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 Obverse of 1796 Half Cent - Cohen 1    Reverse of 1796 Half Cent - Cohen 1


1796 HALF CENT - COHEN 1

PCGS Nos: 1030, 1031

Rarity: 
Very Rare

Variety Equivalents: Breen 1, Breen 1518

Notes:
Less than thirty Cohen 1's known, but of those, three are Uncirculated.

This was the only use of the obverse die.  On this die, the engraver forgot to add the pole that normally supported the Liberty Cap.  There is no trace whatsoever of the pole, either on the lower right side of the coin just above Liberty's bust or even on the short section in the cap behind Liberty's head.  Most examples show a horizontal crack that bisects the obverse.

The reverse die of this variety was also used on
1796 Cohen 2

Images courtesy of Heritage Numismatic Auctions

PCGS Fine-15.  Ex - Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc.'s "Long Beach" sale, February 10-11, 2000, Lot 5281, PCGS Fine-15

Recent appearances:
"AG-3".  Ex - Superior Galleries "Pre-Long Beach" Elite Coin Auction, May 25-27, 2003, Lot 118, sold for $19,550.00 Ex Hank Spangenberger FPL 1/69- John Whitney Walter-Rich Shimkus-John Whitney Walter, Auction '84, lot 1004- John Whitney Walter, Bowers & Merena 9/14/92:1022- Dr. Wallace Lee.

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