US Coins

Market Analysis: Duo of decent 1793 half cents

Two 1793 Liberty Cap half cents graded Good Details, Environmental Damage and Fair 2 by PCGS sold for $1,140 and $1,560, respectively, at a recent Stack’s Bowers auction.

Images courtesy of Stack’s Bowers Galleries.

1793 marked the first year that half cents and large cents were struck for circulation, and the 1793 Liberty Cap half cent is also popular as a one-year type. Liberty’s profile and the date are preserved even on low-grade coins, such as one graded Good Details, Environmental Damage by Professional Coin Grading Service that sold for $1,140 on June 13 at Stack’s Bowers.

The next lot in that sale was another 1793 half cent, graded Fair 2 by PCGS and described as “a wholesome and appealing example for the assigned grade,” with a well-defined obverse. Further, “The reverse is worn nearly smooth, but with patience one can discern enough of the numerator in the fraction and the surrounding ribbon to identify the reverse die.” It’s unusual to find a coin with this much wear in a “problem free” grade, and the auctioneer suggested that with its even, original medium brown surfaces it could find a home in a “Low Ball” set. It sold for $1,560.

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