1786 New Jersey Copper. Maris 11.5-G, W-4785. Rarity-6+. No Coulter. Fine Details--Environmental Damage (PCGS). 129.3 grains. 27.9 mm. Dies rotated 150 degrees clockwise from medal turn. Ranked as sixth finest known in the Siboni-Howes-Ish Condition Census, this example exhibits even charcoal brown surfaces and sharpness in excess of the assigned grade. The fields are evenly but significantly granular, neither fissured nor marked, simply affected by ground exposure. We do not see any evidence of corrosion removal (but there is plenty of evidence of corrosion). The centering is good, with denticles framing all but the tops of both sides. The date is sharp and clear, and the shield has preserved most of its internal lines.<p><p>This variety was discovered after the Maris numbering plan was laid out, but before the plate and text was completed to illustrate it, thus this oddly numbered variety still made it into the book. Few of the known examples boast a provenance back to the pre-World War II era, but this one does. The Siboni-Howes-Ish book does a good job untangling the provenance chains of the first several discovered. The Maris plate coin was the discovery coin; its currently ranked five slots below this one in the census as 11th finest known. That piece was sold in the 1890 Parmelee sale as lot 377, described as "very poor." Maris found a better one soon, and the example sold in his 1886 sale is now ranked second finest. It was later in the Garrett and Picker collections. This piece belonged to Dr. Hall, but as noted in the SHI reference, its earlier provenance as offered in Ford was incorrect.<p><p>Since its discovery, very few additional examples have come to light. Nearly half the population grades VG or below, mostly with below average eye appeal. Two are impounded. This one has not sold at auction in nearly two decades. PCGS# 766282. From the Sydney F. Martin Collection. Earlier ex Dr. Thomas Hall Collection; Dr. Thomas Hall Estate, May 1909; Virgil M. Brand Collection, en bloc, by sale, September 1909; Horace and Armin Brand, by descent, June 1926; Armin W. Brand, by court order, 1937; B.G. Johnson to F.C.C. Boyd; Boyd Estate to John J. Ford, Jr.; our (Stacks) sale of the John J. Ford, Jr. Collection Part I, October 2003, lot 83; Lawrence R. Stack Collection, November 2006.