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SERIES: Liberty Cap Right Half Cents 1794-1797
LEVEL: Year, MintMark, & Major Variety

1796 1/2C No Pole, RB (Regular Strike)

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PCGS MS67RB

WITH POLE/NO POLE COMPARISON
PCGS #:
1031
Diameter:
23.50 millimeters
Designer:
John Smith Gardner
Weight:
5.44 grams
Edge:
Plain
Mintage:
1,390
Metal Content:
Copper
Auction Record:
$506,000 • MS65 • 5-20-1996 • Bowers & Merena
 
67
765,000
1
67
Rarity and Survival Estimates (Explain)
Grades Survival
Estimate 
Numismatic
Rarity 
Relative Rarity
By Type 
Relative Rarity
By Series 
All Grades 1 R-10.0 1 / 10 TIE 1 / 12 TIE
60 or Better 1 R-10.0 1 / 10 TIE 1 / 12 TIE
65 or Better 1 R-10.0 1 / 10 TIE 1 / 12 TIE
Condition Census (Explain)
Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 MS67RB PCGS grade
Richard Boswell Winsor Collection - S.H. & H. Chapman 12/1895:1012, $300 - George H. Earle, Jr. Collection - Henry Chapman 6/1912:3609, $400 - Colonel James W. Ellsworth Collection - Knoedler Galleries, sold privately in 1923 - Wayte Raymond and John Work Garrett, sold privately - William C. Atwater Collection - B. Max Mehl 6/1946:129, $1,125 - Louis Eliasberg Sr. Collection - Bowers & Merena 5/1996:407, $506,000 - Spectrum Numismatics, sold privately in 12/2002 - D. Brent Pogue Collection - Stack's/Bowers 2/2016:3008, $763,750
Condition Census (Explain) Show fewer rows
Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 MS67RB PCGS grade
Richard Boswell Winsor Collection - S.H. & H. Chapman 12/1895:1012, $300 - George H. Earle, Jr. Collection - Henry Chapman 6/1912:3609, $400 - Colonel James W. Ellsworth Collection - Knoedler Galleries, sold privately in 1923 - Wayte Raymond and John Work Garrett, sold privately - William C. Atwater Collection - B. Max Mehl 6/1946:129, $1,125 - Louis Eliasberg Sr. Collection - Bowers & Merena 5/1996:407, $506,000 - Spectrum Numismatics, sold privately in 12/2002 - D. Brent Pogue Collection - Stack's/Bowers 2/2016:3008, $763,750

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!


P. Scott Rubin: 1796 is the rarest year of regular issue half cents, since some believe 1831 is a proof only issue, and the No Pole variety the rarer of the two varieties of the year. What is amazing about this variety is that of the less than thirty coins known four are Uncirculated. After these four the grades of survivors drops to very fine and lower.

Of the four uncirculated coins known one stands out as the finest for two reasons, its Red Brown color and is almost flawless surfaces. PCGS grades this coin as MS67 Red-Brown. This coin was last sold publicly at the Bowers & Merena 1996 Eliasberg Collection sale where it brought the record price for a Half Cent of $506,000. This coin would easily sell for over a million dollars today, in 2008 a fine15+ sold for $345,000.

The next finest was graded MS64 Brown when publicly sold for the first time at the Stack’s 1999 Sale of the John Whitney Walter Collection. The other two uncirculated No Pole 1796 Half Cents are estimated to be MS62 Brown coins.