1787 New Jersey Copper
Estimated Survivors: 34 Known
Mint: Morristown Mint
Edge: Plain Edge
Obverse Design: “NOVA CÆSAREA 1787” The obverse of the coin shows a horse facing the right side of the coin with a plow and below. The date sits below the plow and text surrounds the border of the coin.
Reverse Design: ” * E * PLURIBUS * UNUM * “ The reverse of the coin shows a shield with 13 stripes, surrounded by text. Stars seperate each word.
In high grade, the Maris 6-C New Jersey Copper is considered very rare. With 34 known to our catalogers, this coin is seldom seen. Stack’s Bowers Galleries has offered many of the 34 known, with extremely low-grade examples bringing several hundred dollars and top-pop coins bringing in excess of $50,000.
In the October 2003 Sale of the John J. Ford, Jr. Collection, Part I, Stack’s Bowers Galleries catalogs noted: “Breen felt that the reverse shield on the C die was so skillfully designed and executed that it must have been made in England. He attributed the die work to Peter Wyon of the Birmingham family of engravers on essentially no evidence whatsoever. He called Reverse C a pattern design and assumed that it had been made by Wyon in the hope of obtaining a coinage contract for the Soho Mint either from the federal or New Jersey state government. Without knowing that Walter Mould had been in America since the winter of 1783, Breen decided that Mould had carried the die with him when he emigrated to the New World, which Breen believed must have happened around the summer of 1785. More modern research has shown that Breen was correct in assuming that reverse C was a Morristown Mint die but not in the assumption he made for its English origin.
The example shown to the left is the highest graded piece in the census, with a grade of PCGS MS-63 Brown. It was sold in Stack’s Bowers Galleries October 2018 Auction after being off of the public auction market for over a century. The last traced public sale of this coin was from Henry and S. Hudson Chapman’s sale of the John G. Mills Collection in April 1904 as lot 377. Prior to that, it was part of Henry and S. Hudson Chapman’s sale of the C.T. Whitman Collection in August 1893 as lot 1162.
The C.T. Whitman Sale, Lot 1162
Newman Numismatic Portal.
The John G. Mills Sale, Lot 377
Newman Numismatic Portal.
The example to the left is from Stack’s Bowers Galleries October 2018 Sale of The Archangel Collection of Colonial Coins and 1792 Coinage, where it sold for $60,000. Images courtesy of PCGS TrueView.