1785 Connecticut Copper. Miller 7.2-D, W-2445. Rarity-6-. Mailed Bust Left. Dr. Hall Ink on Edge. VF-35 (PCGS).134.4 grains. A Clark Reverse Plate Coin, and probably the Finest Known survivor of this die combination. Obverse 7.2 is another of the 4 1785 Connecticut obverses to be created through the hubbing process rather than via hand engraving, which shows in its utter similarity to obverses 7.1 and 7.3, both also creating via hubbing. This example boasts rich chocolate brown mint gloss and a near absence of wear that make it technically more deserving of an AU grade, the survival of some of the smaller areas of die spalling in the fields is something usually seen on coins that have little to no actual wear. A small natural planchet divot is in front of obverse effigy’s lips, and there some planchet dips around reverse rim from the 9 through 12 o’clock positions; in addition, a subtle, natural thinning of the planchet has created a slight weakness in strike in the letters CON and the adjacent part of the reverse, chiefly affecting the bottom of the shield and 5 in the date. There are no significant circulation marks or other issues, and the exquisite surface quality on this Rarity-6- die marriage speaks for itself. Our discussion of the finest survivors of 7.2-D from our sale of the Connecticuts from the impressive residues of the Ted Craige Estate in January 2013 still rings true:<p>As of the time of Bobby Martins Perkins sale amendations, 17 were known; we imagine that number has probably grown by a couple of low grade cherrypicks in the last decade. The Perkins coin was graded Very Good and brought $4, 025 to a Long Island specialist. Mike Hodder noted therein that "the finest this cataloguer has seen is a Choice Very Fine. Taylors is the finest sold publicly." The Taylor coin, ex: Dr. Hall, is a near twin of this for sharpness, a bit stronger on the right side of the reverse but a bit weaker in the upper right obverse, with a few more flaws than this one. The Ford coin brought $3, 737.50 to a well-respected Maryland specialist; it was graded "Nice Fine" but is not as nice as this one. EAC 75:27 did not have surfaces as nice as this coin, but the builder of that collection (composed of the Craige mainline Connecticuts and the Norman Bryant Connecticuts, among others) could have looked at his 7.2-D and thought the two coins were close enough that it wasnt worth upgrading to this one. Then again, as Craige bought this one in May 1970, his frontline coins may have already sold by then. The M. 7.2-D duplicate in EAC 75 is the old Craige coin, inferior to this one. Norweb, Oechsner, Garrett, and others lacked this number. Tanenbaum waited until the Scherff sale of March 2010 to get his; that granular VF brought $1, 150 last January. This is clearly the highlight of the Craige 1785s, a choice example of a rare variety that is clearly in the conversation for Finest Known.<p>Ted Craige’s, called VF-30 and sold raw in our January 2013 Americana Sale, brought $15, 275 in a strong market for Connecticut coppers. Whether Robert’s or Ted Craige’s coin is the finest is academic—Robert’s boasts finer surfaces and technically less wear, though a few more planchet flaws and a less even strike than Craige’s. What may tip the scales in favor of Robert’s coin is its exquisite pedigree—it was once part of the great Dr. Thomas Hall’s collection, his distinctive white ink on edge “7 D” seen flanking the final C of CONNEC.From the Robert M. Martin Collection. Dr. Thomas Hall Collection; Virgil Brand Collection; New Netherlands Coin Company via B.G. Johnson; Frederick Taylor, purchased for $21.50 in 1954; Bowers and Merena’s Sale of the Frederick B. Taylor Collection, March 26-28, 1987, lot 2333.