Coin Specifications

Category: Liberty Cap Half Cents (1793-1797)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 127,840
Obverse Designer: John Smith Gardner?
Reverse Designer: Robert Scot
Composition: Copper
Weight: 5.4400g
Diameter: 23.5mm
Edge: Plain
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1797 PLAIN EDGE 1/2C MS obverse 1797 PLAIN EDGE 1/2C MS reverse


  
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Description & Analysis

The number of half cents coined with the date 1797 is not certain, one source putting the number at 127,840 pieces. Only three die marriages are known, but added to these are variations in thickness and planchet stock.

The majority of 1797 have the plain edge continued from 1796, but one variety (Cohen-3b) is thicker than normal and features a lettered edge. It's believed that these were coined using cut-down large cent planchets, and the edge lettering style differs from any used previously. Also known are coins struck on cut-down Talbot, Allum & Lee tokens that the Mint purchased due to the shortage of good copper.

A popular variety is C-1, which has a duplicate numeral 1 placed directly over the primary 1, a result of the engraver beginning his date punching too close to the bust. Another popular variety is C-3a, known as the Low Head because the hubbing was performed off-center. The "a" subvariety was coined on plain edge planchets.

Since no half cent dies were created with the dates 1798 or 1799, those dated 1797 were used as late as 1800. This helps to explain the uncertainty about the number actually coined bearing the 1797 date.

GRADE SUMMARY

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Price Guide

Last Updated: 2/7/2017

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

1797 PLAIN EDGE 1/2C MS Brown
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ 575 950 1450 2100 4075 6850 8350 10500 13750 17500 - - - - - - - - - -
$ - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

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Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 137
Low Grade: PrAg
Average Grade: F
High Grade: 66


Upcoming Auctions


Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
9/13/2006 NGC VG 8   Brown Heritage Auctions 2006 September Long Beach, CA Signature Auction #416, 416/Lot# 73 $488.75
5/30/2010 PCGS Genuine Genuine   Red Brown Bonhams Coins, Medals, and Banknotes, 18301/Lot# 1121 $198.00
12/9/2012 NGC Details F Details  Teletrade Auction 3395, 3395/Lot# 1005 $575.00
2/22/2013 NGC Details G Details  Stack's Bowers The March 2013 Baltimore Auction, 181/Lot# 6409 $296.10
12/15/2013 PCGS F 15   Brown David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet Auction # 782, 791/Lot# 103 $1,625.00
12/22/2013 NGC Details XF Details  GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 12/22/2013, 106/Lot# 158926 $1,430.00
1/26/2014 PCGS MS 66   Brown Goldberg January 26, 2014 The Missouri Cabinet, 77/Lot# 41 $299,000.00
2/27/2014 NGC Details F Details  Heritage Auctions 2014 February 27 - 28 & March 2 Mid-Winter ANA US Coins Signature Auction - Atlanta Session(5), 1203/Lot# 7015 $440.63
11/30/2014 PCGS Genuine G   Brown Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(2), 131449/Lot# 23515 $105.75
3/3/2016 NGC Details VF Details  Heritage Auctions 2016 March 3 - 6 ANA US Coins Signature Auction - Dallas Session(4), 1233/Lot# 7015 $881.25


NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1797 PLAIN EDGE 1/2C MS Brown
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base230823752705388258036903709675027865825989001135412101127651540016089167991753318886271113955158589
23302485309745226169696772317623799684729718116031232213643156291632517043179842162731257458970
0000007231762379968472971811603123221364315629163251704317984216273125700
00000073667744812786861053611852125431452115859165621728818435243693540400
1797 PLAIN EDGE 1/2C MS Red Brown
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base113813811821226133454565487651855316541755395656598664736651706199181614822441000
1219152819682622375246694979522953505458557857666148653267888013119951824622441000
0000004979522953505458557857666148653267888013119951824622441000
0000005082527253835498561758766311659269248966140712034322441000
Registry Image Gallery

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