A Big Story on a Little Gold Coin

Melanie Sidle

In our upcoming July 19th Gallery Auction, Alex Cooper is happy to offer a variety of unique coins and currency. We have an assortment of Ancient, US, and World coins in this sale. Here are the top picks from the collection:

Lot #656 [US] 1853 Gold $1 Liberty, AU55 Major Obv Cud

A “cud” on a coin is a major diecrack or area of the die where a piece has broken off and when struck, will seem like a raised blob and will show nothing of the original design. Most cuds create really interesting looking coins, some are collectible and some are rare to unique. Some cuds dramatically increase the value of a coin by making it a rarer variety.  A retained cud is a piece of the die that has broken but remains and that is what we see on the 1853 Gold Dollar here.

The arc-shaped retained cud that connects the bottom 2 stars seemed destined to fall away and is connected by die cracks linking the next 2 stars on both sides of the retained cud. This is very close to being a shattered die and it is possible that the mint workers noticed the problem and pulled the die before it fell apart. The cataloger has collected Gold Dollars and has never seen a retained cud/die break this large. The coin itself has nice luster, and appears to be mid-level AU (Almost Uncirculated).

Collectors of 18th and 19th century silver coins and early nickel coins collect cuds because they can be both interesting and quite rare which create a premium.  Note the area at the bottom left – the arc shaped area at 6p-7p is a cud, the next two stars are connected by die cracks which happen in the die when struck too hard or too often.  This piece is unique as the die is beginning to shatter and might not have survived much longer before completely breaking.

This sale also offers 23 lots of Ancient Roman coins, lots 622-625 show, in some respect, that Rome was far ahead of the US in depicting women on circulating coinage:

Lot #622 – [Ancient] 4 Women of Rome on Coins

Lot #623 – [Ancient] 4 Roman Women on Antoninanus Coins

Lot #624 – St. Helena, Mother of Constantine A3

Lot #625 – [Ancient] Three Roman Women on Coins

Be sure to check out our other coins, as well as jewelry, sterling silver, and accessories we are offering in this upcoming auction.

Browse all of our lots for the July, 19th sale here!

Michael Atkins
Coins and Currency Department



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