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1793 Chain cent set regular issues record

Clinic1009a.jpg Clinic1009b.jpg? What was the first U.S. cent to exceed the $100,000 mark in collector value?
The 1792 cent pattern with silver center plug sold at auction at the Great Eastern Numismatic Association convention Sept. 20, 1974, for $105,000. It set a new record for the lowly cent. For the regular issue cents, the 1793 Chain cent brought $120,000 in Auction ?80.

? Why is it that several of the earlier proof sets are selling for barely more than the issue price, while some later sets are selling for more than double the price?
The principal reason why some proof sets are selling at such low prices is that the market was saturated at the time. Far too many were ordered for speculation purposes rather than collecting. Now the market has caught up with the supply, and as a result some of the late sets are selling at double or more of the issue price. You might classify the older cheap sets as sleepers, but it will probably be some time before the demand clears up the surplus that is still lying around.

? Would it be worthwhile to assemble a complete date set of U.S. proof sets since 1936?
Certainly an expensive idea, but it?s doubtful that there would be any particular benefit (profit) in having a complete group of sets. More important would be the quality of any of the individual proof coins prior to 1950, because the ultimate values of the early proofs are determined on a coin by coin, rather than a set by set price.

? How high will the price of gold have to go before the face value of a gold coin will be an exact multiple of the gold value?
Let?s back up and start over. I think you are mixing some facts and some fantasy here. No U.S. gold coin contains ? or ever contained ? the exact value in gold to match the face value, always slightly less. No matter what the price of gold does, it isn?t going to change that ratio a bit. Even if gold went to $1 million an ounce, it won?t alter the fact that a $20 gold coin contains less than an ounce of gold.

?What were the Spanish gold escudos worth in terms of the dollar when they were still legal tender in the U.S.?
Probably not nearly as well-known as the Spanish dollar, the escudo turns out to be a very simple denomination to figure. The smallest gold coin, the half escudo, equaled the value of the Spanish (and U.S.) dollar, so the escudo was worth $2. The multiples were worth $4, $8 and $16.


Address questions to Coin Clinic, Numismatic News, 700 E. State St., Iola, WI 54990. Because of space limitations, we are unable to publish all questions. Include a loose 41-cent stamp for reply. Write first for specific mailing instructions before submitting numismatic material. We cannot accept unsolicited items. E-mail inquiries should be sent to Answerman2@aol.com.

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