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Tom's Personal Collection
Early Dates: Draped Bust Type (1796)

1796 S-92 Reverse of '95

I got this one from a friend of mine who is a long time EACer. It was originally purchased off eBay, surprisingly. This is the first variety of the Draped Bust series, and the best example of a 1796 bust that I currently have. It's a scarce variety at R3, which actually makes it one of the more common varieties for the year (although ALL 1796 Draped Bust cents are R3 or higher, most higher!)

1796 S-93 Reverse of '95

I purchased this coin from a well-known EAC dealer at the Perry, GA coin show back in early 2011. This is an enormous upgrade from an example I had purchased off eBay awhile back. A small rim bump at NI of UNITED; else this coin is virtually choice, and definitely the nicest '96 bust that I have. This variety has the single-leaf reverse of 1795, and the long stems that nearly touch U and A help to identify the variety.

1796 S-94 Reverse of '97

Wow. That was my first impression when I examined this coin, which was sitting in Col. Steve Ellsworth's case at EAC 2010. As it turns out, Col. Steve purchased Walt Husak's S-94, so this one was his "leftover". S-94 is a really rare variety at R5+ and usually is found in not-so-nice condition, but this one is an exception. The tiny fraction paired with the reverse of '97 helps to identify this variety. One of those varieties I figured I'd never own, and definitely a case of being in the right place at the right time.

1796 S-95 Reverse of '95

Not long after EAC 2010, an EAC buddy of mine contacted me and told me he had this coin for sale. This is another one of the really tough 1796 varieties and came on the heels of the S-94, so I initially turned it down (being quite broke at the time,) but fortunately some reasonable terms afforded me the opportunity to aquire it. A nice coin in a PCGS VG8 holder. (As I'm writing this I'm still paying it off, but it'll be worth it! Please, no one offer me a S-96 right now...)

1796 S-96 Reverse of '95

The last 1796 Draped Bust I needed. Shoot, the last Draped Bust period! The rarest '96 bust, with only 23 examples known. And the majority of them are below average or scudzy. At the time EAC 2013 came around, I was lacking two of the 28 different 1796 Draped Bust Sheldon varieties: S-96 and S-107. (After re-reading John Pijewski's articles titled "Confessions of an EAC Addict," apparently I'm not alone.) I went into EAC hoping to find at least one of these two varieties but had pretty low expectations. Bill Noyes mentioned that he had several folks on a waiting list for a S-96 when I mentioned looking for this variety, so I figured the odds of finding one on the bourse were virtually nil. At the convention, Heritage was displaying the Col. Steve Ellsworth collection of duplicate large cents and die states, which did include an S-96 with a neat bisecting reverse crack - at the time I figured saving up and trying for this one would be my best shot. After the 2nd day on the bourse it was clear no one had one, or so I thought. Late Saturday, before the bourse closed to prepare for the EAC sale that night, I went up to Walt Husak's table (not sure how I had missed his table for this long) and he asked what I was looking for. I kind of jokingly responded about trying to find a S-96, and he proceeded to turn around and grab a box. (You've got to be kidding.) And then he gets an envelope out with this coin in it. A G5 with pretty nice surfaces, and as a bonus the bold bisecting reverse crack. After sitting there in stunned silence for what seemed like an eternity, and a really nice conversation about cents in general, we work out a deal on it and Walt congratulates me. (My wallet on the other hand does not congratulate me and is rather upset, but hopefully will recover, given time.) As a footnote, next time I'm looking for something rare and Walt's around, I'm going to him first!

1796 S-97 Reverse of '95

I originally bought an example of this variety in October, 1997 in a little coin shop in Summerdale, Alabama. This current example is from the Evan Kopald collection - he remarks that "both sides have such a fine porosity that it appears not to have any," which gives the coin a matte-like appearance. Middle die state with a crack over TY in LIBERTY. "Only" a scarce variety at R3.

1796 S-98 Reverse of '95

A smooth, well-worn coin that I was able to win in the EAC auction in 2008. A scarce variety, but slightly more obtainable than many of the '96 busts.

1796 S-99 Reverse of '96, Bold Obverse Break

I purchased this coin from Chris McCawley at Summer FUN 2012. This is one of the really rare varieties of the year, and it's not perfect by any means, but a nicer one I had found at the same show was extremely cost prohibitive. Plus this example was in the later die state with the huge obverse break behind the head.

1796 S-100 Reverse of '97

My second example, and much nicer than the first, described below. This example I purchased from the same person as the first, but the first was a cheap filler until this one came along. A tough variety with the reverse of 1797.

A coin I purchased from an EAC buddy. This one is in strict BU condition (Black and Ugly - hehe.) She does have good detail though and a full date, plus this is a Rarity-5 coin. A decent coin until (or if) a better one comes along.

1796 S-101 Reverse of '94

Purchased from Tom Reynolds at the FUN show 2012. Seems like only a handful of dealers nationally every have any kind of selection of 1796 Draped Busts for sale; Tom is one of them. A pretty decent coin with only minor hairlines, and another of the rare varieties of the year.

1796 S-102 Reverse of '94

Wow - one of my favorite coins. I'd had plenty of opportunities to purchase a S-102 in the past, but I could never find a nice one... until now. This one came out of the John Pijewski sale (Superior - May 2005). 1796 was John's favorite year to collect, and even though I had to pay an arm (and most of a leg) to get this one, I'm very pleased with it. It was struck on one of those curious convex planchets (notice the complete lack of obverse rim.) It was graded VG10 in the sale, which I think is very low, considering the reverse.

1796 S-103 Reverse of '94, LIHERTY

I bid on this coin in Superior's Pre-Long Beach auction on 2/2001. This is the scarcer of the two "LIHERTY" varieties, being R4+. It has the reverse of '94 and was made before S-104. This specimen isn't too bad - it has some bright green pits on the reverse, but the obverse is pretty nice and shows the LIHERTY error very well.

1796 S-104 Reverse of '97, LIHERTY

I bid on this coin at the EAC convention and didn't expect to win it! So this was a nice surprise. The LIHERTY error shows up well. This is the more common of the two "LIHERTY" varieties, with S-103 being very scarce.

1796 S-105 Reverse of '97

A purchase from Chris McCawley at Summer FUN 2012, at the same time I purchased the S-99. A decent coin with just minor imperfections. The 6 in the date is recut on this variety, and this example shows the recut 6 quite well for a lower-grade example. Another rare variety.

1796 S-106 Reverse of '94

I was high bidder on this coin in the Heritage auction of the Phil Clover collection, September 2012. There was a small list of coins I was really aiming for, and I was outbid on most but did manage to get this one. It was in an NGC holder with the "Environmental Damage" designation, but not all "damage" is equal, and this one is pretty decent for a 1796 bust.

1796 S-107 Reverse of '94

One of the really, really tough 1796s. Seems even the top dealers in the country rarely have one of these to sell, as least I've never seen one in a dealer's case. I had the opportunity to perhaps get on in the Phil Clover sale, but that coin didn't have much of a date, so I passed at the time. I found this coin by happenstance at EAC 2013; while mentioning this variety (and S-96) in conversation, another EAC dealer mentioned he had one. Turns out he had it tucked away in a wooden felt-lined box of nice cents behind his table. Although not perfect (it has some hairlines on the obverse,) the color is nice and this one has a really bold date. Plus it took FOREVER to find one (with a small voice inside my head saying, "it will be a long time before you can find another one if you pass.") This is a Head of '94 variety with the date digits leaning right.

1796 S-108 Reverse of '94

This is the second example of this variety I've owned; the first one is described below. This one came from one of my EAC buddies at the 2010 convention. It was in a group of really nice consigned coins. It has a very light reverse vertical scratch, but the rest of the coin is just really nice, so I couldn't pass it up.
The first example I owned was one of the cheaper 1796 bust cents from the Evan Kopald collection. Decent coin with some roughness on both sides, but not too bad for a '96. Recognized by the wide date in which all of the numerals seem to lean toward the right. Scarce R4 variety.

1796 S-109 Reverse of '94

A nice '96 bust I won in the EAC 2008 sale. Some porosity but very nice detail. A coin that looked much better in person than in the auction photo. One of the more obtainable '96 bust varieties.

1796 S-110 Reverse of '94

I bought this one from Larry Briggs. Seems like 1796s are tough all over. This is a decent good, with an uneven strike on the reverse (Fine at bottom left; Poor at top right!) It's probably the most common 1796 draped bust, with over 500 known.

1796 S-111 Reverse of '94

I got this one from an EAC buddy. It was listed on eBay but did not sell; about a month later I remembered the coin and inquired about it, and we struck up a deal. One of the tougher 1796s at R5-.

1796 S-112 Reverse of '94

This coin was part of the Mark Englestad Pacific Northwest collection of large cents, with this coin representing the 1796 Draped Bust, Rev '94 type in that collection. A tough R4+ variety that isn't seen very often. It's currently housed in a PCGS holder graded F15.

1796 S-113 Reverse of '97, Die Crack at Date

I bought this off of eBay. It's not the most attractive coin but it's a rare one - R5: 45 to 60 known. (When Sheldon was published in the 1940's it was regarded as a high R6: 12 to 18 known!) The crack through the date and the small crack joining the 6 in the date to the bust make this variety easy to attribute. Another tough 1796.

1796 S-114 Reverse of '97, Ex: Rare LDS 2 Obv Cuds

A coin I purchased from Chris McCawley at the FUN show in 2012. Some minor roughness and scratches, but this is one of the rare varieties of the year, plus this coin is in an extremely rare die state with a bold cud at TY and an additional rim cud left of LIBERTY. Seems S-114 always comes with a weak date; this one is no exception but the date is fully present.

1796 S-115 Reverse of '97, Die Crack at Date

I bought this from an EAC buddy. Nice example of one of the more "common" varieties of 1796, even though this is the first S-115 I've ever seen. MDS with a die crack below the date and swelling on the lower bust. In a PCGS holder graded VG8.

1796 S-116 Reverse of '95

A nice example that I purchased in early 2011. An EAC gentleman whom I had not dealt with before advertised that he had his inventory online, so I looked up his site and found this coin for sale. There was no photo, but I found out that this was the G. Lee Kuntz specimen for the variety, so I was able to look it up in the auction catalog and find a photo. The price was reasonable so I decided to purchase it.

I had almost purchased an S-116 at EAC 2010 but ending up buying a S-94 there instead (and definitely couldn't afford both at the time!)

1796 S-117 Reverse of '97

This is an "out of the blue" coin; that is, an EAC buddy of mine knew I need this variety, and emailed me with a photo of a consignment coin that he had just gotten in. S-117 is one of those "impossible" varieties that's quite rare at R5+, and almost always comes pretty wretched. This example has really nice surfaces in spite of the minor reverse digs, and the date is pretty clear for a well-worn example. I couldn't pass up the opportunity!

1796 S-118 Reverse of '97

A coin that sold in the famous Jules Reiver sale back in 2006. I had attended the auction but came away with NO 1796s at the time; the prices were too high. In April of 2012, the collection of Scott Barrett came to market, and this was one of the coins in a fixed pricelist of his coins. Remembering the coin (and, as a bonus, being offered at a cheaper price than what it brought in the Reiver sale,) I purchased it. A R5+ variety and very tough to find nice. The top of the 6 is embedded in the bust, and the point of highest leaf is under E; these two identifiers together can be used to identify this variety.

Goldberg Photo
1797 S-119 Reverse of '97

Purchased from the Goldberg sale of 2/2008. This is one coin I REALLY wanted from the auction; S-119 had eluded me for some time. Reason is it's the third of three Nichols Hoard varieties that I needed, the first two being 1797 S-123 and 1797 S-135. Most of the S-119s, S-123s, and S-135s are from the Nichols hoard and are in mint state or close. Finding these varieties circulated is quite challenging. This is just a really nice, smooth Good 6.

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