Ron Guth: Less than thirty 1796 No Pole Half Cents are known but, of those, three are Uncirculated. The finest example is the PCGS MS67 Red and Brown from the Eliasberg collection, which sold in 1996 for a record $506,000. That particular example is a member of the Million Dollar Coin ClubTM.
This was the only use of the obverse die. On this die, the engraver forgot to add the pole that normally supported the Liberty Cap. There is no trace whatsoever of the pole, either on the lower right side of the coin just above Liberty's bust or even on the short section in the cap behind Liberty's head. Most examples show a horizontal crack that bisects the obverse.
The reverse die of this variety was also used on:
1796 Cohen 2 (With Pole)
David Hall: The incredible MS67RB from the Louis Eliasberg collection is one of the great copper coins of all-time. This coin is the only 1796 no pole half cent I've ever seen that has any Red color. And I only know of one other 1796 no pole in mint state condition, a PCGS grade MS62BN. The MS67RB sold at the Elisberg sale in 1996 for $506,000. What a coin!
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