A recently discovered example of the Sheldon 89 variety of 1796
Liberty Cap cent to be offered at auction in January is the finest
example to be found in more than 50 years, according to large cent
specialist Bob Grellman.
The S-89 variety, as cataloged in William H. Sheldon’s Penny
Whimsy, was recently graded Extremely Fine 40 by Professional Coin Grading Service.
The new discovery is to be offered Jan. 25 in Los Angeles by Ira & Larry
Goldberg Coins & Collectibles Inc. in the firm's auction
preceding the Long Beach Coin, Currency, Stamp & Sports
According to Larry Goldberg, the newly discovered S-89 1796 cent was
purchased over the counter at an “old-time coin shop” in the
Southwest. The seller pulled the coin out of one of the front pockets
of his pants with other 18th century coins that were passed down
within the seller’s family for several generations, according to Larry Goldberg.
Goldberg said the new discovery carries an estimate of $15,000,
While the S-89 cent is a common variety, it is extremely rare in
high grade, according to Grellman.
“The finest known grades only Very Fine 30 by Early American
Copper standards, giving the variety the lowest condition census
for the entire series.,” Grellman said Oct. 28 by email. “Even the
rare varieties have examples that have survived in significantly
“The Gene Gardner collection just offered by Heritage (Oct. 27)
illustrates this phenomenon. He had superior examples of 9 of the 11
die varieties of 1796 Liberty Cap cents, but no S-89. He was never
able to find a nice one to fit into his outstanding collection —
because a high-grade example has yet to be discovered.”
For more information on the new discovery and the Jan. 25 sale,
visit the firm’s website or telephone it at 310-5512646.