1799/8 Large Cent - 1799/8 Large 1C PCGS G6, S-188, R-4. This 1799/8 Large Cent is a pleasing, representative of the rare overdate. As with almost all 18th century United States coins that circulated, one could pick the coin apart. There is extensive wear, the surface texture of this 1799/8 Large Cent is finely granular with abrasions, and this 1799/8 Large Cent piece is toned dark.
However, there is much to admire as well. Considering the grade, all of the devices are visible, including the final 9 of the date. Most of the legends are clear and easy to read. The surfaces of this 1799/8 Large Cent are original with a couple of small reverse scratches that are quite permissible for the grade. The main obverse device is lighter than the surrounding field, giving the piece a very pleasant appearance. The grey scratches and scuff marks are on the holder not the coin.
The 1799 overdate shows the second 9 to have been recut over an 8, and its knob is connected to the upper part of the 9. Except for the letters IB, which are close, LIBERTY is evenly spaced. The word LIBERTY is placed farther to the left than on any other cents of this date. On the reverse, the third outside and inside pairs of leaves on the right are disconnected from the wreath and are stemless.
The coin designed by Robert Scot, shows Liberty in profile facing right. Her hair is tied with a ribbon in the back but most of it falls to her shoulder with a curl below the truncation. Each strand of hair ends in a curl. LIBERTY is above and the date is below. The reverse shows an open wreath of laurel tied with a bow. Within the wreath, on two lines, is the denomination, ONE CENT. The legend UNITED STATES OF AMERICA surrounds the wreath at the periphery. At the bottom, between the ribbon ends is the fraction 1/100.
Scot was born in 1744 in Edinburgh, Scotland or England. (Documentary evidence is lacking as to where he was born.) He was trained as a watchmaker in England and learned engraving afterwards. He moved to the United States in 1777, where he worked as an engraver of plates, bills of exchange, and office scales. During the Revolution, he was an engraver of paper money. In 1780 he was made the State Engraver of Virginia. He moved to Philadelphia the next year. He was appointed Chief Engraver of the United States Mint on November 23, 1793 by David Rittenhouse, Mint Director. Scot’s ability to make dies was limited, and he was advanced in years with failing eyesight. His work was somewhat less than that done in Europe at the time, and Scot was criticized for its poor quality. He was responsible for designs of most of America’s first coins.
In its population report, PCGS shows only 3 1799/8 Large Cent pieces that are finer than the present coin. At NGC there is one finer.