In the days of this country’s Founding Fathers, colonialists used copper as standard currency. These coins include Colonials, half cents, large cents, and Hard Times Tokens. Large and half cents were the first coins produced by the United States Mint in Philadelphia under the authority of our federal government.
They are very rare due to their intermittent minting between 1793 and 1857. Half cents also have the notoriety of being the smallest face value for a coin in our nation’s history. In 1857, the United States Mint stopped producing half cents and replaced large cents with more manageable small cents.