Goldberg Pre Long Beach Sale, Lot 806
Prices Realized - $437,000
February 22, 2005
(Beverly Hills, CA) - "One of the most prized items" in early American coins, the 1792 Judd-2 pattern cent, sold for $437,000 in a Beverly Hills, California auction on February 21, 2005. The successful bidder was Anthony Terranova, a noted early American coin specialist from New York.
The "silver-center cent without the silver" had been kept for decades in an old tobacco canister and was previously unreported until last summer. It was graded PCGS VF30.
"The consignors are descendants of Oliver Wolcott, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and a Governor of Connecticut in the 1790s. They said their grandfather kept this coin and a few others in a tin tobacco can," said auctioneer Ira Goldberg of Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles, Inc., Beverly Hills.
"The historical importance of this coin cannot be overstated," said Michael Sherman, Vice President of Professional Coin Grading Service of Newport Beach, California who directed the team of experts who authenticated the coin.
"It is a pattern cent struck at the Philadelphia Mint on December 17, 1792, and it represents the birth of United States coins. It is one of the most prized items in numismatics, and PCGS is delighted to have authenticated it," Sherman stated.
The coin is only the ninth known Judd-2. The owners surprised collectors with its existence last August when they brought the valuable penny to the American Numismatic Association World's Fair of Money® convention in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
"When the gentleman first showed me the coin, I recognized what it was 'supposed to be,' even though I had never seen one in person. It had a genuine look to it, but these types of coins are the realm of specialists. I called over John Dannreuther, and he had the same reaction. He liked it," recalled Sherman.
"We took it to Colonial coin specialists, Anthony Terranova of New York City, Robert Rhue of Denver and former ANA President Kenneth E. Bressett of Colorado Springs, who all believed it to be genuine. Then it went to the PCGS grading room to check its weight and be examined by the PCGS team there. It was authenticated and certified PCGS VF30 within an hour of its surprising arrival at the ANA convention."
The chocolate-colored coin bears the date, 1792, the inscription, "PARENT OF SCIENCE & INDUSTRY: LIBERTY," and depicts a lady's head facing to right. The lady represents the symbolic Miss Liberty, a common design theme of early United States coins.