Coins Certified as of 2/9

My Coin #05859831

1795 1C Jeff Head, Plain Edge, BN G6BN

PCGS#: 1386

Owner's Comments

S80 (Noyes 59514)

Expert Comments

Ron Guth: The Jefferson Head Cents are sample coins produced outside the mint by independent businessman John Harper, then a saw-maker by trade, who proposed to supply coinage to the Mint under contract.  Initailly, Harper approached the Mint with suggestions for improvements to their machinery, but he was treated poorly, so he decided to make his own press and dies to prove his methods.  The "Jefferson Heads" are the result.  Though they were made outside the Mint, collectors prize the Jefferson Cents highly and have included them among the regular Cents.

Harper intended to mimic the designs on 1795 Liberty Cap Cents, but his skill was as a machinist, not as a die-cutter.  Thus, his attempts at replicating the designs, though admirable, were clearly different and off the mark.  However, the purpose of the coins were simply to show that Harper could, indeed, produce coins.  The differences did not escape the notice of collectors, who nick-named Harper's Cents "Jefferson Heads" because of a vague similarity to the profile of Thomas Jefferson.

Collectors recognize three different Jefferson Head Cents die combinations: Sheldon NC-1, Sheldon NC-4, and Sheldon 80.  Two different edge devices are known on the Sheldon NC-1.  All Jefferson Heads share the same obverse die; Sheldon NC-1 has a different reverse than Sheldon NC-4 and Sheldon 80.  Of the various varieties and sub-varieties, only the Sheldon 80 is collectible.  All known examples are worn, and are often found with surface problems such as corrosion or cracking due to poor annealing (on those blanks that were cast).  The finest example is a VF35 (PCGS estimated grade) in the American Numismatic Society collection.  The finest collectible example is a single PCGS VF30.

Diameter: 28.00 millimeters Designer: Attributed to John Harper Edge: Plain
Mintage: 10 Weight: 10.89 grams Metal Content: Copper

Rarity and Survival Estimates

Grades Survival Estimate Numismatic Rarity Relative Rarity by Type Relative Rarity by Series
All Grades 45 R-8.6 4 / 11 4 / 12
60 or Better 0 R-10.1 1 / 11 1 / 12
65 or Better 0 R-10.1 1 / 11 1 / 12

Condition Census

Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 VF30 PCGS grade  
2 VF25 PCGS grade
2 VF25 PCGS grade

Dr. Edward Maris - Harlan P. Smith 6/1886:270, $50 - T. Harrison Garrett Collection - Robert Garrett Collection - John Work Garrett Collection - Johns Hopkins University - Bowers & Ruddy 11/1979:80, $7,500 - Tom Morley - John W. Adams 4/1981 - Denis W. Loring 5/1981 - Dr. John Y Harper Collection - Heritage 3/2012:3052, $184,000

4 VF20 PCGS grade

Anderson Leas (accompanied by an old envelope stating "Saved by Anderson Leas, found in his belongings after his death." The imprint on the envelope reads "from//J. & J. Leas,//Grain, Flour and Seed,//West Manchester, Ohio") - Bowers & Merena 1/1997:6 (as ANACS F12) - Jack Wadlington (via Bob Grellman & Chris McCawley), sold privately on 6/30/2005 - Dan Holmes Collection - Goldbergs 9/2009:131 (as PCGS VF20), $94,875

5 VF20 PCGS grade  

Stack’s/Bowers 8/2012:11187, $86,250 - Heritage 1/2013:5523, $111,625 - Heritage 8/2014:5525, $105,750