I recently had a customer request that I send a coin into PCGS for grading and variety attribution. They believed they had found the big one when it comes to 1794 Large Cent varieties. The customer claimed to have found an example of the 1794 Starred Reverse Large Cent.
The Starred Reverse 1794 is by far the most famous of all of the many 1794 Large Cent varieties. Cataloged as the Sheldon-48 variety, the coins feature 94 small stars between the 83 denticles along the reverse rim. Because of the small size of the stars and their proximity to the rim of the coin, evidence of these stars on the reverse can wear away in the lower grades and therefore attribution in lower grades becomes very difficult if not impossible. Approximately 50 examples of this rare variety have been attributed in all grades. There are differing opinions as to how and why this variety may have been produced, but no one seems to know for certain. What is certain is that the Starred Reverse 1794 Large Cent is an awesome variety and one heck of a cherrypick if you are able to find one out there in the wild.
Very excited about this potential find, my customer sent the coin to PCGS directly under my account so I have never seen it before… only once we did this PCGS Unboxing Video did I see the coin.
WARNING... SPOILERS AHEAD...
Unfortunately, our customer did not get the coin attributed as the Starred Reverse 1794 variety. It surprised me that the coin wasn’t holdered as a regular 1794 Large Cent though… perhaps PCGS didn’t think the piece was an authentic Large Cent at all… or perhaps the condition was just too low for them to tell for certain. Anyway, I know our customer will be disappointed with the result and disappointed with the money spent on this, but that is why we send the coins off to the experts… not only so the seller of the coin knows for certain, but also to reassure the potential buyer down the road that what they think they are buying is the genuine article.
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Michael Kittle Rare Coins