Rare 1792 Judd-1 coin up 6.50% pa in value since 1974
The first US one cent coin struck at the Philadelphia Mint sold for $1.15m on April 19
Paul Fraser Collectibles, Friday 20 April 2012
A 1792 Judd-1 US one cent sold for over $1m in an online numismatics sale on April 19.
The coin exceeded expectations, with the auction house seeing bids from over 22 internet hopefuls alone. It eventually achieved a hammer price of $1.15m.
Paul Fraser Collectibles predicted that the coin would achieve excellent results in our preview of the important sale.
It had last sold in 1974 for $105,000, representing a 6.50% pa rise in value.
The item represents one of the first coins ever struck at the Philadelphia Mint, which was established following the passing of the Mint Act on April 2, 1972. This coin was designed as a test for the later Chain cents of 1793, which were the first coins to be circulated in the US.
David Rittenhouse, the coin's designer, was asked to be the new mint director just 12 days after the Mint Act was passed. The coins designed in 1792 are said to be hand-struck by Rittenhouse himself and given to President George Washington as a token of his appreciation.
Rittenhouse worked with the mint for just three years, before resigning due to poor health. The director was also a great astronomer and inventor who was eulogised as "one of the luminaries of the 18th century".
One superb example of the coin resulting from the 1792 prototypes, the 1793 Chain 1c, sold for an impressive $1.38m at the same auction house in January, while a lesser example made just $14,950 in the current auction - a reminder to potential buyers of the value of quality.
Also featuring in the sale was the 1841 Quarter Eagle, otherwise known as "The Little Princess". Shrouded in controversy, it is not yet certain if business strikes of the famous coin were made, providing something of an enigma for numismatists. The Little Princess sold for $149,500.
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Images: Heritage Auctions