The most valuable large cent, a VG-10 Strawberry Leaf 1793 coin, NC-3, that sold for $862,500 Jan. 5 at a Stack’s auction in Orlando, Fla., has now been certified and encapsulated by the Professional Coin Grading Service.
“This is the finest of the four known Strawberry Leaf large cents. Three of them now are certified by PCGS; the fourth is in the collection of the American Numismatic Society (ANS) and not encapsulated,” said PCGS President Don Willis.
“This finest known Strawberry Leaf variety now joins a prestigious list of record-setting, prominent early American copper coins certified by PCGS,” Willis pointed out.
“It’s also important to note that its pedigree includes a previously little-known collector, Roscoe E. Staples of Maine, who acquired the coin in 1941. He should now be remembered for his bravery and heroic deeds as well as this coin,” said Willis.
“Major Staples honorably served with the United States Marines during World War II, and was killed in August 1943 while leading his men in battle at Munda (now New Georgia) in the Solomon Islands. This wonderful coin remained with the Staples family until 2004.”
The previous record price paid at a public auction for a U.S. large cent was $690,000 for the Chapman-Naftzger specimen 1796 Liberty Cap, graded PCGS MS-66, in a sale conducted by the Goldbergs this past September.
In early January, PCGS certified for protection and preservation the unique 1793 Wreath large cent variety Sheldon NC-5, Crosby 10-F from the ANS collection where it has resided in New York City for 63 years. It will be publicly displayed with the Holmes collection at the Early American Coppers convention in Cincinnati, Ohio, in April and at the American Numismatic Association’s World’s Fair of Money® in Los Angeles, Calif., in August.