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My Letter to an EAC Member about my discovery of a second 1795 Cohen 6-b lettered edge half cent

Several folks said I should share this letter, to a fellow EAC Member, as a new discussion.
It is the description of my eBay find of the second example of the recently (2018) discovered 1795 C-6b Lettered Edge Half Cent.
Here it is:

Tim,

I thought I might share my story about ebay and the 1795 lettered Edge C-6b ( some are calling a C-6c) purchase, with you.

I saw it on ebay, when it was first listed and took a quick glance, and thought it was interesting, because of the loop soldered to it, as a jewelry piece.

That first night, I did not even look at all of the pictures of it, but put it in my watch box, to look at later.

I like to test myself and try to ID very worn half cents, especially ones without dates, by their other features.

The next day something told me to take a closer look at this piece.

I noticed that it had a small head obverse, so I knew it was a 1795 ,1796 or 1797 and not a 1793 or 1794.

The reverse picture of it, on ebay, was very poor, but, using my picture editing program, I was able to clean it up a bit.

Then flipping it over 180 degrees, I noticed what looked like faint, broken, images of "RICA" in AMERICA and a few leaves.

Using my overlay program, I became reasonably sure it was a "D" reverse (only used on a Cohen 6)

The seller had about seven or eight pictures of the coin.

But, unless you scrolled all the way to the end , you would not see the edge lettering picture.

This is what Ed Fuhrman, who also looked at it, did not do, luckily for me.

As you know, some of the 1795's ( C-1 and C-2a) have edge lettering, but the large style.

There is only one variety , the C-6c, with the small lettering.

I wrote to the seller and had him weigh the item for me and he said it weighed about 105 grains, (a thick planchet).

At this point, It sure seemed like a 1795 C-6, thick planchet, with small edge lettering, to me!

This seemed too good to be true and I have to admit, I questioned my analysis of it, a lot!

After all, what are the odds that I had been emailing the guy who discovered the first example and, a year later, found the second?

Impossible! But there it was.

I further questioned my identification of the coin when, in the last 24 hours, one of the bidders withdrew his bid and the price briefly dropped down below $20.00.

Woah! Was I really seeing what I thought I was seeing on this coin, or was it just wishful thinking? Why did this other bidder decide it was not worth bidding on?

I have to admit, I re-ran my overlay program a few more times, on the last day of the listing, just to re-assure myself.

Anyway, I won the item and it was to arrive on a Saturday.

I was as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs, waiting to see and verify my impossible find, in person.

But, as fate would have it, the mail was delayed until Monday and I was a nervous wreck , thinking that perhaps, it was lost in the mail.

When I finally did get it, I was pleasantly surprised that the reverse , using the proper lighting and angle, was in a lot better condition, than shown in the seller's pictures.


The seller's poor pictures were another bit of luck for me, because, only someone, who has seen a lot of these C-6 's, would ever recognize it's "D" reverse ( see picture) with only the ebay picture provided.

And yes, it was what I thought.

The rarest coin in my almost 62 years of collecting!

I took some pictures and immediately emailed Ed Fuhrman and told him I had acquired a new coin.
I wrote something like:

It has a 1795, no-pole, head

and a "D" reverse

on a 104.4 grain planchet

with small edge lettering.

What do I have?

We had never actually ever spoken on the phone, at that point, but when he got my email, he asked me to call him, and when he answered he said:

"I hear congratulations are in order"

His verification sealed the deal and made my day!

Heck, it made my year!

I am including the original reverse picture from ebay and one of mine with better lighting.

As a coin guy, I thought you could understand my excitement!

Jon

                  Some Additional Coin History                                                                                      

I usually write to the sellers that I buy from, to try to get a little history behind my purchases.

In this case he had some:

Hi Jon,
Thanks for your message and the positive feedback. Much appreciated.
This piece came from a local coin dealer who had acquired it from a gentleman from Salem, Massachusetts.
He indicated that it had been in his family for many generations, at least as far back as his great-grandfather.
Unfortunately, he didn't have any more details to share.
In any case, we hope you continue to enjoy the coin, it's a classic.
Take care,
Jim

Comments

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    LanceNewmanOCCLanceNewmanOCC Posts: 19,999 ✭✭✭✭✭


    are there any instances where a half cent is awarded a specific, separate designation based on JUST variations of edge letters or lack thereof? any precedence?

    <--- look what's behind the mask! - cool link 1/NO ~ 2/NNP ~ 3/NNC ~ 4/CF ~ 5/PG ~ 6/Cert ~ 7/NGC 7a/NGC pop~ 8/NGCF ~ 9/HA archives ~ 10/PM ~ 11/NM ~ 12/ANACS cert ~ 13/ANACS pop - report fakes 1/ACEF ~ report fakes/thefts 1/NCIS - Numi-Classes SS ~ Bass ~ Transcribed Docs NNP - clashed coins - error training - V V mm styles -

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    gumby1234gumby1234 Posts: 5,428 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 19, 2022 6:14PM

    What is that dark line going around the edge on your cleared up photo of the reverse. Can we get some clear pics of that from a couple of angles please? @coinloverjon

    It has a similar look to a box dollar or a magicians coin from that photo.

    Successful BST with ad4400, Kccoin, lablover, pointfivezero, koynekwest, jwitten, coin22lover, HalfDimeDude, erwindoc, jyzskowsi, COINS MAKE CENTS, AlanSki, BryceM

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    hummingbird_coinshummingbird_coins Posts: 415 ✭✭✭
    edited December 19, 2022 6:28PM

    @gumby1234 said:
    What is that dark line going around the edge on your cleared up photo of the reverse. Can we get some clear pics of that from a couple of angles please? @coinloverjon

    It has a similar look to a box dollar or a magicians coin from that photo.

    Methinks it is just the shadow.

    Young Numismatist

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    The coin was sitting in a magnifying glass for the photo.
    Behind it is the glass and the metal rim of the glass.

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    lilolmelilolme Posts: 2,466 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @hummingbird_coins said:

    @gumby1234 said:
    What is that dark line going around the edge on your cleared up photo of the reverse. Can we get some clear pics of that from a couple of angles please? @coinloverjon

    It has a similar look to a box dollar or a magicians coin from that photo.

    Methinks it is just the shadow.

    Agree. This shows up on some photos sometimes. In the below enlargement, notice the shadow of the coin on the surface. Then also see that the edge line starts about the same place the surface shadow does. Then as this shadow grows that edge line also grows with it to some extent.

    https://youtube.com/watch?v=2YNufnS_kf4 - Mama I'm coming home ...................................................................................................................................................................... RLJ 1958 - 2023

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    The 1795 Cohen-2 has a lettered and plain edge variety. Most of the 1794 varieties have small and large lettering sub- varieties.

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    rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Great detective work.... Always exciting to find these special coins. Cheers, RickO

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