Legendary Red Copper Collection at ANA
The "Red Copper
Collection" of mint state and proof half cents
and cents will be publicly displayed for the
first time by Professional Coin Grading Service
(PCGS) at the American Numismatic Association
World’s Fair of Money® convention in Baltimore,
July 30 – August 2, 2008.
Assembled over a period of more than 20 years by
Stewart Blay of New York, the collection
contains some of the finest known copper coins
and has won awards from the PCGS Set RegistrySM
annually for each of the past six years.
Among the highlights are a 1796 half cent graded
MS-66 RB, the finest known early American copper
coin; an 1877 Indian Head cent MS-66 RD
(nicknamed "the Golden Princess"); and a 1909-S
V.D.B. Lincoln cent MS-67 RD.
"It’s the finest collection of high-grade copper
coins ever assembled, and some of these coins
have never been publicly exhibited before. There
were many excited comments posted on the PCGS
Message Board when the word started to spread
that this legendary collection would be shown
for the first time," said BJ Searls, Manager of
the PCGS Set RegistrySM.
Blay is a sculptor who works in Colorado,
Indiana and Italy, and also has acted in
television commercials and soap operas. He began
collecting at the age of eight.
"I had a neighbor whose uncle worked for the
(New York) Transit Authority. He used to bring
change home and we’d sort through it. I started
with Lincoln pennies and began to fill up an old
Whitman folder," Blay explained.
In addition to the three coins mentioned above,
the Red Copper Collection items to be displayed
by PCGS at the ANA convention in Baltimore
Half cents, 1793 to 1857, all in Mint State
including a 1793 half cent MS-65 BN and an 1828
half cent 13 stars MS-65 RD, the finest known.
Flying Eagle cents including patterns, 1856 –
1858, with an 1856 graded MS-65;
Indian Head cents 1858 – 1909 circulation
strikes and patterns.
Lincoln cents, 1909 to date circulation strikes
and proofs including a 1914-D MS-66 RD formerly
from the David Hall Collection; 1919 MS-69 RD
the finest- known Lincoln Wheat cent ever to
receive that grade; 1922 no D MS-64 RD finest
known and also in MS-65 RB; 1938 PR-67 Cameo,
finest known; 1950 PR-67 DC; 1958 doubled die
obverse MS65 RD, finest known; and 1969-S
doubled die obverse MS-65 RD finest known.
"I’ve been a copper enthusiast from my early
days of collecting, when Braided Hair half cents
caught my eye because of their low mintages.
What Stewart has accomplished as a collector is
simply incredible," said Ron Guth, PCGS
"Locating and preserving early American copper
coins with any amount of original red color is a
daunting challenge. Collecting Indian and
Lincoln cents with full red color is just as
difficult. Stewart’s tenacity and aggressive
pursuit of the coins he loves has made him the
‘King of the Hill’ in U.S. copper coins."