|Feuchtwanger Cents were privately minted by Dr. Lewis Feuchtwanger and were made of “German silver” which is an alloy containing no silver, but instead a mix of copper, nickel, zinc and tin. Dr. Feuchtwanger produced these coins in 1837 in an attempt to convince Congress and the U.S. Mint to use his smaller cents made of German silver as a replacement for the costly copper large cents. Although, Dr. Feuchtwanger’s design and composition were not adopted by the U.S. Government, small cents of a similar copper-nickel composition were introduced roughly twenty years later. Today, Feuchtwanger Cents are widely collected by collectors either as hard-times tokens (HT-268) or as the first U.S. small cent. For reference, the coin is found on page 408 of the 2015 edition of the Red Book of U.S. Coins.
There are 14 known varieties of the 1837 Feuchtwanger Cent. Some are extremely common and some are extremely rare. This example offered here has been certified by NGC as Genuine with Uncirculated Details and is the 3E die pairing. The 3E die pair is a Rarity-2 variety meaning that it is a relatively common die pairing, but certainly not the most common. NGC believes this coin is ineligible for a numerical grade because of improper cleaning. I disagree with NGC and feel the coin should be gradable as the coin does not show hairlines or other signs of an improper cleaning. That said, the coin is a very beautiful uncirculated example of the Feuchtwanger Cent. The coin has nice original luster and is mostly a bright golden color but some light iridescent colorful toning is also present on the surfaces. Only a few small planchet defects on the right reverse and the typical slight weakness in the center of the reverse keeps this coin from being a ultra high-end example. Otherwise, the coin is virtually free of hits, marks or other issues. Despite the opinion of NGC that the piece has been improperly cleaned, this is a very pretty uncirculated example of the Feuchtwanger Cent.