Discussion in 'US Coins Forum' started by The Eidolon, Apr 18, 2021.
Any guesses as to which type it might be, or is it too far gone?
Probably my oldest US cent!
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Here are my S-142s in lower grades:
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:
@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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