1787 New Jersey Copper. Maris 6-C, W-5040. Rarity-4. No Sprig Above Plow, Pattern Shield. EF-40 (PCGS). 139.8 grains. 31.0 mm. A Condition Census example of this variety, one whose historical importance and rarity in high grade belies its underappreciated status. Though perhaps overshadowed by the very common Maris 6-D, the reverse die used here - found on the most distinctive rarities of the entire series - raises this variety to the level of an important major type coin. When Syd Martin bought this coin in 2013, he realized its importance, paying a then-remarkable $12,925 for it. We described it at the time as follows:<p><p>"A choice example of this important New Jersey variety, the only Horsehead copper to use the famous pattern reverse, Reverse C, used on some of the rarest and most sought-after Confederation patterns. The surfaces are rich chocolate brown, nearly smooth and very appealing, with good gloss and few problems. A glass reveals some very minor old hairline scratches on the obverse, under the plowhandles and snout. The centering is ideal on both sides, with full denticles visible on the obverse if a bit weak around 4-5 oclock. The reverse is beautiful, bold, and free of notable flaws. The new Siboni-Howes-Ish census (SHI) starts with the lustrous Maris-Garrett coin, graded AU+, and descends to the VF Ford coin, to which this piece is clearly superior. We would place this coin around 6th on the census, similar to the Spiro-Oechsner-ODonnell coin but perhaps a little finer. It is struck from the earliest die state, with no spalling visible by the plowhandles. While not a great rarity, the Maris 6-C is seriously tough better than VF. This may prove to be one of the great bargains of the auction, as bidders tend to keep money in their pockets hoping to buy a different coin later."<p><p>A bargain it wasnt, but a great coin it was - and is. At the time we cataloged this coin for the January 2013 Craige sale, we had access to an early draft of the Siboni-Howes-Ish census and suggested this was probably worth including as sixth finest known. In the final published text, this coin is accorded exactly that spot (though the date of the Craige sale and the lot number are both off by one digit). Though the E Pluribus Unum coin was given a higher grade by PCGS (EF-45), there arguably hasnt been a better Maris 6-C since Syd bought this one almost a decade ago. PCGS# 767863. From the Sydney F. Martin Collection. Earlier from our sale of the Ted L. Craige Collection, January 2013 Americana sale, lot 11289.