Early American Copper Coins

Hello everyone,

I am working on a collection for a stereotypical widow who does not know what is there and what is not. Unfortunately the husband did not leave it too well organized and no valuations except a generic ballpark.

One of the coins is a George Washington 1793 (the last digit is a little murky) half penny. It is probably in fine to very fine condition and appears to be legit. My only issue is it is a plain edge which according to the Red Book is rare. I have not seen any other indication that this guy collected anything rare. I have not even seen any key date twentieth century coins.

So he was either very lucky and the guy who sold it to him did not know what he was looking at or the edge has been altered (not by the husband as there is no indication of that in the rest of the collection).

The coin weights 13 grams and is about the size of a large cent. The edges do look a little beat up but nicely rounded and toned consistent with the rest of the coin.

Does anyone have any other diagnostics for this coin?

My next stop is a local dealer and maybe a third party grading company.

Thank you for any and all help.

8 years ago

Well, I took the coin to a local dealer and it turns out it was replica layered in either copper or bronze. The signs were all there I just missed them. The obvious tell was where some of the layering was starting to come off. I just did not pick up on it. Hey, that is why I go to the pros if I have a question.

You learn something new everyday.

8 years ago

Darn, I was really excited that you had found a rarity. Any Washington material from 1793 would have been great if it was authentic. How's the rest of the collection? You might have an episode of "Strange Inheritance" on your hands. It's a great thing helping out a widow and keeping her away from land sharks.

8 years ago

What is on the obverse and reverse?

If you want to pursue this seriously, you might consult the Rulau and Fuld book entitled "Medallic Portraits of Washington."  Check it out on amazon.com, for instance.

8 years ago
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