The model is stopped and the first federal coinage that was intended for a real circulation becomes a rarity, with its very low mintage of 36,103 representing a total face value of $ 361. These chain cents are divided into four die pairings whose numbering from S-1 to S-4 seems chronological.
A coin collector enjoys when a piece still appears as it was made before handling. Wear erases the finer engraved lines. The oxidation of copper is difficult to prevent.
The best specimens differ in some features that make uneasy an identification of the best despite the remarkable accuracy of the grading scale.
A chain cent S-4 graded MS-66 by PCGS was sold for $ 2.35M including premium by Heritage on January 7, 2015. It is characterized by a perfect strike with a stunning sharpness and relief.
On February 9 in New York, Stack's Bowers in association with Sotheby's sells a chain cent S-3 graded MS-65RB by PCGS, lot 3013 estimated $ 750K.
For copper coins, RB means red and brown. The lot for sale is the only chain cent to have preserved a color close to its original copper red, visible throughout the reverse and in many places of the obverse. The best Wreath cents, the transitional variety that succeeded the chain cent, may have similar characteristic.
This piece belonged to a Parisian numismatist who died in 1881. Although its earlier history is not retrieved, this European episode reminds the treasure of Strickland, the British traveler who brought back in July 1795 for his pleasure some samples of US coins acquired at the factory.
A good original storage in a curiosity cabinet gives indeed an undeniable chance for a piece to escape corrosion. The Strickland silver dollar that later became the St. Oswald specimen was sold for $ 5M including premium by Stack's Bowers on September 30, 2015.
SOLD for $ 1M including premium