FLOYD T. STARR’S “MAGNIFICENT” 1793 S-2 CHAIN CENT
Sheldon 2: Wide Date obverse. AMERICA reverse. No Periods. Rarity 4+. Late die state, Breen State II.
The surfaces of this magnificent cent exhibit nearly full, original mint luster, and have mellowed to a perfect, medium tan with faint shades of brown. The devices are boldly struck with well defined hair about Liberty’s ear. A shallow, lateral flan void in the obverse field under Liberty’s chin, a mark at the bottom of 7 in the date, and a diagonal reverse mark through the T in CENT are the only disturbances of note. Regardless of grade, Chain Cents with real, original luster are a rarity. Maybe a half-dozen or so remain across all die pairs. This is one of those rare survivors.
Of the four “collectible” 1793 Chain Cent die marriages, the condition census roster for Sheldon 2 seems to be the most unsettled. Comparing the 2000 roster offered by Del Bland, and the 2006 roster offered by William C. Noyes, Bland’s CC#1 as MS61 has been smoothed, cleaned, and recolored, and is graciously called AU50(55) by Noyes as his CC#6/7, although an EAC grade of XF40(50) seems more in order. Noyes’s CC#1 as MS62(60) is listed fifth by Bland as AU55. Finally, there are three coins listed as tied for CC#2-4 by both Noyes and Bland, all as AU55(55), although their orders differ.
The contenders include Noyes #28661, currently graded MS64 by PCGS, and last sold as part of the Eugene Gardner Collection (Heritage 6/2014:30019 @ $396,563), and Noyes #32005, once graded MS63 by PCGS, now regarded as PCGS MS65, and last sold as part of Martin Logies’s “The Cardinal Collection” (Stacks Bowers 1/2013:13001 @ $998,750). However, both should arguably be placed behind the Starr S.2, as the Gardner S.2 was struck on a bad flan and exhibits a long scratch on the reverse, while the Logies coin exhibits notable flatness above Liberty’s ear that does not appear to be as struck, and its color does not appear to be original.
Noyes #20047. PCGS #25338681
- W. Taffs (Glendining & Co., Ltd, London, 11/1956 : lot 506)
- Spink & Son, Ltd., London
- (New Netherlands Coin Co., No. 50 “Gaskill”, 12/1957 : lot 880 @ $1,275)
- Floyd T. Starr (Stack’s 6/1984 : lot 2 @ $46,200 as “AU-55”)
- Herman Halpern (Private sale, 12/1986)
- E. Naftzger (Private sale, 2/1992)
- Eric Streiner, Jay Parrino “The Mint” (Private sale, 4/1996)
- Jack Wadlington (Private sale, Bob Grellman & Chris McCawley, 6/2005)
- Dan Holmes (Ira & Larry Goldberg, McCawley-Grellman 9/2009 : lot 3 @ $402,500 as PCGS MS63) to Anthony Terranova
- Joseph O’Connor, O’Connor Numismatics (Private sale, 8/2011 to Oliver Jung)
- Oliver Jung (Heritage 8/2014 : lot 5518 @ $411,250 as PCGS MS64)