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Tom's Personal Collection
Early Dates: Chain Type (1793)

1793 S-1 "AMERI."

The first coin struck at the Philadelphia Mint, late February or early March, 1793. AMERICA is appreviated on the reverse as "AMERI.". One of those coins you dream about as a kid, looking through pictures in the Redbook at the first section on Large Cents, and seeing the haggard appearance of Miss Liberty and the mysteriously-spelled AMERI. on the reverse. Several suggestions have been proposed to the abbreviated version of AMERICA. The most likely reason in my opinion is that the diemaker reasoned that adding CA would upset the balance of the reverse. Or perhaps no "C" punch was available.

This coin came from the Mark Englestad Pacific Northwest collection of large cents, and is housed in a PCGS AG3 holder. S-1 is a Rarity-4 variety, with perhaps close to 200 known examples. She doesn't have a date, which is the only negative about this coin, but the date is always weak on S-1 (and wouldn't be expected to be visible at all on an AG3.) She does have a partial LIBERTY, and a full reverse with all legends readable. The surface quality is miraculous, considering the heavy wear; a small rim bump over U in UNITED is the only flaw worthy of mention.

1793 S-4 "Periods"

I got this from a well-known EAC dealer (who advertises in Coin World periodically) in January, 2000. It's in an ANACS slab graded AG3 with no qualifiers, although it does have a bit of porosity on the obverse. The thing I like about it (besides being a Chain cent) is that has a date, albeit a weak one, and it was cheap, as these go. This variety is called the "Periods" variety, because for some unknown reason a period was added to the end of LIBERTY and to the end of the date. On this example, the period shows after LIBERTY, but not after the date.

Please send questions, comments, and suggestions to webguy@largecents.net.