1811 1/2C Cohen 1, BN MS63BN Certification #-21178, PCGS #35239

Owner's Comments

Estimated grade. Ex. Alvord; Chapman (1924); Sears; Clapp to LE (1942). Sold by Bowers & Merena May '96 price realized $9,900. Lot #435.

Expert Comments

Ron Guth

The 1811 Half Cent has the lowest mintage of any date since 1802.  The entire mintage is comprised of two varieties, both of which look quite similar to each other.  Most of the literature uses the distance between the 1 and the 8 of the date as an attribution point.  Thus, on the Cohen-1 variety, the two digits are spaced farther apart than they are on the Cohen 2.  However, if that is too difficult to discern (it is for me), check out the distance of the 13th star from Liberty's hair.  On Cohen 1, the star is closer than on Cohen 2. 

The 1811 Cohen-1 Half Cent is just a smidge more rare than the Cohen-2, but both are priced similarly.  Two die states of the 1811 Cohen-1 command special attention.  The first is the so-called "2-Star Break" where a hunk of the die falls off in the area of the first two stars, leaving a raised blob of metal on any coin struck from the dies.  In a later state, another chunk of metal falls off the die, resulting in a "4-Star Break'.  Both of these late die states are very rare.

Most 1811 Cohen-1 Half Cents are in circulated condition, though at least one example is known in Mint State.  Collectors cannot afford to be picky on this variety because they rarely come on smooth, problem-free, chocolate-brown planchets.

23.50 millimeters
John Reich
5.44 grams
Metal Content
The United States of America
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PCGS Population
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Condition Census

Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 AU53 PCGS grade AU53 PCGS grade
2 XF40 PCGS grade XF40 PCGS grade