New York Copper Coins by Variety | Colonial Coins by Type

1787 NY "EXCELSIOR", Eagle On Globe Facing Left Obverse      1787 NY "EXCELSIOR", Eagle On Globe Facing Left Reverse

1787 NEW YORK "EXCELSIOR" - Eagle on Globe Facing Left

Images courtesy of Heritage Numismatic Auctions

Recent appearances:
PCGS AU-55 (illustrated below).  Ex - Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles, Inc.'s "Benson II", February 18-19, 2002, Lot 12, illustrated, where it was described as follows: "1787 New York "Excelsior" Copper. Eagle facing left. PCGS graded AU-55. Excelsior, the very name is part of the holy grail of United States Colonials, for it is tied directly to the famed Brasher Doubloon of the same date and to the die maker of each, John Bailey. Perfect light brown in color, the devices are generally well struck and enhanced by slightly darker hues in the fields that surround them. A touch of weakness on the small central shield, with the sun over the mountains and rays above weak, perhaps as much from die failure as strike. Quickly identifiable by a small dig at the center of the shield on the reverse, although we were unable to trace this one to any previous auctions. A classic rarity in any grade, and this particular coin is certainly one of the very finest known. Breen estimates that 15-20 are known, and that seems too high. Many of the great colonial collections of the past several decades did not have a specimen, and those that did often could only locate a rather low grade piece.  These patterns were struck by John Bailey and possibly for Ephram Brasher as state coinage proposals for New York, they incorporate the State Arms of New York on the obverse, the reverse with the Great Seal of the United States loosely copied with a large eagle with outstretched wings, E PLURIBUS UNUM around, and 1787 below. These New York arms are found on that state's paper currency issue of April 18, 1786, as engraved by Peter Maverick (Breen). Their heraldic blazoning: "Sun rising over three mountains, sea in foreground, all proper; crest, eagle surmounts demi-globe on torse; dexter supporter, Liberty with cap and pole; sinister supporter, Justice, with scales." EXCELSIOR, or "More excellent, more noble," is the state motto: (Newman).  As to rarity, PCGS has graded just two examples, this coin as by far the finest in AU-55, on one other grading EF-40. Although a different example, this one is very similar in grade to the Garrett coin offered in 1979. This particular coin is a later die state, and that may account for the central obverse weakness. Note the rim crumbling below the date and around the periphery. Many are poorly struck and off center, this one is well centered and rather sharp for the issue. Others are listed below. A foremost opportunity, and we feel this colonial is underrated and may prove to be far rarer than currently reported, once the pedigree chains are connected and further research is accomplished.  Purchased in a private transaction a few years ago. The best listing of these we could locate was published in Bowers and Merena's Norweb sale, March 1988, and we thank them their for research on this rare issue:
1) The present specimen, PCGS graded AU-55
2). Bowers & Ruddy's Garrett Sales, November 1979: 599 AU-50.
3). Bowers and Merena's Norweb Part II Sale, March 1988: 2681 Very Fine 35., purchased privately from New Netherlands, December 11, 1954 by the Norwebs.
4). Stack's Park Sale, May 1976: 58 (unknown grade, but Very Fine or lower)
5). Stack's John L. Roper, 2nd Sale, December 1983: 271, ex Merkin Sale, October 1973: 121 Very Fine
6). Stack's Donald Groves Sale, November 1974: 334, Fine to Very Fine
7). Stack's Robison Sale, February 1982: 152, a strong Fine.
8). Stack's FPL, 1989, item C153, Fine, ex: Andrew C. Zabriskie, H. Chapman, June 3, 1909, lot 77, plated.
9). Stack's FPL, 1986, item C41, Very Good.
10) New Netherland's 60th, December 1968: 414, Fine to Very Fine, plugged."

"XF-40, light scratches" (illustrated above).  Ex - Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc.'s ANA Signature Sale, August 11-13, 1999, Lot 5033, "9.58 grams" at $14,950.00

In their April 2000 Fixed Price List, Superior Galleries offered a PCGS XF45 example of the 1787 New York "Excelsior" - Eagle on Globe Facing Left for $22,500.

Sources and/or recommended reading:

Obverse of 1787 NY "EXCELSIOR", Eagle On Globe Facing Left Reverse of 1787 NY "EXCELSIOR", Eagle On Globe Facing Left

Images courtesy of Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles