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Obverse of 1835 Half Cent - Cohen 2     Reverse of 1835 Half Cent - Cohen 2


Rarity: Common

Variety Equivalents: Breen 2, Breen 1575

The obverse die of this variety was also used on 1835 Cohen 1.  

This was the only use of the reverse die.

Attribution Tips:
The easiest way to tell the two 1835 varieties apart is to look at the letters "ST" of STATES.  On this variety, the letters are closer than they appear on 1835 Cohen 1.

Die States:
Early die states of this variety show light (but plain) repunching at the right base of the 8 in the date, and no clash marks.  Later die states show clash marks on the obverse.  The reverse die develops a crack from the border just above the D in UNITED, through HA of HALF, to the border right of the O of OF.  Terminal die states have an additional crack that runs through ERICA of AMERICA to the border below the left ribbon.

Cohen believed that this obverse was first used on 1835 Cohen 1, where it received clash marks from the dies; he believed the obverse die was then polished to remove the clash marks, then placed into use on 1835 Cohen 2, where it clashed again, but in a different position than on 1835 Cohen 1.  Because the repunching of the date is stronger on 1835 Cohen 2 than it is on 1835 Cohen 1, it is now believed that 1835 Cohen 2 was the first Half Cent variety struck this year.  However, the different positions of the clashmarks on the two 1835 varieties have not yet been explained away.

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Images courtesy of Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles

Recent appearances:
MS-62.  Ex - Jim McGuigan, January 1986 - Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles, Inc.'s "The Benson Collection - Part I", February 16, 18-20, 2001, Lot 223, illustrated, sold for $391.00, where it was described as follows: "1835. Cohen-2, Breen-2, Rarity-1. Del Bland graded MS-62. Medium brown and mint red with a short line of light carbon on the neck and some darker carbon along the dentils on the upper right obverse."

Sources and/or recommended reading:
Roger S. Cohen, Jr., American Half Cents - "The Little Half Sisters", second edition, 1982, p. 95.

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

Ronald P. Manley, "Emission Sequence Of The 1835-Dated Half Cents", Penny-Wise, Vol. XXXIV, No. 2, March 15, 2000, pp. 62-63.

Relevant collector organizations:
Early American Coppers Club