That’s an easy one. Far and away the most expensive coin I have personally bought and sold was this coin: It is a 1793 Chain Cent, With the word AMERICA abbreviated as “AMERI”. I purchased it for $1.5 million.
How did you discover the coin?
Well, I wish I could say something like, “I found it in a wooden chest in an attic of an old New England farmhouse”. The truth is more ordinary. I purchased it out of a major coin auction held in Florida in January of 2019.
What is the history associated with the coin?
The coin is quite famous in numismatic circles and was previously owned by two prominent coin collectors. Ted Naftzger, who assembled the greatest collection of Large Cents ever formed, owned it from 1947 to 1996. Alan Weinberg purchased it in 1996 at Mr. Naftzger’s kitchen table. Mr. Weinberg owned it from 1996 to when he auctioned it off in 2019 along with the rest of his spectacular collection.
What attributes of the coin lead to its significant value?
There are two big reasons why this coin is so darn valuable. The first is: It is considered by most to be the very first cent design. This design was used for only a few weeks back in 1793. The second reason (and perhaps the more important one) is condition. This specimen is among the finest known. There is one finer specimen of this issue, but that coin is a little different; it was likely a presentation piece that was purposely made to be saved by someone important at the time. It is currently valued at $5 million or so. The specimen I purchased, on the other hand, was obviously made to be spent by the public. For some reason it never circulated and was likely put away and saved in pristine condition back in 1793. As a result, many collectors consider this coin to be the finest example of the first circulating US cent. And that is a very big deal in the world of coins.
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