Enfilade

At Auction | Rare 1792 Silver Center Cent Coin

Posted in Art Market by Editor on April 14, 2012

A Heritage Auctions press release (5 April 2012), as noted at ArtDaily.com:

Heritage Auctions, Central States U.S. Coin Auction
Schaumburg, Illinois, 18-20 April 2012

Highest bid as of 13 April: $1,000,000

DALLAS – One of the most historic coins struck by the early U.S. Mint, a 1792 Judd-1 Silver Center cent pattern, MS61 Brown PCGS, headlines the Heritage Auctions April 2012 Central States Signature U.S. Coin Auction, April 18-20, with Platinum Night offerings on April 19.

“Our long-running relationship with the Central States Numismatic Society and conducting its annual convention’s official auction is alive and well,” said Greg Rohan, President of Heritage, “as is our tradition of bringing important rarities to those auctions. The 1792 Silver Center cent is tremendously important to the history of U.S. coinage – arguably far more so than a number of better-known and more celebrated rarities.”

The 1792 Silver Center cents were experimental pieces designed by Chief Coiner Henry Voigt to remedy a flaw in the Mint Act of 1792: the official weight for one cent coins would have made them too large and heavy for practical use. Voigt suggested a small silver plug, worth ¾ of a cent, surrounded by copper worth ¼ of a cent. The value of the metal would be the same, but the Silver Center cent was designed to be smaller and easier to handle. The Silver Center cents were the first coins struck on the grounds of the U.S. Mint, lending them great historical importance, but they never went into general production and are very rare today. Congress reduced the official weight of the cent instead, making an all-copper coin more practical. Heritage’s roster of Silver Center cents counts only 14 positively identified survivors. This Silver
Center cent, presented as An Offering From The Liberty Collection,
was used to illustrate the type in Walter Breen’s famous
Encyclopedia and is pictured in certain past editions of A Guide
Book of United States Coins,
popularly known as the “Red Book.” . . .

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Update (added 20 April 2012) — The coin sold for $1million (plus the 15% commission), as noted here»

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