1794 'Starred Reverse' cent selling for $16,000 at Heritage Auctions

A fine example of the 1794 "Starred Reverse" cent is currently selling at $16,000 in Heritage's US Coins Signature Auction.

1794 Starred reverse cent
The stars are so small they are barely visible in this high-resolution image

The Long Beach sale will offer the illustrious Phillp Clover Collection of US Large Cents on September 6-9, which comprises an almost complete run of early large cents, as catalogued by Sheldon.

Heritage Auctions' president, Greg Rohan commented: "Out of more than 300 Sheldon varieties of early large cents, each representing a unique obverse-reverse combination, Phillip Clover obtained more than 99% of them. It's a great achievement."

The 1794 Starred Reverse cent was first discovered 135 years ago and, as William Sheldon noted, collectors often speak of it with "religious awe". The coin is revered for the 94 tiny five-pointed stars that sit between the dentils at the reverse of the coin, as well as its rarity.

"Many theories have appeared as to why 94 tiny stars were added to one reverse used to strike large cents in 1794, but the truth remains unknown," said Rohan.

While a number of recent discoveries mean that the coin will likely fall to R4 on the Sheldon-Breen Rarity Scale, it is currently graded R5, meaning there are about 31-75 examples of the coin in existence. In fine condition, yet showing some environmental damage, the coin will undoubtedly attract strong attention from collectors due to its fantastic provenance.

The finest known example of the 1794 1c Starred Reverse coin sold through Heritage Auctions back in 2008, when it achieved $632,500.

Paul Fraser Collectibles has a fantastic selection of investment-grade coins in stock. Our William IV proof crown was struck with an altered obverse die, making it a previously unrecorded variety.

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