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    Posted: 04 Aug 2006 at 10:21pm
Historic 1792 Mint Patterns Among Rarities Offered
Silver Center Cent, "Fusible Alloy" Cent To Sell in August

(WOLFEBORO – JULY 27) An unusual offering of highly elusive 1792 U.S. Mint patterns are among the choice coins and related items to be sold in Denver as part of American Numismatic Rarities’ latest catalogue of the Old West and Franklinton Collections. Dating from the earliest days of the U.S. Mint, before the issuance of regular issue cents and half cents in 1793, two very rare 1792 cent patterns will be offered in consecutive lots. Joining these two pieces will be a high grade 1792 half disme, once considered a pattern but now included among regular issue half dimes by most numismatic scholars despite being coined before the completion of the First U.S. Mint in Philadelphia. Related offerings include the private 1792 copper pattern coined by Lancaster, Pennsylvania silversmith Peter Getz and an extraordinary document signed by Thomas Jefferson that authorized Congressional funding for the first year of the Mint’s existence.

The two 1792 cent patterns are listed in J. Hewitt Judd’s pattern work (9th edition edited by Q. David Bowers, published by Whitman) as Judd-1 and Judd-2. The 1792 Silver Center cent, Judd-1, is among the most famous and historic of all U.S. coins, representing an early attempt by David Rittenhouse and Thomas Jefferson to issue a bi-metallic cent coin whose intrinsic value matched its denomination. The specimen to be offered was once a part of the Virgil Brand and Floyd Starr collections. Graded Fine-15 (PCGS), it is the most worn of the 12 or so known specimens. Its history is unparalleled, as the Judd-1 was the first coin to ever be struck within the walls of the Philadelphia Mint. Struck just days after, the Judd-2 is struck from the same dies but on an entirely copper planchet instead of with a silver center. Once called “Fusible Alloy Cents,” most appear to be struck in pure copper rather than an alloy of copper and silver. The specimen to be offered is graded F-15 by NGC and, despite its wear, ranks as one of the best of the 10 or so known. A more recently discovered specimen, graded VF-30 (PCGS), sold for $600,000 in a recent private transaction.

Though not struck by the U.S. Mint, the 1792 pattern issue of Peter Getz was struck as a private attempt to acquire the rights to a Federal coinage contract while Congress still debated the bill that authorized the Mint. With legends and designs based upon the Senate version of the Mint Act, the pieces are a clear attempt by Getz to appeal to lawmakers, despite the fact that his effort was never sanctioned by the government. The Senate version of the bill that became the Mint Act of 1792 required that coins feature “the head of the President of the United States for the time being, with an inscription which shall express the initial or first letter of his Christian or first name, and his surname at length, the succession of the presidency numerically, and the year of coinage.” Getz followed these instructions to the letter, yielding a pattern coinage whose obverse legend reads G. WASHINGTON PRESIDENT I. 1792. Unfortunately for him, the approved version of the bill included the language from the House of Representatives. His coins today stand as a monument to an ambitious and talented smith, rarities not yet appreciated for their full historic value. The specimen to be offered is struck in copper and graded MS-62 BN by NGC.

Joining this trio of pattern issues is the Oliver Jung 1792 half disme, graded AU-58 (PCGS). Struck in the spring of 1792 before the Mint was fully erected, the half dismes were coined for circulation, making them America’s first Federally issued coins. Washington famously called them “a small beginning in the coinage,” though the text of that particular address to Congress was actually written by Thomas Jefferson, whose interest in the First Mint is well known.


1792 silver center cent.
Judd-1, Pollock-1.
Rarity-7-. F-15 (PCGS).
Click for full pictures and description.

Lot #13

1792 cent. J-2, P-2.
Rarity-7-. F-15 (NGC).
Click for full pictures and description.

Lot #14

Jefferson’s autograph is prominently featured on Lot 16 in the Old West and Franklinton Collections sale, an official printing of the Act of March 2, 1793, which authorized the appropriations for the Mint structure and its first employees. Signing as Secretary of State, Jefferson duly noted the requirement of Congress that the Director of the Mint earn $2000 per annum, the Assayer and Chief Coiner earn $1500, and the Engraver and Treasurer earn $1200 each. Further, the bill authorized $12,079.78 for “purchasing two lots of ground, with the buildings thereon, and for erecting other buildings, and purchasing sundry materials and necessaries for the use of the mint.” The handsome document will undoubtedly see strong competition from those numismatists interested in the early history of the U.S. Mint.

The Old West and Franklinton Collections sale will be held on August 11, 2006 at the Warwick Denver Hotel in downtown Denver, Colorado. Featuring 1,762 lots, other highlights include plates from the archives of the American Bank Note Company, a very rare 1884 Trade Dollar in Proof-64 CAM (PCGS), Augustus Humbert’s personal 1852 Moffat $10 in SP-67 (NGC), a gem 1901-S 25˘ in MS-67 (NGC), the Eliasberg 1794 dollar graded EF-45 (PCGS), a superb gem 1799 dollar graded MS-66 (PCGS), a gold Proof set from 1908, an impressive Proof-67 Ultra Cameo (NGC) 1861 double eagle, and other notable rarities. The lots may currently be seen online at or a printed catalogue is available from American Numismatic Rarities by calling 866-811-1804.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cil3x Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Aug 2009 at 1:39pm
i think they're trying to experiment with 2 metal coins like the canadian toonie. it was clearly cut out before the coin was used my people.
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