1800 Draped Bust Half Cent. C-1, the only known dies. Rarity-2. MS-63 RB (PCGS). CAC. Type: Type IV: Draped Bust.Design: Obv: A draped bust of Liberty faces right, her hair tied with a ribbon. The word LIBERTY is above and the date 1800 is below. 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.Weight Standard: 84 grains (5.44 grams).Diameter: 23.5 mm.Die Variety: Cohen-1, Breen-1a, 1b, Gilbert-1. Obv: The only 1800-dated die in the half cent series. The left foot of the letter T in LIBERTY is missing. Rev: Single leaf at the top of each branch in the wreath, four berries on the left branch, four on the right branch; the outer berry below the letter E in UNITED is often obscured by die rust. Several faint defects from die rust are present around and below the letters ITE in UNITED, within the top of the wreath, between the words UNITED and STATES, and at the letter C in CENT. This reverse die was also used in the 1802 C-1 marriage.Die State: Manley Die State 4.0, the usual state. Obv: The lowest hair curl left of the digit 1 in the date is weak and appears to be open after the die was reground and repolished. Rev: A die scratch from the upper left corner of the letter F in HALF in earlier states is now only faintly visible. There is a large rust lump in the left branch of the wreath below the letter E in UNITED that engulfs the outer berry; a projection of that lump joins the base of the E.Edge: Plain.Mintage: The <em>Guide Book</em> provides a mintage of 202,908 coins for this issue.No half cents were struck from 1801-dated dies.Estimated Surviving Population for the Issue: Since there is only a single die variety known for the 1800 half cent, the estimated surviving population for the issue is the same as that for the die variety.Estimated Surviving Population for the Die Variety: Rarity-2: More than 2,000 coins in all grades.Strike: This is a boldly struck coin for the advanced die state, although the end of Libertys bust is blunt, the word OF on the reverse is soft, and the denticulation is incomplete on both sides. Most of the individual strands in Libertys hair are distinct, as is the interior of most of the leaves in the wreath.Surfaces: This is a predominantly pinkish-orange example with blushes of light gray-brown iridescence scattered about. A few swirls of slightly warmer toning are evident at Libertys shoulder and near the upper reverse border. Some planchet roughness in the centers is as made. There is additional surface chatter in the softly struck areas at the end of Libertys bust and around the word OF on the reverse also part of the original planchet texture. Actual post-production handling marks are few and far between, and none are distracting. A lovely satin to softly frosted texture blankets both sides and adds to the visual appeal.Commentary: Using a design attributed to famed portraitist Gilbert Stuart, Engraver Robert Scot prepared the device punch for the new Draped Bust half cent sometime between late 1798 and the spring of 1800. The first dies followed, a single obverse and reverse pairing used to deliver the entire 1800-dated mintage. The copper was almost exclusively from Welsh mines, the metal made into planchets by the Birmingham-based firm of Boulton & Watt. Coins using this stock are attributed as Breen-1b, the present example included. A limited number of 1800 half cents are known struck on spoiled large cents, in the same manner as the final 1797-dated Liberty Cap coins of the C-3a, 3b and 3c varieties; those are attributed as Breen-1a.Due to its status as the first issue in the Draped Bust half cent series, the 1800 is a perennial favorite among type collectors as well as early copper enthusiasts. Mint State survivors are plentiful by the standards of the type thanks to the discovery of two significant hoards during the early 20th century. The first surfaced in New England prior to 1910, while the second came out of Boston during the 1930s. The typical Uncirculated example from these finds is Brown, however, with few retaining as much mint Red as seen here. Clearly this is an important bidding opportunity for the advanced numismatist. From the ESM Collection. Earlier from Heritages Long Beach Signature Sale of June 2004, lot 7002.