1785 Nova Constellatio, Early U. S. Speculative Coinage

Year: 1785
Condition: PCGS XF-40 [ PCGS 813.40/35055715 ]
Country: United States
A nice example of this classic early U. S. pre-Federal coinage, and a famous Colonial "Red Book" issue. This is considered both a "Pattern" (or more properly, a speculative issue), as well as it was meant to actually circulate at the value of an English Half Penny, so is a precursor to the U. S. Half Cent of 1793. A private issue of a New York business interest, struck in Birmingham, England to order. The designs & legend were copied from the 1783 Nova Constellatio Pattern series designed by Benjamin Dudley, which are extremely rare. The earlier Nova issues were the first attempt to establish a Decimal coinage system, and are considered the first U. S. Patterns in the true sense. Perhaps the original designs were rejected as commercially impractical as the population of the former Colonies would have undoubtedly been more familiar and comfortable with a system based upon the old English system. This is a nice problem free piece, freshly certified by PCGS. The images provided are courtesy of the PCGS "TrueView" service. This is also sold with the original old ANACS photo certificate of the 1980's. The ANACS cert shows the typical overly strict ANACS view of grading and attribution, as they were afraid of making a mistake due to the new nature of "commercial" third-party grading. This is in fact not "corroded" as ANACS stated, but is an example of Crosby 3 (the most common variety), all of which were struck from rusted, failing dies - as can be witnessed by the large "cud" along the bottom on the wreath on the Reverse. This example in fact has nicer surfaces than many. These are typically priced by how "pretty" they are, with strike being a major factor. A recent sale in the same grade brought $1,380 at Heritage, but that coin was exceptional and was probably seen as being undergraded. Regardless, this should be reasonable at my price.
Item Id #: 006633