1817 Coronet Head Large Cent, 15 Stars

Varieties of this type are not as heavily collected as earlier cents, but some remain interesting such as the 1817 Coronet Head Cent with 15 obverse stars. Although somewhat common in lower circulated grades, this variety does become elusive in higher grades, particularly in mint state.

The variety was created from a single 1817 obverse die which featured 15 stars rather than the usual 13. The reason for this is unknown, as 13 had been used as the standard since the previous series and the Union already had 19 states in 1817, with a twentieth added late in the year. Some have attributed the variety to a mistake made by the aging Robert Scot, whose eyes at his age almost certainly would have been less accurate than in earlier years, causing an irregular placement of the stars when punched into the die.

As mentioned, the variety is obtainable in circulated grades, but drives a stronger premium in higher grades. Some AU and lower mint state examples have sold for prices of around $2,000 at recent auction appearances.