The Error Collector's Blog

08 Mar 2023

Purchasing a 1795 Large Cent

Young Numismatists Exchange | The Error Collector

Our local coin show was held last month. They have the coin show twice a year. I like the coin shows because I can help at the kids table, show an exhibit, buy coins, and say hello to the dealers. We helped set up tables the night before the show started. In the morning of the show, we went and quickly set up our exhibits. Then we went and enjoyed a hike with our grandparents that were visiting us. After the hike we went home, had lunch, and dropped them off at the airport. After we dropped them off, we went back to the coin show. I walked around browsing the dealers' cases and saw several interesting coins. I also sold several of my coins that I did not want in my collection anymore. About half an hour later I was still browsing and looking for the first thing I wanted to purchase that day when I came across a dealer that had several large cents. Because I collect large cents, I quickly got interested and looked through the dealer's box. Next to the other coins there was a 1795 S-78 (Sheldon-78) large cent in the grade AG-3 that I quickly noticed. It caught my eye! Not having that date of large cent in my album I asked the dealer how much it cost. After looking at it he said that it cost more money than I brought with me to the show. I had my dad drive me home to pick up more money. After I went back to the coin show I went back to that dealers table and bought the large cent then I wandered around and bought several other large cents that I needed for my collection.

Looking at our copy of "Penny Whimsy" I figured out that the dealer had figured out the Sheldon number of that large cent in that low of a grade because there were only 2 die pairs that struck plain edge large cents with the date of 1795, one of them had the top of the 5 in the date in liberty's bust and the other had it touching but not in the bust, my large cent had the date touching but not in the bust of liberty so the dealer figured out that the large cent was a S-78.

Interestingly, President George Washington authorized the change on the weight of cents on December 27, 1795. To prevent the diameter of the cents from being changed the U.S. mint changed the thickness of the large cents. This prevented the edge lettering "ONE HUNDRED FOR A DOLLAR" from being left on the coins. This means that my large cent was struck in 1796 even though it has the date 1795

Coins and history are so much fun to learn about! It's always fun to imagine what has happened since the different coins in my collection have been minted.


I love older large cents, but I like them even more when they have obvious damage to show their history! I have a 1795 S78 (I think?) that has been holed, semi repaired, it might be a Po01 grade, and its edges are scraped off of its copper! Just think about how many people have held a coin like this! Yours is really cool though! Isn't a great grade, but still a really cool coin!

AC Coin$🌎

Level 6

It is interesting to read your blog, perhaps fascinated with the fact that you were able to buy currency and add to your collection new samples. Thanks for your research about the weight and issuance during President Washington's time. Best of luck and keep up the fine work!!! Never give up .


Level 6

Well done. Yep, sometimes a coin will just call to you. You seem to have a nice knowledge of these Large Cents. Thanks and good luck getting more.

It's Mokie

Level 6

Wow, a great addition to your collection and that date tells me it had a long and successful life in early U.S. commerce. Thanks for sharing.

I. R. Bama

Level 5

Really interesting blog, thanks!

Speeding Arrow

Level 4

I love this blog! I just got started in collecting large cents with an 1853 type, obviously not as cool as yours.

My first large cent was from 1854, after I got it from a friend I wanted to complete a date set of all large cents. I bought this one because it was a good price for a coin that I needed.


Level 7

Nice pick-up. You earned that coin with all the millage you put on yourself. That shows me your a true collector . You wanted that coin and did what you had to do to get it. I can make out detail. Nice blog. Now sit and rest!!!


Level 5

Great old coin. Like the old worn coins that have so much history. I need to find myself a coin like that next coin show.

I found mine in a box of large cents a dealer had

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