The 1796 Liberty Cap Half Cent (Buy on eBay) is the rarest date of the series, as well as the entire half cent denomination. The mintage was only 1,390 pieces, which circulated heavily leaving most survivors well-worn and often barely recognizable. Approximately 100 pieces are believed to have survived with around 5 examples known in mint state grades.
The date comes in two varieties, either with or without a pole holding the Phrygian cap. The “no pole” variety usually comes in lower grades, and is virtually unknown above Fine. The “with pole” variety is somewhat more available, but still very rare and seldom offered.
- Designer: Robert Scot
- Composition: Copper
- Weight: 5.44 grams
- Diameter: 22 mm
- Edge: Lettered (“TWO HUNDRED FOR A DOLLAR”)