The only complete four-denomination set of the USA’s first proposed coins, the 1783 Nova Constellatio patterns, along with the finest-known 1792 Birch cent and the only privately owned 1792 Eagle-on-Globe copper pattern quarter dollar, will be publicly displayed for the first time together in their “birthplace,” Philadelphia.
The exhibit of these six historic, early American coins will be at the American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money® Aug.14-18. The unique display will be insured for $25 million, according to Kevin Lipton of Beverly Hills, Calif., who describes himself as the coins’ caretaker.
“In my opinion, the Nova Constellatio set of 5-, 100-, 500- and 1,000-unit denominations is the single most important numismatic item the United States ever made. It represents the birth of our coinage and our currency system as well as the beginning of the decimal monetary system in the western world,” said Lipton.
The one-of-a-kind set was in the famous Garrett Collection at Johns Hopkins University for much of the 20th century and was also owned by legendary dealer John J. Ford. Lipton is exhibiting it on behalf of one of his clients who acquired the exceptional set in 2008.
Nova Constellatio is Latin for “new constellation,” and the pattern coins were created at the urging of U.S. Superintendent of Finance and Declaration of Independence signer Robert Morris as proposed units of currency for the young United States. The coins were struck in Philadelphia in 1783 under authority of the U.S. Treasury Department.
The coins are graded by the Professional Coin Grading service as: 5 units, Proof-66 BN; 100 units, Proof-66; 500 units, Type I, Proof-66; and 1,000 units, Proof-65+.
The 1792 Birch cent (Judd-4) is the finest of the seven known examples of the historic prototype large cent. It is graded Numismatic Guaranty Corporation MS-65 RB; was previously owned by David Rittenhouse, the first Director of the United States Mint; and later was also in the Garrett Collection.
The 1792 Eagle-on-Globe copper quarter dollar (Judd-12, Pollock 14) is graded PCGS MS-63 Brown and is the finer of the two known examples of this historic pattern believed to have been engraved by acclaimed early American painter Joseph Wright. The only other example of this coin is in the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution.
“The Nova Constellatio set, the Birch cent and the Eagle-on-Globe quarter dollar pattern are an immensely important part of early American history and the foundation of our numismatic heritage. I’m bringing them to their ‘hometown’ Philadelphia so everyone attending the ANA World’s Fair of Money can see them in person and appreciate their special significance,” said Lipton, President of Kevin Lipton Rare Coins, Inc.
This article was originally printed in Numismatic News Express. >> Subscribe today
More Collecting Resources
• Check out the newly-updated Standard Catalog of World Coins, 2001-Date that provides accurate identification, listing and pricing information for the latest coin releases.
• Start becoming a coin collector today with this popular course, Coin Collecting 101.