By Christopher Maisano – Numismatist, Stack’s Bower Galleries ……
The 1793 Wreath cent can be considered an ultimate type coin as well as an incredibly desirable and scarce item that traces its history to the earliest days of the United States Mint. Stack’s Bowers Galleries are pleased to present a handsome, high-grade circulated example of this perennially popular large cent design type in our Spring 2022 Auction. As a highlight of numismatic history, here is an impressive large cent for modern-day enthusiasts to chase.
This lovely example is a particularly choice and wholesome EF, displaying only true, subtle wear and no signs of post-Mint damage. Both sides are warmly toned in copper-brown, with glints of light olive evident in isolated areas. The strike is well centered and otherwise sharp for an early copper piece especially for the assigned grade, except for the reverse border which is devoid of beading from 6:30 to 11:00. The surface texture is satiny and generally hard, with a few minor planchet flaws concentrated in the lower left obverse field. There are a few wispy handling marks in the right obverse field and on the reverse around the word STATES, none of which detract from the coin’s eye appeal and originality and are normal for a lightly circulated early copper. This Breen Die State III large cent also features an obvious obverse die clash, which adds character.
The copper for this variety was supplied by Greenleaf and Watson, and the planchets are apt to show laminations or other natural flaws, which are evident on the obverse of this example. Production of Sheldon-11C was intermingled with that of S-11B. It is not known why the Mint abandoned the vine and bars edge device in favor of a lettered edge noting the denomination, especially since the denomination is already found twice as part of the reverse design.
All 1793 Wreath cents are eagerly sought as part of the first year, regular issue U.S. large cent series, and as a one-year design type. In original, attractive PCGS-certified Extremely Fine preservation, this piece is particularly desirable for both type and variety. When this early copper rarity reaches the auction block, we expect to attract significant attention from copper specialists and advanced collectors of historic Americana.