Rare American Half-Cent sells for £225,700

22nd January 2013

Woolley & Wallis were delighted to be offering an extremely rare American Half-Cent, dated 1796, one of fewer than 1400 ever produced by the Philadelphia Mint in the US.  The coin, which is an amazing survivor and still very much in its original mint condition, was discovered in a collection of coins housed in a homemade 'cabinet' of decorated matchboxes glued together by English schoolboy Mark Hillary over 50 years ago and remained forgotten at the back of a cupboard after he tragically died at an early age of 20 in 1963 in a climbing accident in Greece.

Rarity and excellent condition generated considerable interest from America.  Room and telephone bidders started at £25,000 but the sale briskly finished at a staggering £225,700 (including premium), the successful bidder being 'The Numismatic Corporation of Winter Springs, Florida'.

Daniel Fearon, Woolley & Wallis coin specialist whom identified the coin amongst the collection commented 'It was a wonderful result and a most satisfying ending to an amazing find.'

The sale was filmed by CBS News.  To see the coverage click here.

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