1795 Liberty Cap Half Cent. C-2a. Rarity-3. Lettered Edge, Punctuated Date. MS-62 BN (PCGS). Type: Type III: Liberty Cap, Head Right, Small Head.Design: Obv: A head of Liberty with flowing hair faces right, a liberty cap and pole behind. The word LIBERTY is inscribed along the upper border and the date 1795 is below. The portrait on Liberty Cap half cents dated 1795 to 1797 is noticeably smaller than for the Head Right issue of 1794, and it constitutes a distinct type. Rev: A wreath surrounds the denomination HALF CENT, the legend UNITED STATES OF AMERICA around the border and another expression of the denomination, 1/200, below. A ribbon knot with double bow binds the base of the wreath. The device punches used for the dies of this issue are attributed to Assistant Engraver John Smith Gardner, and they represent a refinement of the basic Liberty Cap, Head Right design executed by Engraver Robert Scot the previous year.Weight Standard: 104 grains (6.74 grams). Manley states that most examples coined from the C-2a dies weigh slightly more than the authorized standard.Diameter: Approximately 23.5 mm.Die Variety: Cohen-2a, Breen-2a, Gilbert-3. Obv: The popular and easily recognizable "Punctuated Date" variety, so named because of a long, comma-like die defect between the base of the digits 17 in the date. Additional die defects are present at the top of the letters I and R, as well as between the letters TY, in LIBERTY. This die is also used for the C-2b, C-3 and C-4 attributions. Rev: Single leaf at the top of each branch in the wreath, four berries in each branch, the letters H in HALF and N in UNITED are repunched. There is a berry in the wreath at each of the ribbon bows, and a tiny jagged die break is present in the denticles outside the letters ED in UNITED. This die was also used for the C-1 and C-2b attributions.Cohen-2a is the only die marriage that corresponds to the Lettered Edge, Punctuated Date <em>Guide Book</em> variety of the 1795 half cent.Die State: Manley 1.0-2.0, intermediate die state. Obv: A faint bulge from die swell is evident in the right field before Libertys face. Rev: The die bulge through the letters ER in AMERICA is heavy and extends to the border outside the adjacent letter I, as Manley 1.0, but the faint crack through the top of the letters RIC for Manley 2.0 has not yet developed.Edge: Lettered: TWO HUNDRED FOR A DOLLAR, followed by a single leaf.Mintage: The <em>Guide Book</em> provides a mintage of 139,690 coins for all varieties of the 1795-dated issue. The C-1 and C-2a Lettered Edge are believed to be the only varieties actually struck during calendar year 1795. Their combined mintage is 25,600 coins from two deliveries:-October 27: 14,800 coins, believed to be from the C-1 dies (Lettered Edge, With Pole <em>Guide Book</em> variety)-December 1: 10,800 coins, believed to be from the C-2a dies (Lettered Edge, Punctuated Date <em>Guide Book</em> variety)Estimated Surviving Population for the Issue: 2,100 to 6,500 coins in all grades, for the entire 1795-dated issue. The estimate population for both die marriages of the Lettered Edge variety is 800 to 2,600 coins in all grades.Estimated Surviving Population for the Die Variety: Rarity-3: 200 to 600 coins in all grades.Strike: The strike is suitably bold by early U.S. Mint standards, both sides with full denticulation, although the borders are thinner along the upper right obverse and reverse than elsewhere. All major design elements are fully appreciable, the detail sharper toward the peripheries.Surfaces: The surfaces are overall smooth with even light, somewhat dusky rose-brown patina. A trio of minor planchet flaws along the obverse border from 3 to 4 oclock and an extremely faint graze in the left obverse field between the cap and border will identify this coin in future appearances.Commentary: One of the most popular and readily attributable die marriages in the entire Liberty Cap half cent series, the 1795 C-2a is the only variety that combines the Punctuated Date obverse with a lettered edge, and an example is required for completion of a <em>Guide Book</em> variety set of this denomination. The last Lettered Edge half cent produced, the 1795 C-2a is also a historically significant variety.Fortunately for advanced collectors, a few Mint State survivors are known from this die pairing, but we caution that they are rare in an absolute sense and seldom appear in the market outside of auction sales for significant cabinets, as here. As of this writing, PCGS has certified only three Uncirculated 1795 C-2a half cents with confirmed provenances:1 - PCGS MS-65 BN. Ex Anthony Terranova; R.E. "Ted" Naftzger, Jr.; Superiors Century Collection sale, February 1992, lot 432; Jim McGuigan.2 - PCGS MS-64+ BN. Ex S.H. & H. Chapmans sale of the Richard B. Winsor Collection, December 1895, lot 1009; S.H. Chapmans sale of the F.R. Alvord Collection, June 1924, lot 44; John M. Clapp; John H. Clapp; Clapp estate, 1942; Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr.; our (Bowers and Merenas) sale of the Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. Collection, May 1996, lot 402; R. Tettenhorst; Eric P. Newman Numismatic Educational Society; Missouri Cabinet; Ira & Larry Goldbergs sale of the Missouri Cabinet, January 2014, lot 25; High Desert Collection.3 - PCGS MS-62 BN. Ex our Chicago ANA Auction of August 2011, lot 7213. <em>The present example</em>. From the ESM Collection. Earlier from our Chicago ANA Auction of August 2011, lot 7213.