Hamilton letter to be featured in Rago coin auction June 9


Alexander Hamilton’s signature on the handwritten letter, which will be sold June 9. Rago Arts and Auction Center image

LAMBERTVILLE, N.J. – Seldom does one get to handle a piece of American history as important as a document written by one of our Founding Fathers. But to have both a document written by Alexander Hamilton requesting $10,000 for copper to be struck as the first coinage in the United States, as well as several of the coins minted under this request in the same auction series is simply serendipitous. Both the letter and the coins will be offered for sale at Rago Auctions on June 9.

The letter was penned and signed by Alexander Hamilton, president and director of the Bank of the United States. The bank was created to assume the Revolutionary War debts of several states; pay off the war debts accumulated through the Revolution by the United States Government; raise money to operate the new government; and create a common currency. This correspondence was an effort to fulfill the last of these aims, the creation of a common currency. The deposit requested in this letter was provided to the Treasury Department of the United States for the purchase of copper on behalf of the United States Mint. The mint struck the first official coinage on March 3, 1793.

Several coins likely struck with the copper ordered and paid for by this letter will be offered the same day during the Coins + Currency Auction, including two 1793 Chain Cent Coins and a 1793 Liberty Cap One Cent Coin. 1793 Chain Cents were designed and engraved by the mint director Henry Voigt and have a mintage 36,103 – of which it is estimated that slightly over 1,000 have survived to present day. The two examples that will be offered are graded PCGS Fine 12 and Fine 15, respectively. The 1793 Liberty Cap One Cent Coin comes from a mintage of only 11,056 with an estimated survival quantity of 450 – making this coin a true rarity in any grade. The example which we will be offering is graded Very Good, details with corrosion.

Questions about the sale can be answered by calling 609-397-9374 or emailing Rago at info@ragoarts.com.