By James McCartney, Numismatist & Cataloger – Stack’s Bowers …..
Among the many highlights in our Early American Coins session at our November Baltimore Auction (presented in cooperation with the Colonial Coin Collectors Club, or C4), is the outstanding Choice Mint State 1787 Massachusetts cent offered in lot 5177.
We had the pleasure of first offering this example in our sale of the Louis E. Eliasberg Collection in May 1996. In lot 88 of that auction, we described this piece as “satiny medium brown” and “superb,” going on to speculate that it “may well be the finest known example.” The superlative quality drew the eye of a similarly astute collector by the name of Donald G. Partrick, who would own the piece until the sale of his assemblage by Heritage in January of 2015. With its high quality and the prestige associated with two such numismatic titans, this wonderful piece is sure to attract the most discerning early American coin enthusiasts.
The dark cocoa patina of this lovely Choice Mint State example is accented by warm caramel tones in select areas. Soft mint luster can be seen, gently blanketing essentially all regions across both sides. The centers have been more gently impressed, revealing sections of raw planchet, though the surfaces are otherwise smooth and well-composed. A late die state has resulted in a few notions of pitting around the bow on the obverse and also a crack at the lower right border on the reverse, but the motifs are otherwise unaffected by this aged pairing. This truly spectacular example likely represents the finest survivor of the Ryder 4-D dies.
This top condition Massachusetts cent will be showcased in our official auction of the Whitman Coin & Collectibles Baltimore Expo, as part of our Early American Coins session, presented in cooperation with the Colonial Coin Collectors Club. To obtain your copy of the catalog or to consign your rarities to a future showcase event, please contact our offices today at 1-800-458-4646 to speak with a Consignment Director and see what Stack’s Bowers Galleries can do for you.