HomeUS Coins1809 Classic Head Cent : A Collector's Guide

1809 Classic Head Cent : A Collector’s Guide

1809 Classic Head Cent. Image: DLRC / CoinWeek.
1809 Classic Head Cent. Image: DLRC / CoinWeek.

By Charles Morgan and Hubert Walker for CoinWeek Notes …..
 

The Philadelphia Mint struck 222,867 1809 Classic Head Cents using only one pair of dies (Sheldon 280). The issue, a Rarity-2 overall, is virtually unknown in Gem Mint State, and no example has been certified in Red or Red Brown thus far. Mint State survivors likely number fewer than 25, although there are about 20-30 pieces reported in the condition censuses in the AU range. While the Early American Coppers (EAC) organization, which maintains its own Large Cent grading standards, would likely quibble with the grades assigned by CAC, NGC, and PCGS, it is clear by reviewing recent auction data of the following notable pieces that each era’s leading collectors compete against each other for the same coins.

The 1809 Classic Head Cent is also difficult to source with wholesome eye appeal in circulated grades. The price trends for circulated examples have underperformed published guides recently. Astute collectors of the series should take notice and act accordingly.

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PCGS MS64BN (5, 6/2024). NGC MS65BN (1, 6/2024), and CAC MS64BN (2:0 stickered:graded, 6/2024).

  • PCGS MS64BN #32708436: Discovered in France; Heritage Rare Coin Galleries July 1984; Denis W. Loring, May 1986; “The Robinson S. Brown, Jr. Collection,” Superior, January 1996, Lot 384 – $6,875; Chris Victor-McCawley; “The Chris Kromer Collection,” Superior Galleries, February 2001, Lot 2301; Bowers and Merena, November 2001, Lot 2628; Superior, August 2002, Lot 246; “The Joshua and Ally Walsh Collection,” Heritage Auctions, January 2006, Lot 3030; Denis W. Loring, April 2007; “The Daniel W. Holmes, Jr. Collection,” Goldberg Auctions, September 2009, Lot 552; “The D. Brent Pogue Family Collection,” Stack’s Bowers, March 2017, Lot 5132 – $32,900; “The Arizona Collection,” Heritage Auctions, January 12, 2022, Lot 3054 – $32,400.
  • PCGS MS64BN #34168504: C.T. Whitman; “The C.T. Whitman Collection,” S.H. & H. Chapman, August 1893, Lot 863 – $53; M.A. Brown; “The M.A. Brown Collection,” S.H. & H. Chapman, April 1897, Lot 814 – $55; John G. Mills; “The John G. Mills Collection,” S.H. & H. Chapman, April 1904, Lot 1274 – $40; George H. Earle, Jr.; “The George H. Earle, Jr. Collection,” Henry Chapman, June 1912, Lot 3446 – $54; S.H. Chapman; “The Arthur Sargent Collection,” S.H. Chapman, June 1913, Lot 524 – $115; Carl Wurtzbach; Rodney T. Grove; Robert Nofal and Lewis Kling; Auction ’81 – Superior, July 1981, Lot 527 – $21,000; Superior, privately; R.E. “Ted” Naftzger, Jr., February 23, 1992; Eric Streiner; Jay Parrino, April 16, 1996; W.M. “Jack” Wadlington. As PCGS MS64BN #34168504. “The ESM Collection”, Stack’s Bowers, August 6, 2020, Lot 1058 – $43,200.
  • PCGS MS64BN #11224481: “The John P. Lyman Collection,” S.H. Chapman, November 1913, Lot 432 – $51; Henry Chapman; Virgil M. Brand; Carl Wurtzbach; Dr. William H. Sheldon, April 1972; R.E. “Ted” Naftzger, Jr.; Early American Coppers, April 1989, Lot 165 – $3,750; Del Bland; Chris Victor-McCawley; Dr. Robert J. Shalowitz; Tallarico Rare Coins; Dr. Robert Bye; Stack’s, May 1997, Lot 386 – $8,250. As PCGS MS64BN #50004411. “The Eugene H. Gardner Collection,” Heritage Auctions, June 2014, Lot 30029 – $25,850. As PCGS MS64BN #11224481. “The Collection of Thaddeus A. Tatum III”, Stack’s Bowers, August 15, 2018, Lot 1049 – $22,800. Breen Die State VIII.
  • NGC MS63BN #4502328-002: Heritage Auctions, August 16, 2018, Lot 5052 – $16,800. Dark spot to the left of 1.
  • PCGS MS63BN CAC #43206640: Stack’s, September 1984, Lot 11; “The Herman Halpern Collection,” Stack’s, March 1988, Lot 267. PCGS Genuine – Unc. Details – Corrosion Removed #43343837.  Heritage Auctions, August 2021, Lot 3597 – $11,400. As PCGS MS63BN CAC #43206640. Heritage Auctions, October 6, 2022, Lot 3008 – $23,400.
  • PCGS MS63BN #32708433: Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr.; Eliasberg Estate; “The Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. Collection,” Bowers and Merena, May 1996, Lot 532; As PCGS MS63BN #4512271. Stack’s, July 2008, Lot 1114 – $32,200; “The Cardinal Collection Educational Foundation,” Stack’s-Bowers, January 2013, Lot 13021 – $28,200; D. Brent Pogue Family. As PCGS MS63BN #32708433. “The D. Brent Pogue Family Collection,” Stack’s-Bowers, 3/2017, lot 5133 – $25,850. Pogue novelty insert; Heritage Auctions, August 2, 2017, Lot 3887 – $21,737.50.
  • PCGS MS63BN #10006259: “The Joshua and Ally Walsh Collection,” Heritage Auctions, January 5, 2006, Lot 3030 – $14,950. Joshua and Ally Walsh on insert. Breen Die State V.

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Coin Specifications

Country: United States of America
Year of Issue: 1809
Denomination: One Cent (USD)
Mintmark: None (Philadelphia)
Mintage: 222,867
Alloy: Copper
Weight: 10.89 g
Diameter: 29.00 mm
Edge: Plain
OBV Designer: John Reich
REV Designer: John Reich
Quality: Business Strike

 

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CoinWeek Notes
CoinWeek Notes
CoinWeek Notes presents expert analysis and insights from Charles Morgan and Hubert Walker, the award-winning editors of CoinWeek.com.

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