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Obverse of 1793 Half Cent - Cohen 1     1793 Half Cent - Cohen 1


Rarity: Scarce

Variety Equivalents: Breen 1

The obverse die of this variety was also used on:
1793 Cohen 2

This was the only use of the reverse die.

Images courtesy of Superior Galleries

Significant examples:
PCGS MS-62 Brown (illustrated above).  Ex - Stack's January 18, 1956 - R. Henry Norweb - Auctions by Bowers & Merena, October 12, 1987, Lot 1 - Superior Galleries "ANA 2001 National Money Show Auction", March 8-9, 2001, Lot 10, unsold, where it was described as follows: "1793 Cohen-1 Rarity-3+ PCGS graded Mint State-62 Brown.. Frosty steel brown with golden tan in protected areas and delicate overtones of bluish steel on both sides. The surfaces are smooth and the planchet choice. Virtually free of defects with just a touch of light friction on the highpoints. There is a tiny flake out of the planchet affecting the dentils at the bust tip, a barely visible rim nick under the 3, and a speck of reddish verdigris in the field below the left foot of the first A in AMERICA. These marks in no way detract from the outstanding eye appeal of this half cent and are mentioned to provide identifying features for future researchers. Manley state I. Weight recorded as 111.2 grains prior to slabbing. EAC graded AU50."

NGC MS-62 Brown (illustrated below)
- Superior 8/2002:174, not sold (NGC MS-62 Brown)
- Early American 04/2003:1201 (NGC MS-62 Brown)
- Superior 1/2005:67 (NGC MS-62 Brown)

- John G. Mills
- S.H. & H Chapman, April 1904, Lot 1400, as "EF", sold for $19
- Carl Wurtzbach
- Ira S. Reed, August 1, 1945, as "Unc" for $90
- Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles, Inc.'s "The Benson Collection - Part I", February 16, 18-20, 2001, Lot 155, illustrated, sold for $20,125.00 where it was described (in part) as follows: "1793. Cohen-1, Breen-1, High Rarity-3. PCGS graded AU-55 and Del Bland graded EF-40. Excellent surfaces displaying virtually no abrasions, nicely centered and well struck with HALF CENT sharp. Below the right side of R in LIBERTY are two faint scratches but they are not readily visible to the unaided eye. Light medium chocolate brown on the obverse and dark chocolate brown on the reverse. Aesthetically very appealing and a prize for the half cent collector. Breen's State I.
The color is a bit lighter on the upper right of the obverse, and darker below. Splendid surfaces for the issue, which is all too often found with problems and distractions. As this is an early die state, all device details are sharp. Nearly impossible to find so nice, and certain to attract considerable collector interest.
This is the first federal issue of the Liberty Cap design, it predates the Liberty Cap cent by approximately four months, and the Cohen-1 variety is believed to be the first variety coined on July 20, 1793, with a total issue of just 7,000 pieces. Augustin Dupré's 1782 design of the Libertas Americana medal was used as the model... Both the medal and the 1793 half cent feature Liberty facing left, which is unique to this half cent design. On the 1793 large cent, and later 1794 half cents, Liberty faces to the right."

Recent appearances:
"EF-40.  Sharpness of EF-45, minor obverse spot".  Ex - Bowers and Merena Galleries "The Rarities Sale", September 22, 2002, Lot 6, "...A very minor spot of inactive surface corrosion is hidden between Liberty's hair and cap...", illustrated, sold for $13,800.00.

PCGS EF-40.  Ex - Superior Galleries "Pre-Long Beach" Elite Coin Auction, May 25-27, 2003, Lot 60, sold for $16,100.00 Ex Dr. Wallace Lee.  

VF-20 Corroded. Ex -  Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc.'s "October 2000 Long Beach Sale", October 5-7, 2000, Lot 6621, illustrated, sold for $1,840.00

ANACS Corroded VF Details, Net Fine-12.  Ex - Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc.'s "Philadelphia 2000 Signature Sale", August 6-7, 2000, Lot 6553, illustrated, sold for $2,242.50

Del Bland Poor-1.  Ex - Ira & Larry Goldberg Coin & Collectibles' "The Fairchild Family Trust Collection Sale", May 28-30, 2001, Lot 98, illustrated, sold for $437.00

Sources and/or recommended reading:
"American Half Cents - The 'Little Half Sisters' (Second Edition)" by Roger S. Cohen, Jr.

"Walter Breen's Complete Encyclopedia Of U.S. And Colonial Coins" by Walter Breen

Relevant collector organizations:
Early American Coppers Club

Obverse of 1793 Half Cent - Cohen 1     Reverse of 1793 Half Cent - Cohen 1

Images courtesy of Superior Galleries