1792 US one cent rare coin prototype to sell for $1m+
An alternative one cent coin is expected to make in excess of $1m in an important US sale
Paul Fraser Collectibles, Tuesday 17 April 2012
The first coin to be struck inside the Philadephia Mint is to be sold in an important US numismatics sale between April 18-20.
Struck in 1792, the Judd-1 coin was created as a prototype for the later Chain cent, the first official coin in circulation, struck in 1793.
The craftsman behind the coin was David Rittenhouse, who was given the role of mint director by President George Washington. Rittenhouse was known as a great scientist and inventor and reluctantly took the position at the age of 60.
The US Mint Act specifically stated that cents were to contain 11 pennyweights of pure copper. When designing the coin, it was soon realised that the planchet was much too large and that alternative solutions must be explored.
The coin is struck in copper with a central silver plug, after a suggestion by chief coiner, Henry Voigt. The pattern coins produced in 1792 were then sent to George Washington and other members of Congress for approval.
In December 1792 Thomas Jefferson wrote to the president concerning the Judd-1: "Th. Jefferson has the honour to send the President two cents made on Voigt's plan by putting a silver plug worth 3/4 of a cent into a copper worth 1/4 cent. Mr. Rittenhouse is about to make a few by mixing the same plug by fusion with the same quantity of copper. He will then make of copper alone of the same size, and lastly he will make the real cent as ordered by Congress, four times as big."
The historic coin is expected to attract bids in the region of $1m, but may well exceed this sum due to its significance.
The sale features some of the finest and rarest American coinage in existence, including the famous 1841 "Little Princess" Quarter Eagle. Described as "numismatic royalty", the Little Princess has been causing controversy in the coin collecting world since it was discovered that not all of the coins were struck as proofs. The legendary coin will sell for approximately $140,000.
You can see our earlier article on the sale here, with a video from the auction house. Paul Fraser Collectibles continues to bring you the latest news from the world of numismatics.
We also offer our own range of coins for collectors. This fine Italian renaissance coin is one of only five examples in the world.
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