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

1797 1/2C Plain Edge, BN (Regular Strike)

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PCGS MS66BN

PCGS MS63BN

PCGS AU55BN
PCGS #:
1036
Diameter:
23.50 millimeters
Designer:
John Smith Gardner
Weight:
5.44 grams
Edge:
Plain
Mintage:
127,840
Metal Content:
Copper
Auction Record:
$18,000 • PCGS NG0 • 7-1-2009 • Stack's
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Rarity and Survival Estimates (Explain)
Grades Survival
Estimate 
Numismatic
Rarity 
Relative Rarity
By Type 
Relative Rarity
By Series 
All Grades 200 R-7.0 6 / 11 TIE 6 / 14 TIE
60 or Better 3 R-9.8 3 / 11 TIE 4 / 14 TIE
65 or Better 0 R-10.1 1 / 11 1 / 14
Condition Census (Explain) Show more rows
Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 MS64BN PCGS grade  
2 MS63BN PCGS grade  
2 MS63BN estimated grade  
4 MS62BN PCGS grade  
4 MS62BN estimated grade  
Condition Census (Explain) Show fewer rows
Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 MS64BN PCGS grade  
2 MS63BN PCGS grade  
2 MS63BN estimated grade  
4 MS62BN PCGS grade  
4 MS62BN estimated grade  
6 AU55 PCGS grade  
6 AU55 PCGS grade  
6 AU55 PCGS grade  
6 AU55 PCGS grade  
6 AU55 PCGS grade  

Ron Guth: The "Plain Edge" designation refers only to the Cohen 2 variety, even though there are other Plain Edge 1797 Half Cents:

Cohen 1 - plain edge, known as the "1 over 1" variety
Cohen 3a - plain edge, low head, known as the "Low Head" variety

This illustrates the problem with trying to come-up with abbreviated names for varieties of U.S. coins -- it's impossible to account for all the combinations that can occur when multiple varieties occur within the same year.

The Plain Edge, Centered Head Half Cent (Cohen 2) is underrated in terms of rarity and is much more difficut to locate than is generally believed.  Above Very Fine, this date becomes very rare, especially on choclolate-brown, problem-free planchets.  Only a very few examples are known in Mint State (all Brown) and none have been graded finder than MS-64BN by PCGS.

This variety usually comes nicely centered within a wide border of denticles.  In this writer's opinion, it is one of the nicest looking Liberty Cap varieties.