Mass production will begin with the One Cent in pure copper. The United States had produced from 1787 in 400,000 units a coin of this value, the Fugio cent, stopped two years later because its inscriptions were not compliant with the new Constitution.
From October 1792 the rise in the price of copper creates a major difficulty. The Mint tries unsuccessfully to develop a bi-metallic copper-silver cent by alloying or plugging. On January 14, 1793 the Congress agrees to reduce the copper weight from 264 to 208 grains for a come back to a One Cent ln pure copper. This is not enough : the weight is then reduced to 168 grains (13.48 grams).
It is decided not to wait anymore. President Washington's birthday celebrations will last one week starting on Saturday, February 22. The federal One Cent must be available to users on Saturday, March 1st.
The new coin is actually released on the scheduled day, in 11,178 units. Its design provokes an immediate reprobation at the factory and then another one in the public for another reason. In the emergency the engraver miscalculated the circular arrangement of the letters on the reverse, inscribing United States of Ameri without ending the word America. This unacceptable blunder is corrected for the rest of the production.
Also on the reverse, the figure displays the chain of solidarity between the States, on the model of the Fugio. The circular links of the Fugio are however replaced by oval links that the public understands as a chain of slavery. The production run of this 'Chain Cent' ends on March 12 after delivering a total of 36,103 pieces. In the face of the outcry, the Mint is preparing another drawing, the Wreath Cent.
The Chain Ameri are thus the very first coins available for trading under the act of 1792. On January 10 in Orlando, Heritage sells as lot 4312 a coin in a sensational condition, graded MS64+ Brown by PCGS and CAC stamped. It even kept traces of the original color of the copper inside some deep incisions better preserved from corrosion. Only one other Ameri, not graded by PCGS, may be considered finer.
Please watch the video shared by the auction house.
SOLD for $ 1.5M including premium