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Buy The Holder Not The Coin - My 1850 A-5 Large Cent

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 Posted 10/02/2022  2:14 pm Show Profile   Check CarrsCoins's eBay Listings Bookmark this topic Add CarrsCoins to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
The adage of buy the coin not the holder is quite popular among coin collectors and is great advice. Its important to truly look at the coin you are buying. every once in a while a coin comes along that proves the opposite to be true.

1850 Large Cent N-5 R-4



here is the coin in its home, the pill box from the Howard Newcomb collection. these pill boxes were a common way of storing coins in the late 1800s and early 1900s.


this coin was used as the reference piece when writing not one but two of the major tomes on the subject of late date large cents. it is the reference coin for all of these books.


Frank D. Andrews is the first name on the pedigree. He used this coin to identify this die marriage in his 1883 book "An Arrangement of United States Copper Cents 1816-1857" where he described it as A-5. here is his description of the variety. there is a small dent on the 5 in the date that Andrews mis-categorized as a die flaw.


Howard Newcomb used this coin as his reference piece in his 1944 book "United States Copper Cents 1816-1857" where it was renumbered as the N-5. we still use the Newcomb numbers today.


The coin was also owned by Henry Hines, Floyd Starr, and Ted Naftzger. those are some big names to have as footnotes on the pedigree of a coin.

i like large cents. I currently have >225 Sheldon varieties and >235 middle date Newcomb varieties.
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 Posted 10/02/2022  2:47 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Coinfrog to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Very interesting!
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 Posted 10/02/2022  3:21 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add livingwater to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Cool info. Thanks.
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 Posted 10/02/2022  3:43 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add thecoinguy1964 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
That's pretty cool.
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 Posted 10/02/2022  4:01 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Nycstlrr to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Very interesting
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 Posted 10/02/2022  6:12 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add southsav to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Interesting story, thanks for sharing!
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 Posted 10/02/2022  6:24 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add John1 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
That was a good read,thanks for posting.
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 Posted 10/02/2022  9:41 pm  Show Profile   Check CarrsCoins's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add CarrsCoins to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
im glad you guys like it. this is one of my favorite coins.
i like large cents. I currently have >225 Sheldon varieties and >235 middle date Newcomb varieties.
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 Posted 10/02/2022  10:10 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jacrispies to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
How incredible!! I love old holders and pedigrees like this, and I hope to find one for bust halves one day as they seem extremely hard to come by compared to large cents. The miscategorization of the dent in the 5 makes it even cooler! I am guessing why it reached $191 in the December 1984 sale was solely because of the unique pedigree?
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 Posted 10/02/2022  10:36 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Ballyhoo to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
What a rare find. Can't imagine very many survivors in their box. I clearly see why she's your favorite.
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 Posted 10/02/2022  11:26 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Ty2020b to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
A great story, pedigree, and a killer example with great eye appeal. Congrats on owning a great piece of numismatics.
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 Posted 10/03/2022  05:42 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add nickelsearcher to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Reading the pedigree of this example was a wonderful journey down coin history lane. Thank you for sharing it with us.
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 Posted 10/03/2022  12:45 pm  Show Profile   Check CarrsCoins's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add CarrsCoins to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
the box/pedigree is a big part of the value of this coin. the 1850 n-5 does carry a decent variety premium though. 2-3X the grade.

not many of those pill boxes survive today. auction houses, dealers and third party graders historically havent seen the value in preserving old packaging. its bulky and the number of people who pay meaningful premiums for provenance is pretty small. it just gets tossed in the trash. the pedigree will be noted on the new holder or the slab or the auction lot description.

i love the bit about the 5 in the date. it helps to remind me that just because the expert wrote it in the book doesn't make it true. we are all human after all and we all make mistakes. you can spend a lifetime studying one series of coins and still not know everything.
i like large cents. I currently have >225 Sheldon varieties and >235 middle date Newcomb varieties.
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 Posted 10/04/2022  2:35 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add psuman08 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Cool story! I love the holder.
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 Posted 11/22/2022  04:15 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add january1may to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Awesome story!

Do you still have the handwritten Hines memo mentioned in the 1984 listing? Looks like the coin had been sold several times since then so maybe someone threw out that paper. I hope not.
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