||August 2020 U.S. Coins Auction
||Phenomenal Red and Brown Gem 1822 N-4 Cent
Underrated Issue in High Grades
1822 Matron Head Cent. N-4. Rarity-2. MS-65 RB (PCGS). CAC.
Design: Obv: A head of Liberty faces left with 13 stars around the border and the date 1822 below. She is wearing a coronet inscribed LIBERTY, her hair tied into a bun at the back of her head by a plain cord. Rev: A circular wreath encloses the denomination ONE CENT with the legend UNITED STATES OF AMERICA around the border.
Weight Standard: 10.89 grams.
Diameter: 28-29 mm.
Die Variety: Newcomb-4. Obv: Star 1 is close to the date, while star 13 is distant. The letter L in LIBERTY is repunched, most prominently along its right base. The 1822 N-4 represents the only use of this obverse die. Rev: In the word CENT, the letters CE are higher than NT, while in the word STATES the final letter is low and leans left. The 1822 N-4 also represents the only use of this reverse die.
All die marriages of this issue correspond to the single Guide Booklisting for the 1822 Matron Head cent.
Die State: Noyes B/A. Obv: The die is slightly worn with remnants of an inner circle readily evident only from 7 to 12 o'clock, although close inspection with a loupe reveals a faint fragment of the inner circle at the denticles between stars 9 and 10. Rev: Perfect.
Mintage for the Issue: 2,072,339 coins.
Estimated Surviving Population for the Die Variety: Rarity-2: 751 to 1,000 coins in all grades.
Strike: Sharply struck overall, the focal features in and around the centers are virtually full. The peripheries are no less impressive with the obverse stars exhibiting nearly complete radial lines and the letters in the legend UNITED STATES OF AMERICA crisp and distinct from the border. Centering is not quite perfect on the obverse with the denticulation thin from 4 to 6 o'clock, although the reverse border is uniformly denticulated.
Surfaces: Exceptionally well preserved, this satin to softly frosted Gem exhibits golden-brown and steel-blue toning on the obverse. The reverse exhibits mostly golden-brown patina with just a trace of steel-blue near the left border. Both sides retain plenty of original pinkish-red color that is brightest in the protected areas around the design elements, and then again more so on the reverse. Small spots on Liberty's neck and in the reverse field above the letter N in ONE are useful identifiers, otherwise we note only faint carbon flecks and a few wispy handling marks that one will need a loupe to discern.
Commentary: Somewhat of an overlooked issue in the early Matron Head cent series, the 1822 is certainly not in the same league as the 1821, 1823/2, 1823 or even the 1824/2 in terms of rarity. On the other hand, Mint State survivors are not plentiful; the 1822 was not represented in any known hoards of the kind that have made the 1818, 1819 and 1820 relatively common in high grades. This is only the second truly outstanding 1822 Newcomb-4 cent that we have offered in recent years. The other is the Anderson-Dupont - Naftzger - Pogue specimen certified MS-65 BN by PCGS that realized $14,100 as lot 5152 in our April 2017 Pogue V Sale. Tied for CC#8 in the Noyes census with two other examples, although conservatively so in our opinion as a ranking within the top six seems more appropriate when this coin is compared with others from these dies.
Provenance: From the ESM Collection. Earlier from NASCA's Kessler-Spangenberger Collection sale, April 1981, lot 2515; Heritage's June 1989 Dallas Auction, lot 961.
PCGS Population (all die marriages of the issue): 3; 0 finer in this category. There are no grading events for this issue in the RD category at PCGS.
PCGS# 1625. NGC ID: 2259.
Click here for certification details from PCGS.