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Rarity: Common

Images courtesy of Superior Galleries

Significant examples:
MS-65, if not better.  Ex - Stack's "The Marvin Taichert Collection of U.S. Type Coins", May 9, 2001, Lot 27, plated, sold for $26,450.00  Purchased privately

PCGS MS-64 Brown.  Ex - Superior Galleries "Pre-Long Beach" Elite Coin Auction, May 25-27, 2003, Lot 528, sold for $12,650.00 Ex Lorin G. Parmelee- New York Coin & Stamp Co., 6/1890:811- Harlan P. Smith- S. H. & H. Chapman 5/1906:1101- Dr. Henry W. Beckwith- S. H. Chapman 4/1923:28- Dr. Charles A. Cass, Stack's 11/57:165- Emanual Taylor 10/60/- R. E. Naftzger, Jr., 2/23/92- Eric Streiner- Tony Terranova- McCawley & Grellman Auctions 8/96:247.  

MS-63.  Ex - Lorin G. Parmelee - New York Coin & Stamp Co., June, 1890, Lot 811 - Harlan P. Smith - S.H. & H. Chapman, May 1906, Lot 1101 - Dr. Henry C. Beckwith - S.H. Chapman, April 1923, Lot 28 - Dr. Charles A. Cass, Stack's November 1957, Lot 165 - Emanuel Taylor, October 1960 - R.E. Naftzger, Jr., February 23, 1992 - Eric Streiner - Anthony Terranova - McCawley & Grellman Auctions, Inc., August 1996, Lot 247 - Superior Galleries "The ANA 2001 National Money Show Auction", March 8-9, 2001, Lot 16 at $12,362.50, "...Listed as MS63 and tied for CC#3 in the Noyes and Bland census lists, and Noyes classifies it 'Choice."  This is Newcomb plate coin and Noyes used it to illustrate the later die state of the variety..."

Recent appearances:
AU-55 (illustrated below).  Ex - Stack's "Auction '83", Lot 529 - C. Douglas Smith - Dr. Robert A. Schuman - Superior Galleries' "Pre-Long Beach Sale", June 5-7, 2000, Lot 221, where it was described as follows: "1803 S-254 R2 AU55 Glossy chocolate brown with frosty tan in protected areas and a couple faint peeps of very faded mint color on the reverse. The only notable mark is a small spot of darker olive toning (not carbon) in the field over the bust tip. E-MDS, the crack from the dentils up through the 3 not reaching the curl on the neck. There are some clear clashmarks in the obverse fields and multiple sets of impressed dentils through LIBERTY, plus a shallow low spot in the field at the forehead, as struck. Graded AU55 by Noyes. Very attractive. In the lower end of the expanded condition census.

Sources and/or recommended reading:
"Penny Whimsy" by Dr. William H. Sheldon

"Walter Breen's Complete Encyclopedia of U.S. and Colonial Coins" by Walter Breen

Relevant collector organizations:
Early American Coppers Club

Obverse of 1803 Large Cent - Sheldon 254     Reverse of 1803 Large Cent - Sheldon 254

Images courtesy of Superior Galleries