A possibly unique “Plain Edge” 1795 one cent piece, Fair 2 PCGS, S-79 will be a featured coin during Heritage Auctions’ Jan. 5 Platinum night festivities as part of the company’s U.S. Coins & Platinum Night FUN Signature Auction, Jan. 3-8, in Orlando, FL.
"This is a genuine 1795 cent from the dies of S-79," said Greg Rohan, President of Heritage Auctions. "There’s been some debate regarding a suitable name for this piece. While S-79 is known as the ‘Reeded Edge’ large cent, this piece shows no trace of edge reeding. It’s possibly a plain edge planchet that was mistakenly mixed with the experimental Reeded Edge planchets. If so, then it should be described as a mint error. There is speculation, however, that it was produced intentionally."
If this is the case, then the Reeded Edge pieces should be labeled "S-79a" and this Plain Edge piece should be labeled "S-79b."
"Another possibility," said Rohan, "is that the edge reeding is gone as a result of extensive wear. There’s tremendous interest in this and, if collector’s decide it is indeed intentional, the price realized will reflect its uniqueness."
Every letter in LIBERTY is visible on the coin and the position of "TY" over the forelock is diagnostic for the obverse die of that variety. In fact, that relationship is diagnostic for the entire series. There is no other Liberty Cap obverse die of any variety from 1793 through 1796 with "TY" in the same position relative to the forelock. The date is mostly visible as well as is nearly half of the reverse detail, matching exactly the reverse die of S-79, appearing here for the only time in the Liberty Cap series and re-appearing later with six 1796 Draped Bust varieties.
There is no doubt that this is a genuine S-79 cent, and one of just nine examples known at that, constituting an important opportunity in any event for advanced collectors.
About Heritage Auctions
Heritage Auctions, headed by Steve Ivy, Jim Halperin and Greg Rohan, is the world’s third largest auction house, with annual sales more than $600 million, and 500,000+ online bidder members. For more information about Heritage Auctions, and to join and gain access to a complete record of prices realized, along with full-color, enlargeable photos of each lot, please visit HA.com.