.926
%RD 28.57%
Retired Statistics (1/28/2013)
Rank 1
Weighted GPA 66.926
Complete 100.00%
Set Rating 66.926
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About this set: 

The Mint Act of 1792 provided that the obverse of each coin must bear an image "emblematic of liberty," but how should "liberty" be portrayed? Should it be a metaphor for the freedom of time, as demonstrated by the sundial depicted on certain colonial issues, such as the Continental Dollar and Fugio cents? Perhaps a portrait of General George Washington, whose service during the Revolutionary War secured liberty for the country? Actually, quite a few different "Washington" cents were produced at that time, with that idea in mind.

Ultimately, the early Mint engravers answered that question, taking their cue from the Libertas Americana medal. Conceived and brought to fruition through the efforts of Benjamin Franklin to commemorate the Colonies' victories in the War, the Libertas Americana medal is universally agreed to be the most beautiful of all American colonial medals.

This collection, the Cartwheel Cents Large Cent Type Set, is dedicated to the beauty of the Libertas Americana medal and her offspring, all of the beautiful portraits of Liberty that graced U.S. large cents from the very beginning in 1793 through their final curtsy in 1857, and all of her moods and expressions inbetween.

Here, then, are the many portraits of our dear Lady Liberty:

Assembling such a collection, while eminently rewarding, can be a truly daunting task, especially when seeking top grades. The great hobby of numismatics abounds with enthusiastic collectors competing for choice early coppers. Many seek to build a basic type set, requiring just 7 coins, while others may choose to build a basic date and major type set, and that requires 67 coins. Many go beyond that and choose to assemble a complete collection of all 147 RedBook varieties, and others will go further still, seeking to obtain every one of the many different individual die varieties, numbering over 300 just for the early dates and with hundreds of further varieties spanning the middle and late dates. Indeed, some of the most dedicated of these collectors are members of the Early American Coppers society (EAC), and their current membership stands at nearly 6,000! With such a broad base of collectors, the demand can truly overwhelm the supply, especially when the supply is so limited. As a point of comparison, for the famed 1909S VDB cent acclaimed as an important rarity, PCGS has graded 1,636 as GEM MS65 and higher - including an amazing 174 at MS66RD or finer. In contrast, however, for all of the early dates of 1793-1814 combined, PCGS has graded a total of just 164 Gems - a whopping 10 times fewer! Through patience, painstaking research and diligence (and a good measure of fortuitous opportunity) the Collection now includes examples of all of these portraits of Liberty, even including her more subtle intermediate transitions, all in fantastic gem condition with sparkling cartwheel luster.

While nothing can quite compare with examining these amazing specimens in person, and seeing with your own eyes their beaming luster and sparkling shades of mint red and brown, the images that follow attempt to come as close as digitally possible. I hope you enjoy the display, and may you find it interesting and informative. (For best results when viewing the set images with the accompanying comments, anytime you reach a double-asterisk "**" in the caption, click NEXT on the upper right hand corner of the current image to display the next image, which corresponds to the next section of the commentary.)

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Cardinal Collection
ImageItemPCGS No.DateDenomGradePCGS No. PopPCGS No. Pop HigherTotal PopTotal Pop HigherOwner's Comments
Flowing Hair Chain Cent (1793)13411793 Chain1CMS65BN1042The 1787 Fugio Cent is credited with being the first coin issued under the ...
Flowing Hair Wreath Cent (1793)13471793 Wreath1CMS69BN1011As with the Chain Cent before it, the Wreath Cent derives its common name f...
Liberty Cap Cent (1793-1796)3568517941CMS67RB1020The very first of the Liberty Cap cents were designed by Joseph Wright. Und...
Draped Bust Cent (1796-1807)15301807/61CMS66RD10110When Henry William DeSaussure became the new director of the Mint, he sough...
Classic Head Cent (1808-1814)3649918121CMS65BN202019With the Draped Bust design, the Mint was finally producing coinage accepta...
Coronet Head Large Cent (1816-1839)161618201CMS66RB6012045While the "middle date" cents are all typically referred to as "Coronet Cen...
Braided Hair Large Cent (1839-1857)190918551CMS66+ RD20121Addressing the public criticism, Mint Engraver Christian Gobrecht began his...