The “Gripped Edge” 1797 Liberty Cap Half Cent (Buy on eBay) is a very rare variety, with fewer than a dozen examples known to exist. All of the known pieces are found in lower grades.
The gripped edge has a number of vertical indentations and parts of raised metal spaced on the edge. The purpose of the gripping is unknown, but it has been theorized that the markings were caused by a planchet cutter or plain ridged edge dies.
This coin is so rare that it only appears on the market every ten to fifteen years. The most recent auction appearance was for an example graded G-6, which sold for $195,500 in 2011.
- Designer: Robert Scot
- Composition: Copper
- Weight: 5.44 grams
- Diameter: 22 mm
- Edge: Gripped