Coin Specifications

Category: Liberty Cap Half Cents (1793-1797)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 25,600
Catalog: KM-14
Obverse Designer: John Smith Gardner?
Reverse Designer: Robert Scot
Composition: Copper
Weight: 6.74 Grams
Diameter: 23.5mm
Edge: Lettered
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
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1795 LETTER EDGE 1/2C MS obverse 1795 LETTER EDGE 1/2C MS reverse

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Description & Analysis

It has been speculated that John Smith Gardner provided the new bust of Liberty employed for 1795-97 half cents, but this is not proveable with the available documentation. The severe reduction in relief for the Liberty bust undoubtedly was done to increase the useful life of the dies, an ever-present concern for the infant U. S. Mint in the 1790s. The wreath, already simplified in 1794, remained essentially unchanged through the end of the series.

Just two die marriages are known for the 1795 half cent with lettered edge. One of these obverse dies was transitional with the subsequent plain edge varieties, and it is easily recognized by the comma-like flaw between numerals 1 and 7 (C-2, the Punctuated Date). The coin illustrated is the other lettered edge variety, C-1.

The original weight standard of 104 grains for the half cent survived until December of 1795, when the rising price of copper forced a reduction to 84 grains. This resulted in thinner planchets that no longer allowed for edge lettering. As there was little danger of copper coins being clipped in an effort to steal a bit of copper, the loss of this lettering had no lasting impact.


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Price Guide

Last Updated: 2/11/2014

Click on a price to see historical prices, comparison charts and trends.

1795 LETTER EDGE 1/2C MS Brown
Base $ 540 825 1475 2600 5000 9500 10500 12750 14750 17000 21750 36500 62500 - - - - - -
$ 5750 10500 11500 13750 15750 19000 24000 57500 70000 - - - -

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Total Graded: 62
Low Grade: G
Average Grade: 40
High Grade: 64

Upcoming Auctions

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
4/8/1996 PCGS F 12   Brown Teletrade Auction 0830, 830/Lot# 102 $776.25
3/3/2008 NGC VF 30   Brown David Lawrence Rare Coins Monday - Internet Auction # 225, 231/Lot# 3004 $4,601.15
4/28/2009 PCGS MS 63   Brown Heritage Auctions 2009 April-May Cincinnati, OH (CSNS) US Coin Auction #1124, 1124/Lot# 2020 $17,250.00
5/30/2010 PCGS Genuine Genuine   Brown Bonhams Coins, Medals, and Banknotes, 18301/Lot# 1115 $175.00
3/25/2012 PCGS AG 3   Brown GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 03/25/2012, 15/Lot# 43587 $369.60
10/17/2012 PCGS Genuine VF   Brown Stack's Bowers The November 2012 Baltimore Auction - US and World Lots - Live and Internet Only Sessions, 144/Lot# 366 $1,840.00
8/8/2013 PCGS AU 55   Brown Heritage Auctions 2013 August 8 - 10 US Coins Signature Auction - Rosemont Session(5), 1188/Lot# 5504 $12,925.00
9/25/2013 NGC Details VF Details  Heritage Auctions 2013 September 25 - 29 US Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach Session(7), 1189/Lot# 7045 $587.50
1/26/2014 PCGS MS 63   Brown Goldberg January 26, 2014 The Missouri Cabinet, 77/Lot# 24 $92,000.00
10/8/2014 PCGS VG 10   Brown Heritage Auctions 2014 October 8 - 13 PNG New York Invitational US Coins Signature Auction - New York Session(1), 1210/Lot# 3049 $1,527.50

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1795 LETTER EDGE 1/2C MS Brown
1795 LETTER EDGE 1/2C MS Red Brown
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