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All Posts Tagged With: "Type Coins"

Coin Rarities & Related Topics: 1793 Half Cents, Chain Cents, Wreath Cents, 1808 Quarter Eagles — one-year type coins in general

News and Analysis regarding scarce coins, coin markets, and the coin collecting community #8

A Weekly Column by Greg Reynolds

I. Today’s Theme Is On One-YearType Coins

Although some expensive coins that appeal to advanced collectors will be discussed below, this column is largely introductory in nature. Learning about one-year type coins is important. Furthermore, many are not expensive, and may be especially reasonable in modest grades. In addition, one-year type coins are important elements in the history of U.S. coinage. Moreover, knowledge of one-year type coins is central to understanding the relative values of many significant classic U.S. coins. My aim here is not to provide a lesson on type coins. Rather, I am mentioning some one-year type coins in the upcoming Boston ANA auction in August and discussing the general significance of these issues.

One-year type coins have always fascinated me. These are both the most common and the rarest dates of their respective types. As a kid, I dreamed of owning all one-year type coins. I remember my acquisition of an 1859 Indian Cent. I was eight or nine years old at the time and I was thrilled. I was later able to obtain other one-year type coins that are accessible to low-budget collectors, 1883 ‘No Cents’ Liberty Nickels, 1913 ‘Buffalo on Mound’ Nickels, and 1909 VDB cents, though it is debatable as to whether 1909 VDB cents are really one-year type coins. In circulated grades, 1853 ‘Arrows & Rays’ quarters and halves can be obtained by non-affluent collectors. The ‘Arrows & Rays’ and just ‘Arrows’ issues, though, are sometimes regarded as subtype coins rather than full type coins. Likewise, 1839 ‘No Drapery’ Halves are typically thought of as a one-year subtype as the design of these is not substantially different from that of the Liberty Seated ‘No Motto’ half dollar type that was adopted later in 1839.

As usual, I am discussing coins that were minted prior to 1934. Types of so called ‘modern issues’ constitute a different topic. Most rare or at least somewhat scarce U.S. coin issues were minted prior to 1934. In the upcoming Heritage ANA Auction in Boston, there will be offered a sizeable number of pre-1934 one-year type coins.

II. Half Cents of 1793

Among the most popular of all U.S. coins are the copper coins of 1793. While some patterns were made in 1792 at a private location, including half dimes which circulated, 1793 is the first true year of the U.S. Mint.

As U.S. silver coins were not minted until 1794 and gold coins not until 1795, only copper coins were struck in 1793, half cents and large cents. The half cents of 1793 are a one-year design type, and three different types of large cents were struck during this same year, Chain Cents, Wreath Cents and Liberty Cap Cents. Chain Cents and Wreath Cents are certainly each one-year types.

It is debatable as to whether 1793 Liberty Cap Cents are a one-year type. The PCGS and some large cent experts regard 1793 Liberty Caps as a one-year type; the NGC and other experts view Liberty Cap Cents dating from 1793 to 1796 as all being of the same design type. The main difference between 1793 Liberty Cap Cents and those Liberty Cap Cents dating from 1794 to 1796 is that the 1793s have beaded borders while the later Liberty Caps have dentilated borders. Dentils, which are sometimes called denticles, are tooth-like devices near the edge. Dentils are different from beads, which are sort of like oval buttons. (more…)