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The E-Sylum: Volume 14, Number 34, August 14, 2011, Article 8

1783 NOVA CONSTELLATIO PATTERN COINS ON DISPLAY AT 2011 CHICAGO ANA

The August 1 Expo News from Whitman announced that the former John J. Ford set of Nova Constellatio pattern coins will be on display at the Chicago ANA. -Editor

WHitman Nova Constellatio set exhibit An exhibit featuring the Nova Constellatio pattern coins, including three coins that were considered for the first coinage of the newly formed United States of America will be on display at booth #1057 during the American Numismatic Association World's Fair of Money®.

These coins were originally conceived as the first coinage of the US, immediately following its creation. In 1783, the coins test coins (or "pattern coins") were minted as a prelude to mass production. The coins were the bit (100 units), the quint (500 units) and the mark (1,000 units), and it was hoped they would provide a standardized coinage as a replacement for the coins then circulated by the various states, whose values were not uniform. They are called Nova Constellatio (meaning "New Constellation") after the inscription on the obverse which accompanies an all-seeing eye and 13 stars.

Pictured here with the Nova Constellatio pattern coins is 2009 Philadelphia Expo exhibitor Kimberly Godinho, noted numismatic artist.

Mary Counts of Whitman adds:

There are four coins included in this exhibit. The 1783 copper five unit, 1783 Bit 100 Silver, 1783 Quint 500 Silver, and the 1783 Mark 1,000 Silver.

David Crenshaw of Whitman adds:

Visitors to the exhibit will receive a free six-page souvenir reprint of Coin World's 1980 coverage of the famous pattern coins, including interviews with John J. Ford, Jr. Whitman will also raffle off copies of The Secret History of the First U.S. Mint and other books that study the early coinage of the United States. Supplies of the souvenir Coin World reprint are limited and copies are available on a first-come-first-served basis.

But that's not all! See this announcement from Bill Burd, followed by some related information from the Notre Dame numismatic web pages. -Editor

Bill Burd writes:

The Type II Quint will be on display and for sale at my table (1306) at the ANA.

There are two 500 unit silver quint coins, but each is a different variety. They share the same reverse die but have different obverse dies. The variety commonly known as type 1 weighs 134.6 grains according to the Garrett catalog and 133.98 according to Breen with a diameter of 27 mm and has the standard design. It has the same provenance as the mark and is also in the Garrett Auction Catalog as item 620. This variety has a thee petal rosette located in the space midway between the start of NOVA and the end of CONSTELLATIO. Also there is a stop between the A in NOVA and the C in CONSTELLATIO. On the reverse there is a stop on either side of the date.

The other variety, known as type 2 is lighter at 109.6 grains according to the Garrett catalog and 109.72 grains according to Breen and has a somewhat smaller diameter of 24 mm. The obverse die has a different rendering of the central design and has no legend. Also, it has a solid ring border with an outer beaded border, while all other varieties have only a beaded border. On the reverse this variety seems to use the same die as type 1, but at the stop before the date there is what appears to be a die break, giving the appearance of a colon rather than a stop with another small break at the tip of the nearest leaf. This example was owned by Parmelee, Ellsworth, Garrett and is now in the collection of Walter Perschke. Earlier provenance information is unknown, although it is thought Sylvester Crosby may have owned the coin at one time; it is illustrated as item 621 in the Garrett sale.

To read the complete article, see: The Nova Constellatio Patterns of 1783: The Quint (www.coins.nd.edu/ColCoin/ColCoinIntros/NovaPatterns.intro.html)

Bill Burd adds:

Walter Perschke, the owner of the Quint, is asking $3 Million.

THE BOOK BAZARRE

AUTHORS AND PUBLISHERS: Are your books carried by Wizard Coin Supply? If not, contact us via www.WizardCoinSupply.com with details.


Wayne Homren, Editor

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