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Taking the bull by the horns (or trying to attribute U.S. Large Cents)

Piano1Piano1 Posts: 233 ✭✭✭

Hello, everyone.

We recently had a few days of really crappy weather in New England so I decided to gird my loins (whatever THAT means) and try to attribute an 1839 Large Cent I have. Attribution is not my forte but I used to love looking at eBay listings for bust halves and early dollars and try to attribute them. That was WAY easier than large cents and I think I got fairly good at it. Almost wore my Overton to shreds...Bolander too...but that's way in the rearview mirror now!

So, I pulled out that 1839 cent and went on the attack! I should point out that many contributors to this site have been immensely helpful to me with some earlier large cents I had, and NGC Variety Guides were very helpful as well. Anyway, I had the 1839 in my hot little hands, and with a gust of possibly misplaced enthusiasm, I mounted my mission. I found out that there were only about 15 varieties for 1839 so I got lucky.

I noticed that the neck (is "truncation" the right word?) was particularly pointy at the base so I was able to reduce my coin to either N-4 or N-9. (Maybe). Not quite sure which, if either, but I had fun trying.

I am attaching photos if anyone cares to give me some guidance...or tell me I wasn't even close...I can take it! 😯

My question is, after the date and any particular peculiarities of the variety, when you pros out there work your attribution magic on large cents, do you have a hierarchy of things to look for in a particular order besides the date? I would so appreciate the education! The cents in my type set are not attributed in their slabs and I'd like to try that as a fun project.

Thanks, everyone. I am very envious of your knowledge and skills!

Piano1

Shoot!!! I have forgotten how to get the photos "upright". So sorry! I'll work on it.

Comments

  • IkesTIkesT Posts: 2,171 ✭✭✭✭✭

    You can refer to PCGS CoinFacts for photos of Newton varieties to check your ID's.

  • TrampTramp Posts: 614 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Might want to also crop the pics before uploading that way they are larger for viewing. Just a suggestion.

    Going through my CC Morgan's I just started with the first VAM listed, then the next and so on until there was no doubt what each one was. Not sure if there is a wrong way to go about it. I feel the process bring you closer to each coin almost intimately.

    USAF (Ret.) 1985 - 2005. E-4B Aircraft Maintenance Crew Chief and Contracting Officer.
    My current Registry sets:
    ✓ Everyman Mint State Carson City Morgan Dollars (1878 – 1893)
    ✓ Everyman Mint State Lincoln Cents (1909 – 1958)
    ✓ Morgan Dollar GSA Hoard (1879 – 1891)

  • Walkerguy21DWalkerguy21D Posts: 10,865 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited May 25, 2023 3:46AM

    Very tough one to start with….
    N4 and N9 share the same reverse die, so that’s no help.
    On the obverse, they’re both the same Head style (Silly Head).
    The base of the T on the N4 sits very slightly lower than the base of the R, to where it appears to rest on the hair. Ok, we have that. Supposed to be a difference in the ear hole, but I don’t see what that is supposed to be.
    I believe ALL N9s are cracked across the the obverse, from 11 o’clock to almost 5 o’clock. Don’t see it on yours, so I vote N4.

    Successful BST transactions with 170 members. Recent: Tonedeaf, Shane6596, Piano1, Ikenefic, RG, PCGSPhoto, stman, Don'tTelltheWife, Boosibri, Ron1968, snowequities, VTchaser, jrt103, SurfinxHI, 78saen, bp777, FHC, RYK, JTHawaii, Opportunity, Kliao, bigtime36, skanderbeg, split37, thebigeng, acloco, Toninginthblood, OKCC, braddick, Coinflip, robcool, fastfreddie, tightbudget, DBSTrader2, nickelsciolist, relaxn, Eagle eye, soldi, silverman68, ElKevvo, sawyerjosh, Schmitz7, talkingwalnut2, konsole, sharkman987, sniocsu, comma, jesbroken, David1234, biosolar, Sullykerry, Moldnut, erwindoc, MichaelDixon, GotTheBug
  • BigMooseBigMoose Posts: 1,466 ✭✭✭

    yep--Newcomb-4, Silly Head, late die state.

    TomT-1794

    Check out some of my 1794 Large Cents on www.coingallery.org
  • lkeneficlkenefic Posts: 7,476 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Wow! Tough one to cut your teeth on... I can agree with N4 as well.

    Collecting: Dansco 7070; Middle Date Large Cents (VF-AU); Box of 20;

    Successful BST transactions with: SilverEagles92; Ahrensdad; Smitty; GregHansen; Lablade; Mercury10c; copperflopper; whatsup; KISHU1; scrapman1077, crispy, canadanz, smallchange, robkool, Mission16, ranshdow, ibzman350, Fallguy, Collectorcoins, SurfinxHI, jwitten, Walkerguy21D, dsessom.
  • Piano1Piano1 Posts: 233 ✭✭✭

    Hello, everyone.

    IkesT and Tramp, thanks very much for your input and suggestions. I will pop onto PCGS Coin Facts and poke around a bit so I can do some learning. As far as cropping, Tramp, I am messing around a bit with options I found for editing photos. When I learn all the stuff, you will see improvement...I hope. 🙂

    Now, Walkerguy21D, Big Moose, and Ikenific, you guys have provided me with a real ego trip. Thanks for your thoughts on the N-4 or N-9 "issue" and I can't believe that I actually correctly identified the 1839 large cent variety. It took about an hour ...on and off...but wow...10 points for Piano1. Thank you all. I'll be attempting my large cents in my type set as soon as I can get to it. My 1793 (no gem at Fair 2 by PCGS) but at least there are only a few varieties to choose from. The other dates...well, we'll see.

    Thanks, everyone. I have to head out if I can get my swollen head out the door! 🤣

    Piano1

  • Walkerguy21DWalkerguy21D Posts: 10,865 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Well it was actually pretty easy to narrow it down to those two.
    Only four die varieties of the fifteen 1839’s have the prominent line under the word CENT, and two of those are both different head styles from yours. That’s when the real work started Lol!
    Good luck with the others, we’ll be glad to help. Unless it’s a 1798, 00, 02, or 03.

    Successful BST transactions with 170 members. Recent: Tonedeaf, Shane6596, Piano1, Ikenefic, RG, PCGSPhoto, stman, Don'tTelltheWife, Boosibri, Ron1968, snowequities, VTchaser, jrt103, SurfinxHI, 78saen, bp777, FHC, RYK, JTHawaii, Opportunity, Kliao, bigtime36, skanderbeg, split37, thebigeng, acloco, Toninginthblood, OKCC, braddick, Coinflip, robcool, fastfreddie, tightbudget, DBSTrader2, nickelsciolist, relaxn, Eagle eye, soldi, silverman68, ElKevvo, sawyerjosh, Schmitz7, talkingwalnut2, konsole, sharkman987, sniocsu, comma, jesbroken, David1234, biosolar, Sullykerry, Moldnut, erwindoc, MichaelDixon, GotTheBug
  • Piano1Piano1 Posts: 233 ✭✭✭

    Hello again, Tramp.

    I appreciate your comments on my photographic skills (or lack thereof). You kindly provided the little push I needed to improve my images when I posted my 1839 Large Cent here. Is this sort of thing what you had in mind? It is cropped and as you suggested, the results are much clearer with less "wasted space". 🙂 Not sure how I did it, but is this what you were thinking?

    Thanks! Very much appreciated!!! I'll keep working on it as time allows.

    Piano1

  • TrampTramp Posts: 614 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited May 27, 2023 3:03PM

    @Piano1 said:
    Hello again, Tramp.

    I appreciate your comments on my photographic skills (or lack thereof). You kindly provided the little push I needed to improve my images when I posted my 1839 Large Cent here. Is this sort of thing what you had in mind? It is cropped and as you suggested, the results are much clearer with less "wasted space". 🙂 Not sure how I did it, but is this what you were thinking?

    Thanks! Very much appreciated!!! I'll keep working on it as time allows.

    Piano1

    Yes! Perfect! I'm glad I checked back. BTW, if you post and want a specific person to return to the post, add @ sign to the front of their forum name like @Piano1. This will then show up in their Notices that someone (you) mentioned them.

    USAF (Ret.) 1985 - 2005. E-4B Aircraft Maintenance Crew Chief and Contracting Officer.
    My current Registry sets:
    ✓ Everyman Mint State Carson City Morgan Dollars (1878 – 1893)
    ✓ Everyman Mint State Lincoln Cents (1909 – 1958)
    ✓ Morgan Dollar GSA Hoard (1879 – 1891)

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