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My first Half Cent was a Liberty Cap...

OmegaraptorOmegaraptor Posts: 531 ✭✭✭✭✭

Was at the Portland, OR regional show today (relocated to Clackamas) and had spent a while looking for coins. I have a preference towards early copper and Seated coinage as many of you know, but I tend to buy whatever looks cool or potentially valuable. For the first couple hours of the show, although I was definitely striking up some good conversations with the dealers, I wasn't coming up with much in terms of coins to take home, aside from an 1830 Bolivia 4 Soles that turned up in a world coin box for a very nice price (an XF aside from a couple of rim dings). Was looking through one dealer's case and noticed he had early copper way at the end. Leaned over and scanned through his selection and saw a Liberty Cap Half Cent marked as just "1794-97". This is a type that has been on my bucket list, and I asked to take a closer look.

I will try to get better pictures tomorrow.

Looking at the coin in hand I identified it fairly quickly as a 1797, 1 Above 1. What struck me about it is that this was probably a VF-XF coin before it was dropped in the ground (where it spent a century or two). Pretty much all of the detail (hair, rims, etc) is there, the coin is just corroded. I offered $90, and one handshake later, the coin was mine.

Very excited to own this very difficult type! Saw @2windy2fish at the show as well where he had a table set up. He showed me the 1910 NGC graded PR62 $10 Indian which I have heard was under dispute... but I don't have the expertise in gold to tell that. He did quite enjoy seeing my coin as well! Love using the "What can I get for half a cent?" line.

"You can't get just one gun." "You can't get just one tattoo." "You can't get just one 1796 Draped Bust Large Cent."


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    2windy2fish2windy2fish Posts: 817 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Nice pick up for your first Half Cent!!
    Nice to meet you today at the WCC show in Portland! And thank you for swinging by to say Hey!

    @NeophyteNumismatist can you add or comment about any variety?

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    Walkerguy21DWalkerguy21D Posts: 11,241 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Nice find!

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    NeophyteNumismatistNeophyteNumismatist Posts: 928 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 12, 2022 8:57PM

    I will see what I can do. Can you snap a picture of the edge? Can you tell if there was/is lettering?

    I am a newer collector (started April 2020), and I primarily focus on U.S. Half Cents and Type Coins. Early copper is my favorite.

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    NeophyteNumismatistNeophyteNumismatist Posts: 928 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 12, 2022 10:31PM

    It is my strong belief that this is a head of 1795. You can tell by the point of the bust tip.

    On the reverse, we have the bottom leaf of the left wreath pointing at the N, and the fraction is centered between the ribbon.

    I may never be able to give you the exact date variety, but I can tell you several that it is not :)

    Congrats on the early date...

    I am a newer collector (started April 2020), and I primarily focus on U.S. Half Cents and Type Coins. Early copper is my favorite.

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    rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Nice pickup.... Definitely looks as if it spent time in the ground. I keep searching for one in the ground, my area could well have some. Cheers, RickO

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