Large Cents - One of the first
Mint issues ever!
Large Cents were produced from 1793 to 1857 with only one break in 1815. The US Mint had a lot of difficulty in the early days with this denomination. Due to widespread public criticism, the early Flowing Hair types were discontinued quickly. The chain cents
were misunderstood as promoting slavery
instead of strength and unity. In 1793 the United States minted three different designs in there attempt to find one that would be accepted by the general public.
These large bulky copper coins are approximately the size of a modern day half
dollar. They were made of pure copper and changed size and weight in 1795 along with the half cent. Throughout the 64 year history they continuously had exactly twice the copper of a half cent.
By the mid 1840's these large copper coins
were becoming more and more unpopular. Also, many banks and merchants were refusing them as payment for goods and services. In the early days the coins were not legal tender but strangely enough they are now. The Mint was feeling the increased expense of producing them and ceased there
production in 1857 along with the half cent.
Today, many coin collectors enjoy this particular area of interest. Large Cents and Half Cents for that matter have been studied intensely to the point of numbering the specific dies that struck the coins, and then
pairing the dies. In the early days each one of these dies was made by hand, individually. Many stamps and punches were used for the letters and numbers. Therefore, shapes of the numbers and letters as well as spacing vary to an extent. Although very slim, there is a possibility that further die combinations might
still be undiscovered due to incomplete mint records. The search for the next rare coin in the series is on!
This denomination has seven major design changes and a myriad of mint errors including over-dates and mint engraver errors. The design changes include.
Flowing Hair - Chain Cents (1793 only)
Flowing Hair - Wreath Cents (1793 only)
Liberty Cap Type (1793-1796)
Draped Bust Type (1796-1807)
Classic Head Type (1808-1814)
Coronet Type - Matron (1816-1835)
Coronet Type - Braided Hair (1835-1857)
Large Cents Back to Coin Collecting Homepage
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