PCGS Certifies ANS’
Unique 1793 Wreath Large Cent
The unique 1793 Wreath U.S. large cent variety
(Sheldon NC-5, Crosby 10-F) in the collection of
the American Numismatic Society (ANS) has been
authenticated and graded by Professional Coin
Grading Service as PCGS AU-58. The coin has a
distinguished pedigree dating back to 1881, but
this was the first time it has been formally
certified by a third-party grading service.
"PCGS experts examined this amazing coin and
encapsulated it at the Florida United
Numismatists (FUN) convention in Orlando,
Florida, on dealer set-up day, January 7, 2009.
It was truly awe-inspiring to see it in person,"
said Don Willis, President of PCGS, a division
of Collectors Universe, Inc. (NASDAQ: CLCT).
After certification by PCGS, the coin was placed
on display at the FUN convention booth of early
American copper specialists, Chris McCawley and
Bob Grellman, alongside selected highlights from
the large cent collection of Daniel W. Holmes,
Jr., an ANS Trustee. It was the first time the
coin has been publicly seen outside New York
City since it was donated to ANS 63 years ago.
"The Trustees of the Society have loaned this
coin to fellow Trustee Dan Holmes. We are very
excited to have for the first time a display of
a complete set of all large cent varieties. We
hope many people see this exceptional display,"
said Dr. Ute Wartenberg Kagan, ANS Executive
The Holmes Collection will be offered in a
series of auctions by McCawley and Grellman
through Ira and Larry Goldberg Coins and
Collectibles in Beverly Hills, California,
beginning September 6, 2009.
"Many of the most important pieces in the Holmes
collection have been certified and graded by
PCGS, and are labeled with the Holmes pedigree
on each holder," said Larry Goldberg.
The 1793 Wreath cent with the vine and bars edge
was delivered by armored car service from ANS in
New York City to Orlando on Wednesday, January
7, where Grellman took possession and brought it
to Willis for certification and grading by PCGS.
"We wanted to encapsulate the coin for security
and protection purposes," said Grellman.
The unique coin was donated to the ANS in 1946
by prominent collector George H. Clapp of
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, one of the founders of
ALCOA (Aluminum Company of America).
"The pedigree is a virtual who’s who of late
19th and early 20th century U.S. numismatics,"
The earliest-known owner of the coin was New
York dealer Edouard Frossard who discovered the
variety in 1881. In his December 8, 1881 sale
catalog, he described the coin as: "1793 Wreath
Cent. Stem of sprig rises between the 7 and 9 of
the date, the leaves slender and spreading. Rev.
The same as rev. of last number: a combination
mentioned neither by Levick and Crosby, nor
Frossard. Unique. A splendid impression, proof
Later owners included Lorin G. Parmelee, Dr.
Thomas Hall, Virgil Brand, and Burdette G.
Johnson of St. Louis Stamp & Coin Co. who sold
the coin to Clapp for $600 in 1942. Clapp
donated it to ANS four years later, and it has
been in the society’s collection ever since.
On September 7, 2009, the day after the auction
of the Holmes collection, the Goldbergs will
offer Part Three, the "late dates," of the Ted
Naftzger collection of large cents. The nearly
700 coins in the collection now are in the
process of being examined, certified and graded
by PCGS. The Goldbergs’ earlier auction of PCGS-certified
"early date" coins from the Naftzger collection
set record prices.
For additional information about PCGS, call
(800) 477-8848 or visit online at www.PCGS.com.
For additional information about the American
Numismatic Society, call (212) 571-4470 or
For information about the Holmes Collection
auctions, contact McCawley & Grellman, (972)
668-1575 or (407) 682-9592 or
www.MandGauctions.com, or Ira & Larry Goldberg
Coins & Collectibles, (310) 551-2646 or