1795 1C Plain Edge AU58 S-78, B-8, R.1. This is one of the most common of all Liberty Cap large cent varieties and an ideal candidate for the date or type collector. For this die pairing, the peak of the 5 in the date just touches the bust truncation. Date and LIBERTY are closely spaced. ONE CENT is centered in the wreath and widely separated. ONE CENT is high in the wreath, as the engraver avoided placing CENT within the narrow space between the lower leaves, and the E in STATES is entered high. Specialists of 1795 cents know that the two most common varieties are S-76b and S-78, both Plain Edge varieties. The Lettered Edge varieties are significantly scarcer, as indicated by Guide Book prices. While none of the three collectible Plain Edge 1795 cent die pairs can be considered more than scarce, the type is more in-demand than the supply can handle, especially for better conditions such as Choice AU.
By 1795, the cost of making a Large Cent exceeded its face value, thus the government was forced to consider a change. Their answer was to simply reduce the weight of the coin. Because the diameter remained the same, the effect of lowering the weight was a much thinner coin. Making the coin thinner had both negative and positive consequences: 1) the edge was no longer thick enough to receive the edge lettering, and 2) by eliminating the edge lettering, a whole step in the manufacturing process could be avoided, thus speeding up production.
The effect of the change had little or no impact on the public's perception. The people on the street continued to use and accept the lighter-weight coppers in direct contradiction to their rejection of underweight imitations of British coppers less than a decade earlier. Perhaps the official nature of the coins and the government's backing of the value was enough to encourage the citizenry to be a little more flexible this time around. Apparently, it worked, because the weight of the Large Cents remained the same from 1795 to 1857.
Plain edge 1795 Large Cents are considerably more plentiful than the Lettered Edge versions, plus they are more likely to be found in Mint State, and the best examples top out at MS65BN. The typical Mint State grade is MS63BN. No Red-Brown or Red 1795 Large Cents are known.
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