The 1796 Edwards Copy Half Cents are believed to have been produced by Dr. Francis Smith Edwards, sometime around 1860 to 1865. Dr. Edwards was a serious collector of U.S coins that lived in New York. The1796 Edwards Copy Half Cents were made using hand made dies and struck on rolled copper planchets. The copies vary in weight anywhere from about 59 to 95 grains.
After Dr. Edwards death in 1865 his coin collection was sold by Bangs Merwin & Co. in October of that same year. The1796 Edwards copies were first recognized in an auction in the W. Elliot Woodward’s Sale of April 1866, lot #944, which was purchased by Sylvester Crosby for $5.50 at the time.