PCGS The Standard for the Rare Coin Industry
PCGS Set Registry® 85,236 Registered Sets

Cardinal Collection - 2nd

2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Current Statistics
Rank

2
GPA with Top Bonuses

59.154
GPA Weighted

59.154
Complete

100.00%
Set Rating

59.154
%RD

0.00%
Retired Statistics
Rank

1
GPA Weighted

59.154
Complete

100.00%
Set Rating

59.154

Cardinal Collection

Image Item PCGS # Date Denom Grade PCGS # Pop PCGS # Pop Higher Pop Pop Higher Comments
1793 1/2C 1000 1793 1/2C MS61BN 1 12 116
1793 1C Chain 1341 1793 Chain 1C MS65BN 1 31
The 1787 Fugio Cent is credited with being the first coin issued under the authority of the United States. Its design, following the 1776 Continental Dollar designed by Benjamin Franklin, was established by Congressional resolution on Friday, July 6, 1787 to bear on one side “thirteen circles linked together.”-----------------------------------------**The Mint Act of April 2, 1792, stated other design requirements, including the inscription “United States of America” and “an inscription which shall express the denomination of the piece, namely, cent or half cent, as the case may require.” The Mint Act made no other requirements for the reverse of one-cent pieces, so Chief Coiner Henry Voigt naturally would have assumed that the linked design of the Fugio Cent should be retained. Of course, by 1793, there were then 15 states, not 13, and so there should be 15 links to the design. As nicely as the 13 interlinked circles fit on the 40mm size of the 1776 Continental Dollar and the 29mm size of the 1787 Fugio cent, 15 linked circles would have been quite cramped on the new 27mm cent, as shown in the rendering above.---**Recognizing how cramped the design might look, Voigt might have wished to unclutter the design. By flattening the circles into oblong ovals, the fields would be opened up and the overall design simplified. Unfortunately, the resulting appearance of the Chain, quickly found public disfavor. The March 18, 1793 edition of Claypoole’s Daily Advertiser stated the opinion, “The chain on the reverse is but a bad omen for liberty.” The ill-fated chain cent design was promptly discontinued, and soon replaced by the wreath cent.-------------------------------------------------**While the chain reverse gains all the attention, the obverse of the Chain Cent is interesting in its own right. It would appear that the portrait of Liberty was either by Bob Birch, or after his design, for her eye, nose, mouth, chin and hair outline are quite similar to the Birch Cent pattern. Alas, lacking in certain of the refinements of the Birch design, she came to be called by William Sheldon as the "wild squaw with the heebie jeebies."-------------------------------------------------------------**The collection includes the famed Collins-Beckwith-Naftzger Chain Cent pedigreed all the way back to a London coin shop in 1891. This S-2 cent is the sole PCGS-MS65 the highest graded of the variety. Considered by EAC specialist Denis Loring as among the top 3 or 4 of ALL known chain cents, John Albanese (in his pre-CAC days) graded the coin fully MS66! Not surprisingly, when this coin last appeared at auction in January 2005, it set the new world record auction price for a chain cent. (That record stood for seven years until the Eliasberg Chain Cent realized an astounding $1.38 million at auction. Yet, experts consider the Cardinal Cent Cent to be quite superior to that illustrious specimen.) **
1793 1C Wreath 1347 1793 Wreath 1C MS69BN 1 12
As with the Chain Cent before it, the Wreath Cent derives its common name from its reverse design, in this case bearing an exceptionally ornate wreath of leaves and berries, unlike any other wreath to appear on any other circulating one-cent piece. Clearly the design was created by Bob Birch, or by someone following his design, for its structure is strikingly similar to that of the Birch Cent pattern, particularly in the elongated strings of berries.-------------------------------------------------------------------------------**Indeed, the reverse of the Wreath Cent is completely different from the Chain Cent, but the obverse portrait of Liberty is completely different as well, remodeled based on Joseph Wright's Libertas Americana medal. Here we see a portion of the self-painted portrait of Joseph Wright's family, isolating his lovely wife Sarah. Through an introduction by his mother, Joseph was visiting with Benjamin Franklin in Paris during the time of the creation of the Libertas Americana medals. No doubt, the final engraving of the medal dies themselves was by the hand of French artist Augustin Dupre. However, the stark similarities among Joseph's portrait of Sarah, the portrait of Liberty gracing the Libertas Americana medal, and the portrait of Liberty seen on the 1793 Liberty Cap half cents attributed to Wright, are all undeniable and reflect on Wright as their creator.-------**Franklin was sufficiently impressed with Wright that through Franklin's connections with diplomat John Jay and Secretary of Foreign Affairs Robert Livingston, he arranged for Wright to be introduced to George Washington, and then later appointed by Washington as a draftsman and die sinker for the Mint. Among Wright's first creations at the mint was the 1792 Disme pattern seen here, which clearly draws off of the Libertas Americana design.-----------------------------**Comparing the Disme pattern with the Wreath Cent, we see the clear similarities of the designs. Liberty's profile and the styling of her flowing locks amply reflect Wright's artistic hand. The public still did not like the design, however, finding Miss Liberty to be "too unkempt" for polite society. The Wreath Cent was soon discontinued, to be replaced by Wright's Liberty Cap design.------------**The collection includes a truly superb specimen of the Wreath Cent from the Naftzger Collection. The absolute Pop Top at MS69, this is not only the single highest graded Wreath Cent, it is the single highest graded 18th century coin, period! The strike is truly fantastic and pinpoint sharp, clearly showing the individual strands of Miss Liberty's flowing hair and complete veins on all of the leaves -- including those above the date on the obverse. Of course, the surfaces are also phenomenal and near total perfection, so much so that even the fastidiously conservative EAC condition census recognizes this piece as the finest "all brown" Wreath Cent.
1793 1C Liberty Cap 35489 1793 1C AU53BN 1 2 57