PCGS: The Standard for the Rare Coin Industry

1793 Chain 1C AMERI., BN (Regular Strike)

Series: Flowing Hair Chain Cents 1793

PCGS MS64+BN

PCGS MS64+BN

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AMERICA VS. AMERI COMPARISON

AMERICA VS. AMERI COMPARISON

PCGS MS61BN

PCGS MS61BN

PCGS #:
1340
Designer:
Attributed to Henry Voight
Edge:
Bars and Vines
Diameter:
27.00 millimeters
Weight:
13.48 grams
Mintage:
36,103
Mint:
Philadelphia
Metal:
Copper
Current Auctions - PCGS Graded
Current Auctions - NGC Graded
For Sale Now at Collectors Corner - PCGS Graded
For Sale Now at Collectors Corner - NGC Graded

Rarity and Survival Estimates Learn More

Grades Survival
Estimate
Numismatic
Rarity
Relative Rarity
By Type
Relative Rarity
By Series
All Grades 187 R-7.1 1 / 3 1 / 3
60 or Better 2 R-9.9 1 / 3 TIE 1 / 3 TIE
65 or Better 1 R-10.0 1 / 3 TIE 1 / 3 TIE
Survival Estimate
All Grades 187
60 or Better 2
65 or Better 1
Numismatic Rarity
All Grades R-7.1
60 or Better R-9.9
65 or Better R-10.0
Relative Rarity By Type All Specs in this Type
All Grades 1 / 3
60 or Better 1 / 3 TIE
65 or Better 1 / 3 TIE
Relative Rarity By Series All Specs in this Series
All Grades 1 / 3
60 or Better 1 / 3 TIE
65 or Better 1 / 3 TIE

Condition Census What Is This?

Pos Grade Image Pedigree and History
1 MS63BN PCGS grade
2 MS61BN PCGS grade

Edward Cogan - Thomas Cleneay Collection - S.H. & H. Chapman 12/1890:1796, $100 - S.H. & H. Chapman - John G. Mills Collection - S.H. & H. Chapman 4/1904:1229, $125 - George H. Earle, Jr. Collection - Henry Chapman 6/1912:3351, $80 - S. H. Chapman - Carl Wurtzbach Collection, sold privately in 1919 - Virgil M. Brand Collection, sold privately in 2/7/1941 - B. G. Johnson (St. Louis Stamp & Coin Co.), sold privately on 2/21/1944 - Arthur E. Fritz - Rudolph Khol - Federal Coin Exchange Fixed Price List 1952, $1,200 - Federal Coin Exchange 8/1954:1014 $1,050 - Dr. James O. Sloss Collection, sold privately in 9/1958 - R.E. “Ted” Naftzger, Jr. Collection - A. Kosoff 10/1959:1, $1,900 - Stack's - Dr. Herbert L. Ketterman - RARCOA “Auction ‘84” 8/1984:1507, $29,700 - RARCOA - Anthony Terranova - Dr. Haig Koshkarian Collection - Anthony Terranova - Dr. Eugene Sherman Collection - D. Brent Pogue Collection - Stack's/Bowers 2/2016:3012, $470,000

3 AU58 PCGS grade  PCGS #35432 (MS, Brown)     58

Discovered in Europe - Sotheby Parke Bernet 11/1974:59 - Mike Brownlee - Ken Goldman - Julian Leidman and Stanley Kesselman - R.E. Naftzger, Jr. 12/1986 - Herman Halpern Collection - Stack's 3/1988:1 - Anthony Terranova - Bowers & Merena Galleries - Heritage 10/1990:452 - Anthony Terranova, 11/1990 - Dr. Haig Koshkarian - American Numismatic Rarities 3/2004:7, $218,500 - Dan Holmes Collection - Goldbergs 9/2009:1, $368,000

3 AU58 PCGS grade
3 AU58 PCGS grade
3 AU58 estimated grade
7 AU55 PCGS grade
7 AU55 PCGS grade
9 AU53 PCGS grade

Purchased in 1941 by J.S. Gensheimer (Stack's, 2/1951), lot 396, $240 - Willard C. Blaisdell - J.J. Teaparty (1976) - Ed Hipps - Dean Oakes - Julian Leidman (7/1994) - John B. MacDonald - Denis W. Loring - Walt Husak Collection - Heritage 2/2008:2000, $172,500 - Heritage 1/2013:5508, $164,500

9 AU53 PCGS grade
#1 MS63BN PCGS grade
#2 MS61BN PCGS grade

Edward Cogan - Thomas Cleneay Collection - S.H. & H. Chapman 12/1890:1796, $100 - S.H. & H. Chapman - John G. Mills Collection - S.H. & H. Chapman 4/1904:1229, $125 - George H. Earle, Jr. Collection - Henry Chapman 6/1912:3351, $80 - S. H. Chapman - Carl Wurtzbach Collection, sold privately in 1919 - Virgil M. Brand Collection, sold privately in 2/7/1941 - B. G. Johnson (St. Louis Stamp & Coin Co.), sold privately on 2/21/1944 - Arthur E. Fritz - Rudolph Khol - Federal Coin Exchange Fixed Price List 1952, $1,200 - Federal Coin Exchange 8/1954:1014 $1,050 - Dr. James O. Sloss Collection, sold privately in 9/1958 - R.E. “Ted” Naftzger, Jr. Collection - A. Kosoff 10/1959:1, $1,900 - Stack's - Dr. Herbert L. Ketterman - RARCOA “Auction ‘84” 8/1984:1507, $29,700 - RARCOA - Anthony Terranova - Dr. Haig Koshkarian Collection - Anthony Terranova - Dr. Eugene Sherman Collection - D. Brent Pogue Collection - Stack's/Bowers 2/2016:3012, $470,000

 PCGS #35432 (MS, Brown)     58 #3 AU58 PCGS grade

Discovered in Europe - Sotheby Parke Bernet 11/1974:59 - Mike Brownlee - Ken Goldman - Julian Leidman and Stanley Kesselman - R.E. Naftzger, Jr. 12/1986 - Herman Halpern Collection - Stack's 3/1988:1 - Anthony Terranova - Bowers & Merena Galleries - Heritage 10/1990:452 - Anthony Terranova, 11/1990 - Dr. Haig Koshkarian - American Numismatic Rarities 3/2004:7, $218,500 - Dan Holmes Collection - Goldbergs 9/2009:1, $368,000

#3 AU58 PCGS grade
#3 AU58 PCGS grade
#3 AU58 estimated grade
#7 AU55 PCGS grade
#7 AU55 PCGS grade
#9 AU53 PCGS grade

Purchased in 1941 by J.S. Gensheimer (Stack's, 2/1951), lot 396, $240 - Willard C. Blaisdell - J.J. Teaparty (1976) - Ed Hipps - Dean Oakes - Julian Leidman (7/1994) - John B. MacDonald - Denis W. Loring - Walt Husak Collection - Heritage 2/2008:2000, $172,500 - Heritage 1/2013:5508, $164,500

#9 AU53 PCGS grade
Denis Loring: The Chain AMERI often comes with a very weak date. In fact, several are known with the sharpness of Very Good but the date is completely gone. There is also a rare late die state with a rim break over TAT. As the first regular issue United States coin, the Chain AMERI is always in demand.
David Hall:

The remarkable Gem AMERI graded SP65BN by PCGS is from the incredible Ted Naftzger collection. The Naftzger collection was not only the greatest large cent collection ever assembled, it was one of the greatest coin collections ever assembled. Naftzger worked dilligenty on his set for 40 years and what he accomplished may never be duplicated. The SP65 Chain AMERI literally has semi-PL surfaces. It is amazing that a Chain cent could survive in such outstanding condition.

Ron Guth:

According to Sheldon and Breen, the AMERI. variety was the first of the Chain Cents (the obverse die was used later with a reverse with AMERICA spelled completely). Why the abbreviation? The spacing of the reverse suggests that the engraver began the word AMERICA too high on the die. Had AMERICA been spelled out completely, it would have ended too close to UNITED (the spacing on the later reverse has AMERICA starting lower on the die). Breen repeats the speculation that the abbreviation was deliberate, following the style of the unfinished pyramid on the Great Seal of the United States, but there is no evidence to support such an association.

This was the only use of the reverse die which, in a later state, shows a crack over TATE of STATES that eventually develops into a rim cud. The obverse die was used later on Sheldon 2.

Sources and/or recommended reading: "Penny Whimsy" by Dr. William H. Sheldon

"Walter Breen's Encyclopedia of Early United States Cents 1793-1814" by Walter Breen

Gordon Wrubel: Chain cents were the first mass produced, regular issue coins stuck at the fledgling US Mint. A total of 36,103 were coined from February 27 to March 12, 1793. The Liberty Head obverse and Chain reverse designs were were severely criticized by many observers of the day. The acute need for a standard coinage, however, assured wide circulation through all fifteen States at the time. Chain cents can exist in high Mint State grades, perhaps saved for posterity as first year issues. But most survivors are lower grade. In the lowest grades, the date and legends are sometimes worn to the point where little more than the Chain and some of the letters "ONE CENT" within it are distinguishable. This makes variety attribution extremely difficult, if not impossible, in cases where only a shadow of the Chain exists.

Quickfinder Notes: The first Chain cents struck are considered to be the AMERI. variety, Sheldon 1. On well worn examples, where the word AMERI. is not distinguishable, the variety may still be able to be determined by checking the "C" of "CENT". The baseline of the C will be BELOW the baseline of the adjacent E. If even a shadow of the A in AMERI. is discernible, it will be in the 8:00 position. On the other reverse used on Chain cents, the "AMERICA" reverse, Sheldon 2, NC-1, 3 and 4, the baseline of the C is slightly ABOVE the baseline of the adjacent E. If the first A in AMERICA is distinguishable, it will be in the 7:30 position.