Coin Specifications

Category: Liberty Cap Cents (1793-1796)
Mint: Philadelphia
Catalog: KM-13
Obverse Designer: John Smith Gardner?
Reverse Designer: John Smith Garder?
Composition: Copper
Weight: 10.8900g
Diameter: 29mm
Edge: Plain
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
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1795 REEDED EDGE S-79 1C MS obverse 1795 REEDED EDGE S-79 1C MS reverse


  
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Description & Analysis

The most coveted of all Sheldon numbered large cents is 1795 S-79, the famous Reeded Edge cent, sometimes called the Holy Grail of Sheldon numbers. Just eight examples are known today, including one in the ANS holdings. When Dr. William H. Sheldon wrote Early American Cents in 1949, he devised an identification scheme where most large cent varieties were numbered from 1 to 295, with additional extremely rare varieties assigned special 'non-collectible' notations, the NC varieties. He reasoned that those varieties are so rare that most collectors had little or no chance to acquire them. Any variety with two or fewer examples (in some cases no example) available to collectors was designated as non-collectible. In 1949 there were 32 NC varieties and 28 numbered varieties that were assigned a rating of R.7 or R.8. Since 1949, new discoveries have increased the number of NC varieties to 53, while only 1793 S-15 (12 known) and 1795 S-79 retain the R.7 rating among Sheldon numbered die pairs. The official purpose of the edge reeding will likely never be known, much as the reason for the stars on the reverse of the 1794 Starred Reverse cent will probably never be known. In the case of the 1795 Reeded Edge cent, the most likely hypothesis is an experiment to prevent counterfeiting or clipping. In Walter Breen's Encyclopedia of United States Large Cents, the author writes:

{blockquote}The reeded edge was an experiment which proved to be a needless frill, adding to the cost of manufacture without compensatory advantage. Unlike precious metals, copper, especially at the new weight standard, was unlikely to attract specialists in clipping and shaving coins. Most likely the reeded edge was an attempted measure to combat counterfeiting.{/blockquote}

Earlier, Dr. William H. Sheldon wrote in Penny Whimsy that 'this was apparently an experiment which did not meet with favor, since it was immediately abandoned.' The experimental nature of these coins is a common theme in past descriptions. However, there are only a few facts known about the 1795 Reeded Edge cents. Only eight confirmed examples are known at this time, and all are from a single die pair. No examples of that die pair exist with any other edge type, plain or lettered. The obverse die was not used for any other variety, while the reverse die was also used for six different varieties of 1796 Draped Bust cents. The coins were reportedly minted at the 168-grain standard that went into effect on December 27, 1795.

Description and Analysis courtesy of Heritage Auctions and may not be republished without written permission.


GRADE SUMMARY

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Price Guide

Last Updated: 3/28/2016

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1795 REEDED EDGE S-79 1C MS Brown
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ 675000 1750000 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

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Upcoming Auctions


Auction Prices Realized

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Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
1/3/2012 PCGS FA 2   Brown Heritage Auctions 2012 January 4-8 US Coins & Platinum Night FUN Signature Auction- Orlando Session(1), 1166/Lot# 3034 $74,750.00
1/10/2014 PCGS VG 10   Brown Heritage Auctions 2014 January 10 The Adam Mervis Large Cent Collection FUN Signature Auction - Orlando Session(2), 1200/Lot# 2528 $646,250.00
1/6/2016 NGC Details VG Details  Heritage Auctions 2016 January 6 - 11 FUN US Coins Signature Auction - Tampa Session(4), 1231/Lot# 5225 $258,500.00


NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1795 REEDED EDGE S-79 1C MS Brown
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base1795155977741333194922762555274328603023312632383447376542905563731712469176052528036893
291542656960153820582369261827822914305731633308355339404714614890341418120163291510
000000236926182782291430573163330835533940471461489034141812016300
0000002462268028212969309232013377365941155139673210752158932272200
1795 REEDED EDGE S-79 1C MS Red Brown
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base237563642820140420092401264328232936309431943324360141114935654582473470563361114622134561
346589701101516062140248227032861298931273237341637714386547271121706644257804481212680
0000002482270328612989312732373416377143865472711217066442578044800
0000002562276328983041316132813509394146606008768025886538099753500
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