Great coin, RJB.
The Red Book, a trusted US coin catalog, lists these coins as follows:
worn: $100 US dollars approximate catalog value
average circulated: $350
well preserved: $1000
fully uncirculated: $3000
These are catalog values. Be sure you understand what that means by looking at our Terminology page.
Grading these coins is a challenge. While grading guides exist for standard US coins, the Hibernia half penny is hardly a 'standard' coin. In fact, these were struck in their native Ireland but were very unpopular there. Many, therefore, were sent over the colonies in America.
CoinQuest thanks eBay seller CoinsPlusInc for use of the half penny image. It is a gorgeous example in essentially uncirculated condition. The orange color and dark stains indicate a cleaning years ago, which lowers the overall value, but the amount of detail in the design gives us a reference point as to what a truly uncirculated coin looks like.
Numismatists (coin collectors) use an elaborate system of numbers and adjectives to establish the grade, or condition, of coins. Here at CoinQuest, we steer clear of the numismatic system because it is too technical for our purpose. Nevertheless, it is interesting to see some major variations in grade for this particular coin.
You might not recognize it, but this is a Hibernia half penny. Numismatists use technical terms like about good, porous, piece of crap, and worn to a frazzle to describe its condition. It has very little collector value.
The second is probably the first collectible grade. Coin collectors on a budget would be eager to add this coin to their collections. It is what CoinQuest would term 'worn.' The unnatural orange color indicates cleaning, which lowers value.
Compare the third coin to the almost uncirculated version beneath it. The place to look for wear is on the high points of the coin. In this case King George's hair locks are the high points and they look about worn away in this example. The remainder of the design looks pretty good. CoinQuest would call this coin average circulated. This coin has not been cleaned.
Finally, the fourth coin shows plenty of detail in the King's hair. CoinQuest's term for this condition is 'little or no wear.' As mentioned before, the off-orange color indicates a cleaning, probably long ago, and this lowers value.