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Undated (1790) Albany Church Penny. W-8495. Rarity-7. Without D. EF-40 (PCGS).
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Fascinating Albany Church Penny RarityWithout D VarietyThe Newman Specimen - PCGS CoinFacts Plate CoinUndated (1790) Albany Church Penny. W-8495. Rarity-7. Without D. EF-40 (PCGS).An exceptional absolute and condition rarity to represent this intriguing early federal era copper type. Handsome deep brown patina blankets the obverse, the reverse with somewhat lighter golden-brown dominant. The struck portion on the obverse exhibits appreciable gloss, the word CHURCH sharp and PENNY overall bold despite trivial softness to the long tail of the Y. Most of the decorative cartouche is well rendered, missing only between 4 and 6 o'clock. Microscopic roughness to the unstruck portion of the obverse and scattered handling marks on both sides are commensurate with the type and, indeed, the in hand appearance is uncommonly smooth for a lightly circulated Albany Church penny.The Albany Church pennies are attributed to the First Presbyterian Church of Albany, New York and were produced as a result of a resolution passed by the church elders on January 4, 1790. These pieces were intended to provide parishioners with coppers to place in the Sunday offering plates, this at a time when small change was extremely scarce in the area following the coppers panic of 1789. The resolution authorizing these coins is quoted in Q. David Bowers' 2009 Whitman Encyclopedia of Colonial and Early American Coins:"Resolved: That one thousand coppers be stamped Church Penny, and placed with the treasurer to exchange with members of the congregation, at the rate of twelve for one shilling, in order to add respect to the weekly collections."Two varieties were produced, one without a letter D added to the field above the word CHURCH, as here, and the other with a D added. This letter is thought to be an abbreviation for penny, or denarium, as it was known in the English monetary system. Both types are exceedingly rare with an extant population of fewer than a dozen coins each. This is the finest example of the without D variety known to PCGS, a fleeting opportunity for the astute collector of early American coinage.Provenance: Ex Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society; Heritage's sale of the Eric P. Newman Collection, Part IX, November 2017, lot 15053. The plate coin for the type on the PCGS CoinFacts website.PCGS Population: just 1; 0 finer.PCGS# 612.Click here for certification details from PCGS.
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