1809 C-3 Half Cent eBay
Now before everybody hangs me for buying this harshly cleaned pig of a copper, hear me out! No, it's not pretty, but it's a very interesting study piece and I feel lucky to have purchased it. This was an eBay purchase from a person with an excellent return policy whom I had purchased from before. It was unattributed in the description and the price was right considering the cleaning and scratch in the hair.
So the coin arrives and at first I'm saying "What was I thinking?". I break out Breen's Encyclopedia of United States Half Cents and verify my C-2 attribution. Ok, cool, an R3 for cheap, I'm starting to be able to live with it.
Then I'm REALLY looking at the details. Repunching on stars 6 and 7 are still very evident, just like a R6 Cohen-1, yet the cracks extending through the 13th star almost to the 9 in the date fall under Breen's die state IV. Huh. The repunching should have faded, says Breen. Interesting.
And that's why I decided to keep it. Yes, it's definitely the more common C-2, but the state of the obverse die is just weird enough to keep me interested. And I get to see how long it takes to retone in a wood cabinet.
1809 C3 Half Cent obv.jpg1809 C3 Half Cent rev.jpg
Toatally screwed up this post! It's a Cohen-2!
Sorry for the confusion.
Weird die states are always fun and worthy of study. However, Breen's die states should be taken with a very large grain of sand. I remember when I was first collecting half cents, it seemed like every month I was "cherrypicking" some new, unreported die state. Manley is far more trustworthy for die state information.
Your coin is a very decent example of a scarce variety, and it will tone down. 1809 C2 and C4 are two of my favorite varieties.
Craig Hamling posted a process for retoning in the Main Forum under the thread "Toning an early date large cent". Check back here every 5th of the month for update pics of this 1809 C-2 half cent to see the progression of my retoning experiment!