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Obverse of 1787 Vermont Copper - Ryder 15     Reverse of 1787 Vermont Copper - Ryder 15


PCGS No: 557

Rarity: Very Rare

Variety equivalents:
Breen 716, Bressett 9-I

The obverse die of this variety was also used on:
1786 Ryder 11

This was the only use of the reverse die.

This is the only 1787 "Bust Left" Vermont Copper.  All known examples have a massive cut that obliterates virtually the entire date.  Thus, the cud can be used to immediately identify the variety.

Approximately 20 examples are known, including five discovered in the two years from 2003-2004.

Images courtesy of Heritage Numismatic Auctions

Known examples:
PCGS Fine-12 (illustrated above).  HNAI 1/2005:6920, where it was described as follows: "1787 COPPER Vermont Copper, Bust Left Fine 12 PCGS. Ryder-15, R.6. This is one of the rarest and most coveted of all Vermont copper varieties. Not only is it a classic rarity in the Vermont series, but Ryder-15 is the only 1787 variety with the bust facing to the left. Demand for this variety comes not only from variety specialists but also from collectors of major varieties listed in the Guide Book. The reverse die obviously lasted a very short time before it was retired due to the massive rim break that formed over the date. There is no doubt that this die could only have struck a few coins. Today, only 19 or 20 examples of this variety are known. The cataloger of the Ford Collection noted that 19 examples were known to him; however, it is likely that he was unaware of this example, which has been hidden away for several decades according to our consignor.
We believe that this example is undergraded by PCGS as it is virtually identical in quality to the Ford coin, lot 40 in that sale and graded VF by Stack's. The Ford coin was described as one of the finest known examples, exceeded in quality by just three or four others. The surfaces are lovely olive brown with slightly lighter tan color on the highpoints. A few minor planchet fissures are expected on these coins. Light abrasions are noted on both sides, strictly consistent with the grade. The obverse has a faint but clearly visible die crack from the right bottom of U to the back of the head, a later die state than Ford or any other examples that we have observed. This is similar to later die state examples of Ryder-11 that were struck from the same obverse die.
In the November 1991 Bowers and Merena sale of the Frontenac Collection, Michael Hodder compiled an updated census of known examples, which we have summarized:
1. William Anton Collection. XF. Ex Guggenheimer, lot 4
2. William Anton Collection. VG/VF
3. Richard August Collection. VF/XF
4. Q. David Bowers Collection. VF. Struck over Ryder-4
5. Bennington Museum. VF
6. Ex Q. David Bowers Collection. F-VF
7. Groves Collection. Fine, holed
8. Stack's (5/89), lot 1235. AG-Good; 9. Eric Newman Collection. VG
10. Norton Collection. VF
11. Partridge Collection
12. Jeff Rock Collection. Good-VG
13. New York State Collection. Fine, porous
14. Ex Anton Collection. VF
15. Ford Collection. VF
16. Frontenac Collection, Bowers and Merena (5/91), lot 95. Fine-VF, heavy fissures
17. Taylor, lot 2071
18. Griffee Collection
19. New discovery, 2004.

Sources and/or recommended reading:
"Copper Coins of Vermont" by Tony Carlotto

"The Colonial Coins of Vermont" by Hillyer Ryder

"Vermont Copper Coinage" by Kenneth Bressett (Chapter 11 in "Studies on Money in Early America" by Eric P. Newman and Richard C. Doty)

"Walter Breen's Complete Encyclopedia Of U.S. And Colonial Coins" by Walter Breen