Defaced Large Cent, Draped Bust or Liberty Cap?

Discussion in 'US Coins Forum' started by The Eidolon, Apr 18, 2021.

  1. The Eidolon

    The Eidolon Well-Known Member

    Someone hammered this coin around the edges until it became quite concave on the reverse. Looks almost as if it was to be turned into a button or something, though I don't see any sign of it having been mounted. It's in terrible shape, and I probably overpaid at $5, but it caught my curiosity. The portrait faces right, so I'm guessing it might be a Liberty Cap or Draped Bust type. I think I can just barely make out part of "1/100" on the reverse under the wreath. 9.6 g, 29 mm
    Any guesses as to which type it might be, or is it too far gone?
    Probably my oldest US cent!
    ob.jpg rev.jpg
     
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  3. potty dollar 1878

    potty dollar 1878 Well-Known Member

    liberty cap, i think the cap is partially visible for 5 bucks you did good.
     
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  4. Publius2

    Publius2 Well-Known Member

    I'm going for draped bust.
     
  5. Bradley Trotter

    Bradley Trotter Supporter! Supporter

    I agree with @Publius2; as you can see, there are the remains of the fraction below the wreath. Therefore, this coin is undoubtedly a draped bust large cent.
     
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  6. potty dollar 1878

    potty dollar 1878 Well-Known Member

    So?the flowing hair has the same fraction design,the pole isn't visible which it should partially be at least so I'm going with draped bust now. 20210418_193608.jpg
     
  7. The Eidolon

    The Eidolon Well-Known Member

    Don't the Flowing Hair, Liberty Cap and Draped Bust all have a similar reverse with the 1/100 fraction? There's more detail on the reverse than the obverse on mine, but I'm not sure it's enough to help. I think the flowing hair has a slightly different neckline and chin angle, so I am leaning against that one.

    If I had to guess looking at it in hand, I think I may see a trace of a cap, but I am not at all confident. I imagine it doesn't make a huge difference in this condition, but it's fun to speculate.
     
  8. scottishmoney

    scottishmoney Unwell Unknown Unmembered Supporter

    Whatever it is, at least you got a real piece of American history for a paltry $5. You know it is a US cent, and it is 225+ years old.
     
  9. Marshall

    Marshall Junior Member

    I'm not familiar with all the half cent reverses, but his has a reverse of 97 ribbon loop punch introduced on Draped Bust Large Cents in 1796. It looks a bit crowded for Large Cents so I would suspect a Half Cent. Size and/or weight would help.

    Half Cents used the same design with HALF where ONE is on the Large Cent and 1/200 on the fraction. But design changes did not always occur in the same year as the Large Cent.
     
  10. Marshall

    Marshall Junior Member

    After looking at reversed from 1800-1808 in the half cent series of Draped Bust Half Cents, I believe the punch they used was too small in proportion to the rest of the design to match the OP's coin. So now I'm in the Draped Bust Large Cent camp. Date should be between 1796 through 1807.
     
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  11. TypeCoin971793

    TypeCoin971793 Just a random guy on the internet

    Draped bust
     
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  12. The Eidolon

    The Eidolon Well-Known Member

    Size and weight were in the original post, though not very prominently:
    9.6 g, 29 mm
    So it's too big for a half cent, too light for a thick planchet Liberty Cap.
    Might still be the right weight for a later Liberty Cap or any Draped Bust.
    The edges have been beaten pretty heavily, and it may have lost a little material as it was shaped along with extensive wear.
     
  13. Marshall

    Marshall Junior Member

    The one thing I can tell for certain is that is is NOT a Liberty Cap because they all used either Reverse of 94 or Reverse of 95. Any hint of a CAP is PMD or an illusion. But it's not an uncommon illusion on low grade copper when the bottom of LADY LIBERTY is not discernible. The ribbons on the draped bust look somewhat like a cap when heavily worn, damaged and/or corroded.

    The Draped Bust series all had a 29mm diameter and issue weight of 168 grains. So Large Cent is right on par with diameter and the weight converts to 148 grains or over 20% light. While weight loss is to be expected on a heavily worn coin, this seems a bit excessive on a coin which is not porous like commonly found in soil by metal detectors.

    Oddly enough, I have a S-78 that weighs in at 9.6 or 9.7 grams (different jewler's scales) that I think might have been struck on a TAL token which had a 151 grain standard on their heavy tokens. This is a possibility since the only two 1795 NC-2s were struck on TAL tokens (undertype bold enough for ID) which were purchased to be cut down for Half Cents. A few managed to sneak into the Large Cent planchet barrels.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2021
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  14. Marshall

    Marshall Junior Member

    As unlikely as it seems, it appears that Reverse S of 1797 is the best match for the Reverse. The left stem is short and high. The numerator is well right of the first 0 of the fraction and the outside berry under the right side of D is large and close to the leaf.

    It's two uses were on the rare-ish S-142 R5+ (though I have 3) and extremely rare 1797 NC-7 (two known). Unfortunately, the obverse is too far gone for variety determination.
     
  15. Marshall

    Marshall Junior Member

    The case for 1797 Reverse S:

    Subject-horz.jpg Subject-horz2.jpg

    Here are my S-142s in lower grades:

    upload_2021-4-19_5-39-40.jpeg upload_2021-4-19_5-39-53.jpeg upload_2021-4-19_5-40-21.jpeg

    I sometimes see NC-7 on the third example, but I can't say with certainty. The 7 looks too low, but that could be PMD.

    Here is the new die state of NC-7: 1797 11        11.5  NC-7 Die State E.jpg
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2021
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  16. Publius2

    Publius2 Well-Known Member

    Good job, Marshall! If anyone could make sense out of almost nothing on a LC, I knew it would be you. I guessed DB but that was more instinct but you actually used facts and analysis. Imagine that!
     
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  17. The Eidolon

    The Eidolon Well-Known Member

    @Marshall Thanks for your detective work! I'm impressed (and convinced).
    I'll mark it as a Draped Bust large cent, possibly 1797, possibly Reverse S.
    I wish it were in a little better shape to tell more, but then I wouldn't have gotten it for $5 in the first place.
     
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