US Coins

'Essentially flawless' Liberty Cap large cent sold

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 sale that we profile in this Market Analysis.

The Lot: 

1794 Liberty Cap cent, Mint State 63 brown, gold CAC sticker

The Price:


The Story: 

From the collection of dealer Tom Reynolds came a 1794 Liberty Cap cent graded PCGS Mint State 63 brown with a gold Certified Acceptance Corp. sticker. CAC founder John Albanese has described the gold sticker as recognizing coins that could easily receive a green sticker at the next highest grade level.

These CAC gold stickers are infrequently seen on higher-end coins because most people would rather “max out” the numerical grade on a coin with the hopes of maximizing a coin’s value. 

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The offered large cent was described as “essentially flawless,” with the catalog adding: “Satiny mint frost covers all but the very highest points of the hair. It’s obvious this cent never saw any circulation, but it may have a touch of ‘cabinet friction’ on the obverse.” 

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?

This example of the relatively common Sheldon 29 variety was part of the Swedish National Museum Collection, until its disposition in the early 1960s. At the February pre-Long Beach auction it sold for $54,050. 

Keep Reading Analysis of Large Cents Sold by Goldberg:

1793 Liberty Cap large centThis 1793 Liberty Cap cent featuring a hard-to-miss die crack tops $199K at auction: 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.”

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.

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