US Coins

1793 cent with hard-to-miss die crack tops $199K

Early large cents ruled Ira and Larry Goldberg’s Feb. 12 pre-Long Beach auction.

Included was a set of 150 large cents from the collection of Haig Koshkarian emphasizing varieties listed in the accessible A Guide Book of United States Coins (or to most collectors, simply the “Red Book”) along with 85 early large cents from copper dealer Tom Reynolds. Pierre Fricke’s Color Set offered a showing of the wide variety of colors found on early American copper coins and Charles Heck’s collection featured over 100 1794 Liberty Cap cents.

Finally, Bruce Tucker’s collection of 1816 to 1857 large cents rounded out the offerings. The Goldbergs offered separate sessions with additional U.S. coins, as well as world and ancient coins. 

Here is one of three large cents sold during the Goldberg’s sale that we’re profiling in this latest Market Analysis.

The Lot:

1793 Liberty Cap cent, Extremely Fine 45

The Price:


The Story: 

From the Koshkarian Collection came an incredible 1793 Liberty Cap cent graded Extremely Fine 45 by Professional Coin Grading Service, listed as Sheldon 14 by Dr. William H. Sheldon in Early American Cents.

Proof 1961 Franklin half dollar doubled die reverseMeet the Franklin half dollar’s most interesting variety: Inside Coin World: It's a great example of how a particular variety can stand out as a rarity from an otherwise common and unremarkable issue.

Three types of large cents were struck in 1793: the famed Flowing Hair, Chain; the Flowing Hair, Wreath; and the Liberty Cap, Wreath.

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The bisecting die crack on the obverse is hard to miss, and the offered example was a late die state (meaning it was struck late in the life cycle of the dies). As cataloger Bob Grellman observed: “Glossy medium to dark chocolate brown and steel with lighter brown toning in a few of the protected areas. The surfaces are smooth, void of any trace of corrosion or verdigris.” It sold for $199,750.

Liberty Cap Large Cent

Liberty Cap large cent: Following only a few months’ worth of Flowing Hair cent production, striking of the 1793 Liberty Cap, Wreath cent began in early September 1793, and a completely new, less "savage" Liberty portrait was created. How much are Liberty Cap large cents worth?

When asked about selling his collection the consignor said, “I am going to miss my Large Cents. They probably spent more time than they should have at home where I could look at them, rather than in their other home in a bank safe-deposit box.”

Keep Reading Analysis of Large Cents Sold by Goldberg:

1827 Coronet large cent1827 Coronet cent grade in brown category doesn’t mean it’s completely without red: Third-party grading services generally group Mint State U.S. copper coins into three color categories: red, red and brown, and brown. Some are tough to peg.

1794 Liberty Cap large centTom Reynolds lets go of gold-stickered ‘essentially flawless’ Liberty Cap cent: “It’s obvious this cent never saw any circulation, but it may have a touch of ‘cabinet friction’ on the obverse.”

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