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EAC ? Gripped & Plain edge ?

FlychanceFlychance Posts: 8
edited January 9, 2023 9:53AM in U.S. Coin Forum

Per my research, I believe this will be a quick & easy answer, however I wanted to query the community.

1797 (rev 95) are there any OBVERSE or REVERSE diagnostics to attribute a plain versus gripped edge?

I am specifically referencing S-121a / S-121b (although if a pup exists for S-120a / S-120b please inform)

Literature-> Research-> Diagnostics-> Attribution-> Cherry-Pick

Comments

  • Walkerguy21DWalkerguy21D Posts: 11,137 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 9, 2023 12:33PM

    120a has obverse 2 and reverse A, beaded edge. 120b has the same obv and rev dies, but has the gripped edge.
    121a uses obverse 3, reverse A, beaded edge, 121b uses the same obv and rev dies, with a gripped edge.

    To specifically answer your question, I don’t think any of these die varieties have a plain edge, unless by accident.
    The biggest difference between the 120 and 121 is the date spacing. But you probably knew that.

    To add -Dan Holmes apparently had a true plain edge 121a in his collection, listed as an R-7, so a few do exist.

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  • Thanks WalkerGuy,

    The information in your reply had me completely puzzled. I wasn't even aware of the 1797 "beaded edge," as Sheldon and the Redbook refer only to "gripped" & "plain" edge. I'm going to attempt to clarify both our posts (please anyone let me know if it is incorrect).

    It seems from the Dan Holmes Sale, the auction catalog references Breen's discussion of a BEADED edge in regards to S-120a:

    "The edge is commonly called 'Plain,' but as Breen points out it is really a partially beaded S-120b">

    If I understand this correctly, the Gripped/Beaded/Plain edge are only diagnostics among the S-120a/b varieties. That sounds like a nightmare to attribute (i.e. the difference between beaded/gripped). Luckily, going back to my original question, I am primarily interested in the S-121a & S-121b.

    If my clarification of both our posts is misunderstood, please let me know. If I'm on the right path, I'm still querying if:

    Are there any diagnostics of the 1797 (rev of 1796) S-121 that can attribute a S-121a (Plain) against a S-121b (Gripped) by ONLY viewing the Obverse and/or Reverse of the coin?

    Thanks in advance

    Literature-> Research-> Diagnostics-> Attribution-> Cherry-Pick

  • Walkerguy21DWalkerguy21D Posts: 11,137 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The obverse and reverse dies for both S-121 sub varieties are identical.
    So there are no diagnostics to distinguish them.
    Think about it this way:
    One set of dies was in the press. While it was in use, some of the planchets had gripped edges (indents almost like reeding), some planchets had little lumps (beads) on the edges, and apparently very few had totally plain edges.
    All the coins struck on this die pair were identical, EXCEPT for the edges.

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  • Thanks WalkerGuy,

    I suspected this was the process. The reason I asked, is that I have identified a S-121 (not in hand) via photos of the obverse and reverse. And I'm sure you're aware, a v b is R7 v R3.

    As far as you know, there isn't any recorded "beaded" edges of the S-121? a S-121a will be completely "plain" edge, and the S-121b will have some sort of reeding/notching or otherwise "gripped" edge? correct?

    Literature-> Research-> Diagnostics-> Attribution-> Cherry-Pick

  • Walkerguy21DWalkerguy21D Posts: 11,137 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Well this is interesting; from the Ronnie Adams auction in 2004:

    It would appear that some so called plain edge cents actually had beads.

    As far as S121a examples, either plain or with beads, must be quite scarce, as even major collections like Frankenfield didn’t have one.

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  • Walkerguy21DWalkerguy21D Posts: 11,137 ✭✭✭✭✭

    From the Wes Rasmussen collection:

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  • Ok WalkerGuy, let me dissect what I think we know so far:
    Foremost, we are now referencing the 1797 (rev ’96) S-121 with two subvarieties’: S-121a & S121b

    Given the above information, the S-121 appears as “Gripped,” “Plain,” & “Beaded.” Where Beaded and Plain are the same sub-variety?
    If this is true, should I expected that “Gripped” are incuse marks, where “Beaded” varieties are raised,
    and IF/WHEN circulated will appear “Plain” due to wear?

    Literature-> Research-> Diagnostics-> Attribution-> Cherry-Pick

  • Walkerguy21DWalkerguy21D Posts: 11,137 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The 120a coin listed earlier apparently had beads present, at the VF level.
    I don’t know how much wear is needed to eradicate the beads altogether. I think the incuse marks are present down almost to the basal state. So if it’s not a gripped edge, by default it’s a plain/beaded edge may be the easiest way to attribute these?

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  • Thanks @Walkerguy21D ,
    I appreciate the discussion & clarification !

    Literature-> Research-> Diagnostics-> Attribution-> Cherry-Pick

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