1795 1/2 C Lettered Edge AU55 C-1, B-1, R.2. Toned a medium to dark brown in color and quite even. The strike is sharp throughout, quite an event as so many of the 1795 half cents come with poorly struck devices. Excellent surfaces are the rule, and this piece is a delight to study. There is a very faint scratch down Liberty's face below her eye, and for identification purposes a tiny planchet flake resides above the post of the E in STATES. A very scarce coin in this relatively lofty grade, with a high quality planchet and good overall eye appeal. From The Melrose Bay Collection
Ron Guth: For Half Cent collectors, the year 1795 is full of interesting varieties: heavy weight planchets, light weight planchets, Punctuated Date, No Pole, Lettered Edge, Plain Edge, struck on cut-down Large Cents and Talbot, Allum & Lee tokens, etc.
The earliest 1795 Half Cents were struck on 104 grain planchets with a lettered edge. Because of rising costs of copper, the weight was reduced to 84 grains and subsequent coins bore a plain edge.
Two die varieties of 1795 Half Cents have Lettered Edges, but only the Cohen 1 qualifies for the type:
Cohen 1 - a capital letter I was used for the 1 of the date.
Cohen 2 - a comma-like mark appears between the 1 and the 7 of the date, earning this variety the nickname "Punctuated Date" (under which type it appears).
Sources and/or recommended reading:
"American Half Cents (Second Edition)" by Roger S. Cohen, Jr.
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