US Coins

Market Analysis: 1793 Liberty Cap large cent

One of the finest-known 1793 Liberty Cap large cents of the distinctive Sheldon-14 variety, having a prominent obverse die crack, graded Extremely Fine 45 by PCGS, sold for $120,000 on May 9.

Images courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

Collector Jon Alan Boka sold 58 of his 1794 Flowing Hair large cents at Heritage in 2016. Heritage said, “Boka is Back” when presenting four choice examples at its May 9 Platinum Night session.

Leading the offering at $120,000 was a 1793 Liberty Cap large cent, listed as Sheldon-14 in William H. Sheldon’s early cent reference (eventually titled Penny Whimsy) and graded Extremely Fine 45 by Professional Coin Grading Service. The obverse shows a bisecting die crack from the E in LIBERTY to the 3 in the date, and the crack is visible even on the lowest-grade examples. This one is among the five finest of the variety graded at PCGS.

Heritage observes some trivial marks, while recognizing, “The glossy surfaces exhibit a blend of reddish-gold, chocolate, and steel-brown toning on both sides of this census-level piece.” The price achieved was considerably less than the $199,750 it sold for in a 2017 auction by the Goldbergs, and less even than the $126,500 it sold for in Heritage’s 2008 offering of the Walt Husak collection.

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