Type 4, Liberty Cap, Denticled Border

Obverse of 1794 Large Cent
Reverse of 1794 Large Cent

Ron Guth: The Liberty Cap design of 1793 continued in 1794, but with the border of beads replaced with a toothlike (denticled) border.

None of the three dates (1794, 1795, and 1796) in this series are rare, but high-grade examples become quite valuable, especially those in full Mint State or any coin with even a trace of original red color. This series is the realm of variety collectors who seek to acquire as many different die combinations as possible. Most collectors focus on the varieties of a single date (one collector crowd calls themselves the "Boys of '94"), but there are some intrepid collectors who collect varieties for all years.

Some of the most popular varieties include: 1794 Starred Reverse, with tiny stars interspersed among the denticles on the reverse 1795 Reeded Edge, exceedingly rare, thought to be an experimental piece 1795 Jefferson Head, not an official Mint issue, but eagerly collected as part of the series

Individual varieties are attributed using Dr. Wlliam Sheldon's "Penny Whimsy", a bedrock reference that first appeared in 1948 (Sheldon's name might sound familiar -- he's the man who developed the 70 point grading scale in use today).

This design lasted until mid-1796, when it was replaced with the new Draped Bust design.