1796 P Draped Bust Large Cents : All Varieties

Early Copper Penny

Mintage: 363,375
Minted at: Philadelphia

Designer - Engraver: Robert Scot
Metal Composition: 100% Copper

Diameter: 29 mm
Mass / Weight: 10.89 grams

What this coin looks like (obverse, reverse, mint mark location, special features, etc.):
1796 Draped Bust Large Cent Penny - Varieties and Comparisons
There are a few major varieties of the 1796 Draped Bust Large Cent (Penny). Three of them deal with the design on the reverse of the coin or particularly the number of leaves on the wreath. The Reverse of 1794 variety features 14-16 leaves on the right side and 16-18 leaves on the right side with two leaves on the top of the right-side branch (double leaf). The 1795 reverse has between 17-21 leaves on the left side and 16-20 on the right side but only has a single leaf on the top of the right-side branch. The 1797 reverse has exactly 16 leaves on the left side and 19 leaves on the right side with two leaves (double leaf) on the top of the right-side branch. The differences between all three of these reverse varieties can be seen in the example comparison image above.

Another major variety is the "LIHERTY" error. This coin was struck once using an inverted "B" in the die. This error was corrected and the coin was re-struck with the normal "B" on top of the inverted "B". This resulted in part of the back serifs on the initial "B" being seen on the right side of the "B" in the second strike. This made the "B" resemble the letter "H" somewhat and hence the word "LIBERTY" looked similar to "LIHERTY" as depicted in the example image:

1796 LIHERTY Draped Bust Large Cent

The next major variety is the "Stemless" 1796 large cent. This is the rarest and most valuable of all the Draped Bust Large Cent series because only 3 coins are known to exist! This coin can be identified by noting that there are no stems on the bottom of the two branches on the reverse of the coin as depicted below in the comparison example:

1796 Stemless Draped Bust Large Cent

Major Varieties:
1796 Draped Bust Large Cent - Reverse of 1794
1796 Draped Bust Large Cent - Reverse of 1795
1796 Draped Bust Large Cent - Reverse of 1797
1796 Draped Bust Large Cent - LIHERTY Error
1796 Draped Bust Large Cent - Stemless

Coin valuation chart: Typical coin prices, values and worth per grade or condition - in USD
Good
(G-4)
Very Good
(VG-8)
Fine
(F-12)
Very Fine
(VF-20)
Extremely Fine
(EF-40)
About Uncirculated
(AU-50)
Uncirculated
(MS-60)
Uncirculated
(MS-65)
Proof
(PR-65)
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MELT VALUE: $0.0636


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