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    1797 Liberty Cap Half Cent

    The 1797 Liberty Cap Half Cent is an especially popular and especially old coin that is a major hit with collectors. The Liberty Cap is one of the first coins ever produced by the US Mint, and that alone makes the coin extremely popular and valuable. With 1797 being the last year of the Liberty Cap design, the coin is even more valuable.

    On the obverse side of the coin, the center features a depiction of Lady Liberty facing rightward. Lady Liberty’s hair is tied together with a bow, and above her image there is an inscription which reads “Liberty.” Beneath the central imagery you will notice the 1797 year of minting inscribed. On both the obverse and reverse sides of the 1797 Liberty Cap, the very outer edges are marked with raised notches that give the coin a bit of added texture.

    On the coin’s reverse, the very center features the “Half Cent” face value inscription. Partially surrounding the face value inscription is a wreath that is tied together with a bow. Directly below the bow is an interesting “1/200” inscription. This is marking the coin’s value relative to a whole dollar. Arching over the top half of the reverse is another inscription, reading “United States of America.”

    Grading the 1797 Liberty Cap Half Cent

    Collectors know that a coin as popular as the 1797 Liberty Cap is subject to counterfeiting. As a way of protecting themselves against fake coins, wise collectors will only seek to purchase coins that have been graded and certified as being authentic. Below, we have outlined the different coin grades as well as what they mean for the appearance of the coin itself.

    Uncirculated: If a 1797 Liberty Cap is determined to be of Uncirculated grade, this means that the coin never actually made it out onto the open market. Having never exchanged hands like your average coin, these Liberty Caps will appear today exactly as they did when they were first minted.

    Extremely Fine: Extremely Fine Liberty Caps will look to be in perfect condition, but upon closer inspection a few minor flaws will be noticed. Despite this, these coins are highly sought after by collectors of all types.

    If a Liberty Cap is determined to be of Fine grade, this means that it was circulated for a while, but taken out before too long. Having been circulated for a time, these pieces will show signs of damage such as scratching and some smoothing. Still, their surface imagery and lettering will still be intact.

    Good is the lowest grade a coin can receive, and usually means that there is a large amount of damage. From deep scratching, to chipping, and so much more, these pieces will definitely show that they were kept in circulation for decades upon decades.

    Pricing the 1797 Liberty Cap Half Cent

    Because 1797 was the last year that the US Mint employed the Liberty Cap design for the Half Cent, any coin that is on the market will fetch a fairly high asking price. With that being said, as the condition of the coin improves, the price will rise. Even the most marginal of differences in condition can mean massive differences in price. Below, you will find a chart aimed at giving you a better idea of what you might be asked to pay for a graded 1797 Liberty Cap Half Cent.

    Half Cents

    1797 Liberty Cap $575 $2,250 $13,500 $16,000
    Source: Red Book

    All Market Updates are provided as a third party analysis and do not necessarily reflect the explicit views of JM Bullion Inc. and should not be construed as financial advice.