Question about Sheldon Numbers
For a particular year, does a lower Sheldon number mean that die combination
was used earlier in time before a higher Sheldon number?
I think that's generally correct, but later investigations have shown
that his emission sequence wasn't always correct. So, some later Sheldon
numbers we're actually minted earlier than their numbers would suggest.
I'm sure if I'm off here, someone will jump in and correct me!
Sheldon made an attempt at developing an emission sequence, and the lower numbers for the year were supposed to be earlier varieties. However, there is no way to develop an accurate emission sequence for most large cent dates, as most of the varieties are not die-chained, and there isn't enough additional information to make a clear sequence. For half cents, the emission sequence is quite solid except in a couple of cases, but there are so many large cent varieties that aren't die chained that a good emission sequence is impossible with current information. Even most of the Wreath varieties can't be put into a sequence.
Thanks, and the term "die-chained"?
Dies are chained when we know that a set of obverse and reverse dies were used together in sequence. For example, the 1793 C1 obverse was also used for the C2, but the C2 is a later die state. The C2 reverse appears in a later die state with the C3 obverse, and the C3 obverse appears in a later die state with the C4 reverse. Therefore, we can conclude that C1 was struck before C2, which was struck before the C3, which was struck before the C4. These dies are all die-chained.