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Lot 3016

Image Information

Type Coin
Title Lot 3016
Date 1785
Side obverse
Grade 45
Service NGC
Service Catalog # 813
Description 1785 COPPER Nova Constellatio Copper, 12 Stars XF45 NGC. W-1920, Unique. 99.8 grains. This unique Nova Constellatio copper, produced on a cast flan, has just 12 stars on the obverse. Eric P. Newman discussed this piece in "New Thoughts on the Nova Constellatio Private Copper Coinage," his presentation at the 1995 Coinage of the Americas Conference in New York City. The article appeared in the 1996 compilation Coinage of the American Confederation Period, edited by Philip M. Mossman, and is reprinted in the current catalog: {blockquote}"The counterfeit 1785 Nova Constellatio is much cruder than the 1786 pieces. The 1785 counterfeit maximizes errors by omitting the E in LIBRTAS, by having only 12 sets of rays and 12 stars, by the leaf stem joinders pointing counterclockwise instead of clockwise and by having two stops after the word CONSTELLATIO and before the word NOVA. Its style indicates American manufacture."{/blockquote} The cast flan has its edge filed, and this piece could easily be mistaken for an electrotype, except for two critical factors. First, if it is an electrotype, what was it made from? As a unique piece, there is nothing currently known that could have been copied. Second, there is no indication of lead or other filling shining through the surface pits or worn high points. Clearly, the planchet is entirely composed of copper. The design elements are a trifle weak, and the olive-brown surfaces show microscopic granularity. Delicate steel-blue overtones appear on both sides. Ex: Ben Douglas (Washington, D.C.); Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society. Realized $7050.00. Description courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

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