Rosa Americana 1722 Penny, PR65BN (PCGS)

VTILE DVLCI

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“AN ABSOLUTELY ASTONISHING COIN”

Breen Enc. 111 ~ Latinate legends including “GEORGIVS” obverse and “VTILE DVLCI” reverse.

Struck under license from the British Crown granted to William Wood, the Rosa Americana coinage is some of the most aesthetically pleasing and beautifully struck coinage of the early American colonies. The obverse depicts King George I while the reverse shows as its central device the “Tudor” or “Union Rose”, a combination of the white rose of the House of York and the red rose of the House of Lancaster.

Boldly struck on a good flan, this specimen exhibits superb, softly mirrored surfaces, with exceptional chestnut brown toning and traces of original mint red retained in the protected areas. In fact, Michael Hodder commented in the catalogue description for this coin in Ford IX “An absolutely astonishing coin.” We wholeheartedly agree.

This is clearly the finest of four known 1722 Rosa Americana Pennies with Latinate legends, two struck in Bath metal, and two in copper, all of which were offered in the Stack’s sale of John Ford’s collection as follows:

  • Ford IX lot 100 – Bath metal, Very Fine, weak obverse @ $7,500.
  • Ford IX lot 101 – Bath metal, Very Fine, “perhaps deserving of a bit higher grade” @ $9,000. Later (Heritage 8/2007:1513 @ $32,200 as PCGS AU55), then (Heritage 5/2008: 1838 @ $21,275 as PCGS AU55).
  • Ford IX lot 102 – Copper, Gem Proof @ $42,500. This specimen.
  • Ford IX lot 103 – Copper, Choice Very Fine @ $8,500. Later (Heritage 5/2008: 2098 @ $27,600 as AU55).

Provenance:

  • Col. James W. Ellsworth (Sold privately through Wayte Raymond to John Work Garrett, 3/1923)
  • John Work Garrett (Bowers and Ruddy “Garrett III” 10/1980: lot 1240 @ $5,500 as “Proof”)
  • John J. Ford, Jr. (Stack’s 5/2005: lot 102 @ $42,500 as “Gem Proof”)
  • (Heritage 1/2009: lot 3543 @ $40,250 as PCGS PR65BN)
  • (Heritage 8/2012: lot 5001 @ $49,938 as PCGS PR65BN)