Several craftsmen offer their know-how by producing test pieces in copper for the 1 cent. The similarity of pieces of various origins adorned with the effigy of the President suggests that a guideline was provided. The most active is not American but English : the Westwood workshop in Birmingham for which Hancock is the engraver.
Trials in multiple denomination appear to be a common practice. Pieces are made from the same dies with various metals without worrying about the circulation value. This observation makes incomprehensible the expected use of the 1776 Continental Dollar.
On January 12, 1792 the Senate approves more detailed requirements for the design, triggering a new debate on a possible monarchical interpretation of the portrait of the president. Washington's position on this point is unclear but he does not seem upset when the Mint Act of 2 April 1792 removes his effigy and replaces it with Liberty.
A unique gold coin dated 1792 bearing the portrait of Washington is known. It was struck with dies that were also used with silver and copper. Described for the first time in 1855, this piece has long been attributed to Hancock. It is now re-attributed to the American inventor Jacob Perkins working in Newburyport MA, author of a medal where the drawing of the portrait is unquestionably identical.
This gold coin is close to the Eagle as defined in the Coin Act. It does not meet all the prescriptions of January 1792 and may have been engraved earlier and post-dated. It is graded XF-45 by NGC. Its traces of wear are typical of a transport in a purse that the imagination of numismatists identifies as the President's pocket.
It was for 75 years the favorite piece of Eric P. Newman's collection for its connection to the first President in the most valuable metal during the preparation phase of the US currency. It will be sold without reserve price as lot 5010 by Heritage in Philadelphia on August 16 for the benefit of institutions designated by the Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society. Please watch the video shared by the auction house.
SOLD for $ 1.74M including premium