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Obverse of 1856 Half Cent     Reverse of 1856 Half Cent


PCGS Nos: 1236, 1237, 1238, 1329, 1330, 1331


Circulation strikes: 40,230
Proofs: estimated 225

Designer: Christian Gobrecht

Diameter: 23 millimeters

Metal content:
Copper - 100%

Weight: 84 grains (5.44 grams)

Edge: Plain

Mintmarks: None (for Philadelphia, PA)


Images courtesy of Superior Stamp and Coin

Cohen 1 - Common

Recent appearances:
NGC Proof-66 Red-Brown.  Ex – American Numismatic Rarities, LLC’s “The Classics Sale,” July 25, 2003 , Lot 103, "B-3, Rarity-4", illustrated, sold for $8,625.00

PCGS Proof-64 Red and Brown.  Ex - Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles, Inc.'s "The Benson Collection - Part I", February 16, 18-20, 2001, Lot 243, "Rust pit on I of UNITED", illustrated, sold for $4,140.00

NGC Proof-64 Brown.  Ex - Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc.'s "Long Beach Signature Sale", May 31-June 2, 2001, Lot 6196, plated, sold for $3,680.00  From the Alex Highland Collection

PCGS MS-63 Red and Brown.  Ex-  Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc.'s "Long Beach Sale", October 5-7, 2000, Lot 5850, not illustrated, sold for $419.75

MS-63 (illustrated above).  Ex - Superior Stamp and Coin's "Pre-Long Beach" Sale, February 7-8, 2000, Lot 1559, "1856 C-1...MS63", sold for $488.75

MS-63.  Ex - Stack's "65th Anniversary Sale", October 17-19, 2000, Lot 53, "Br. 1", not illustrated, sold for $862.50

MS-60 Brown.  Ex - Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc.'s "Santa Clara Signature Sale", November 16-17, 2000, Lot 5037, not illustrated, sold for $230.00

Del Bland graded MS-60.  Ex - Ira & Larry Goldberg Coin & Collectibles' "The Fairchild Family Trust Collection Sale", May 28-30, 2001, Lot 136, B-2a, C-1", illustrated, sold for $345.00

The finest Uncirculated Brown examples graded by PCGS are 2 MS-65BN's.

The finest Uncirculated Red-Brown examples graded by PCGS are 21 MS-64RB's.

The finest Uncirculated Red examples graded by PCGS are 2 MS-65RD's.

The finest Proof Brown examples graded by PCGS are 3 PR-65BN's.

The finest Proof Red-Brown examples graded by PCGS are 2 PR-65RB's.

The finest Proof Red example graded by PCGS is a single PR-64RD.

Sources and/or recommended reading:
"American Half Cents - The 'Little Half Sisters' (Second Edition)" by Roger S. Cohen, Jr.

"Walter Breen's Encyclopedia of United States Half Cents 1793-1857" by Walter Breen (purchase a copy by clicking on the title)

"The PCGS Population Report, October 2003" by The Professional Coin Grading Service

Relevant collector organizations:
Early American Coppers Club