Undiscovered for 50 years: Rare 1796 U.S. Liberty Cap Half-Cent coin sells for over $350,000

Andrea Divirgilio / January 30, 2013

In mint condition, the small and rare 1976 Liberty Cap Half-Cent that lay undiscovered for about 50 years at the back of a cupboard in a home-made cardboard trays and a ‘cabinet’ fashioned out of matchboxes, and came to light recently during a clear out of boxes of what was thought to be junk, has now been sold for eye-watering for $358,000, to become one of the world’s most expensive coin. At a small provincial auction held in southwest England by Woolley and Wallis of Salisbury, England, this small pure-copper coin which is one of only 1,390 minted that year at the Philadelphia Mint, was bought by the Numismatic Financial Corporation, a Florida-based coin seller. Interestingly, in 1796 the Philadelphia Mint was busy producing the first gold coinage of Five and Ten Dollar piece and the Half-Cent didn’t receive much attention, thus there has always been a rarity of these coins in the collectors market. As per the auctioneer, only a few dozen coins of its kind are known to be in existence today, and less than 10 are in such an original condition.

Undiscovered for 50 years: Rare 1796 U.S. Liberty half-cent coin sells for over $350,000

This particular coin however has no early pedigree, but was collected by Mark Hillary, when a school boy, some 55 years ago or more. With a hobby of coin collecting, Mark was a brilliant scholar who unfortunately died in a climbing accident in Greece at the age of 20 in 1963. The deceased brother then brought this exceptional find to the local auction house for sale.

Undiscovered for 50 years: Rare 1796 U.S. Liberty half-cent coin sells for over $350,000

As per the auctioneer, the lesser coin that must have formed Mark’s original school-time coin collection actually came to Britain, as the country was the natural place for sought-after copper coinage and copper trade tokens of the former colony America, where there was no local collecting market.

Via: HuffingtonPost

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