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Tom's Personal Collection
Early Dates: Liberty Cap Type (1796)

1796 S-81

A nice 1796 I picked up at the EAC convention. Weakly struck in the center of the reverse, but a nice dark consistent color with virtually no marks.

1796 S-82

A nice, low-grade coin that I found on eBay from one of my favorite EAC sellers. I had owned an example from the Superior Pre-Long Beach Auction in 2/2001, but even though it was sharper than this current one, I like this one better. This is a rare variety at R5.

1796 S-83

This is one coin that just came about because of opportunity. Dan Holmes (collector extraordinaire) upgraded his S-83 and this is his leftover, which I purchased through an EAC buddy. Easily recognized by the date spacing "1 796", plus a die crack that connects the end of the pole to the bust. This specimen is a later die state which has an additional crack through the middle of the letters "ERTY" in LIBERTY. (I figure if this coin was good enough for Dan, it's more than good enough for me...)

1796 S-84

A nice, lower grade coin that I purchased off eBay. One of the more common '96 cap varieties, but for the longest time particularly elusive for me for some reason.

Goldberg Photo
1796 S-85

Wow - the LAST '96 cap that I needed for the complete set of 11 coins! This variety had eluded me for quite some time, and the gentleman from whom I acquired my S-91 in trade actually had an S-85, but it only had 1/2 of a date even though it was rather choice otherwise. At the time I passed, and later inquired about the coin again, but couldn't pull the trigger for some reason. In January of 2009, I received the Ira and Larry Goldberg catalog containing the March Wells collection, and March had a REALLY nice S-85. After a strong bid I ended up with it, which is the coin shown here, and it's by far the nicest of the '96 caps in my collection.

1796 S-86

The second example I've owned. I purchased this from Tom Reynolds at the 2012 FUN show. An example of opportunity as I wasn't trying to find an S-86 at the time, but this one was just too nice to pass up. The coin below is my first example that I won in an auction, but I was never happy with it due to being too "orange"!

* Fast forward to 2016, at the EAC convention in Charlotte, NC. I'm speaking with Tim Sutton, who mentions this coin, and says he cherried it and sent it to Tom Reynolds on consignment. Even describes Tom's envelope that it came in. When I came home from EAC, I checked Tom's envelope, and sure enough, this is the same coin. So Tim, I can add your name to the pedigree of this coin!

My first S-86 was purchased from one of Heritage's Internet-only auctions. It had nice obverse detail, but when I got it, I noticed that it had been obviously cleaned long ago, but it has no other real problems and was priced right. A rare variety.

1796 S-87

The very first large cent I ever bought (I was about 12 at the time) was a 1796 Liberty Cap for $20, which had the rims hammered on 4 sides to resemble an octagon. Recently, when I learned about varieties, I attributed the coin as a S-87. I sold that coin awhile back and finally have this coin to replace it with (a round version - hehe.)

1796 S-88

A tough R4 variety. I purchased this with an internet bid from Superior. Strange story - after the auction ended, I saw that I had been outbid by $5. The next day, I got an invoice via email from Superior. Later that day, I got another email saying that I hadn't won. The coin arrived in the mail, so I'm assuming that I somehow ended up as the high bidder. Nice coin, but as T.L. (name withheld) might say in his New Jersey accent, "Eh... I paid too much for it..." I like it though.

1796 S-89

The second S-89 I've owned. I bought this from one of my EAC buddies off his fixed price list. It's somewhat porous, but not what I would call "ugly porous", and it has nice detail.

My first one also came from a fellow EACer. These seem to be hard to come by in "nice".

1796 S-90 Upset Reverse

Wow... this is one variety I figured I'd never own. At R5+, it's the toughest of the 1796 Liberty Cap varieties. This coin originally came out of a Stack's auction and I ended up purchasing it from an EAC buddy. As it turns out, there was an S-90 in the Ira and Larry Goldberg sale of 1/10/08, just days after I bought this one. The Goldberg coin was a lower grade than this one, and sold cheaply, so there's a good chance I would have ended up with that one if this one hadn't come along. Seems like certain varieties come in bunches, not to be seen again in a long time.

The reverse of this coin is "upset", or in medal alignment. The majority of S-90's come in this rotation. With the addition of this coin I lack S-85 and S-91 for a complete set of '96 caps!

1796 S-91

A nice coin that I purchased from an EAC buddy at the 2008 convention. Actually I traded for it; I had a nice 1798 S-172 (Grellman VF25) that I was looking to sell or trade, and he had some really nice coins. He ended up with the S-172 (and a little cash) and I was able to get a 1839/6 N1, a few cheaper ones, and this nice S-91.

Please send questions, comments, and suggestions to webguy@largecents.net.