1792 Washington Roman Head Cent Proof 64 Brown PCGS
Baker-19, W-10840, R.6. CAC Sticker. Lettered Edge. Bust of Washington right with Roman-style hair in ribbon, WASHINGTON PRESIDENT around, date below; reverse with CENT above a stylized heraldic American eagle. Deep and glossy golden-tan and bronze surfaces exhibit bold design elements and no marks of immediate consequence; we do note a few light ticks under low magnification, as suggested by the assigned grade. Easily among the rarest and most desirable of all Washington-related pieces -- especially those in copper -- and thought to exist in a quantity of just 15 or so pieces, including a well-circulated Proof 08 piece.
Struck in Obediah Westwood's private mint in Birmingham, England from dies engraved by the young John Gregory Hancock, the 1792 Roman Head cents are part of the English Conder token series. These pieces were prepared expressly for distribution to contemporary collectors, and they depict Washington dressed in the style of a Roman official. This was a popular way of honoring the United States' first president, but usually after his death, so it is curious that the Roman Head cents were produced during Washington's lifetime.
One of the rarest of all Washington coinage types, this coin has been a favorite for a long time. Made for numismatists in England in the late 1790s in an era when there was hardly any collecting interest on our side of the Atlantic, these pieces were struck in limited quantity -- probably no more than a couple dozen or so. Currently, the Roman Head cent has an extant population range from 15 to 20 pieces including four or five examples impounded permanently in museum collections according to George Fuld, 1995. These America-related pieces are especially intriguing and highly elusive. (PCGS 731)