Heritage to Auction Jules Reiverís Unique 1797 Large Cent (NC-7 B-30) in January A unique Large Cent, discovered by numismatist Jules Reiver in 1968, will be included in the Heritage Numismatic Auctions in January
I studied the plate of each reverse very carefully. As I neared the end of the 1797's, I began to doubt my eyes and my ability. Then I came to Rev. S of the S-142. My coin was a perfect match for it, and the written description fit also. I couldn't understand how I had missed it the first time, until I checked the obverse which was not even close. I went back to the reverse and again checked each plate. There was no doubt about it. My coin was Rev. S.
"Now I began to realize that my coins was possibly a new variety. I very carefully checked each obverse of 1797 to see if the obverse of my coin matched an existing one or was a new die. When I came to Obv. 11 of S-133, I knew that it was the right one. I couldn't see a scratch from the B to the rim as on the S-133, but the V-shaped break through the T to the R clinched it. Obv. 11 is matched only with Rev. J, a stemless variety, in Penny Whimsy, and an Obv. 11-Rev. S combination is not mentioned.
"My specimen is evidently a later striking of Obv. 11. There is a heavy die crack from the rim at the level of the bust, to the lowest point of the neck, and then across the bottom of the neck. Another break starts at the rim below the lowest curl, then runs diagonally upward and to the right through the curls and shoulder towards the other break. I believe that these breaks link up and that the smaller section of the die sinks. The 9 of the date is weak, and the 7 is almost gone. The lower tip of the bust is very weak. The reverse is blank at this point, showing that there was insufficient pressure on stamping. Assuming that my coin represents a new variety, the die mating chart for the 1797's will need to be revised.
"My good friend, George Ramont, an expert on attributing large cents, checked the coin for me. I did not give him my conclusions, but let him attribute the coin one side at a time. He came up with the same results. Next, I showed the coin to Walter Breen who agreed with the attribution and entered the specimen in his notes as NC-7, a unique and new variety of 1797."
Mr. Reiverís article was immediately followed by a complete discussion of the new variety by Walter Breen, who also revised the emission order for these coins based on this new discovery.
Borckardt has described the coin as follows: ď1797 1C Reverse of 1797, Stems. NC-7, B-30, R.8--Environmental Damage--NCS. VG Details. VG8 EAC. Dark olive surfaces with splashes of steel color at the left obverse. The surfaces have only the faintest corrosion. Die sinking creates the localized weakness at 97 of the date, mentioned by Reiver in his article about this coin. A few tiny