Large cents of the early United States of America

The United States started striking large cent pennies in 1793. They were all produced in Philadelphia and were required by law to weigh exactly double that of the half cents, which made the weight come to 13.48 grams. The first coins minted were called a “Flowing Hair Chain Reverse” and saw very short production run. The “Wreath Reverse” design minted the same year was also a short run, and was produced for about 3 months.
A new design gained acceptance and was put into production for the rest of 1793 to 1796. It was called the “Liberty Cap”. As production slowed to a stop the “Draped Bust” large cent came out and was produced from 1796 – 1807. The weight was also reduced to 10.89 Grams. The classic head came out in 1808 and was produced until 1814. A copper shortage prevented the Mint from producing a large cent in 1815. The rest of the designs produced are:

  1. “Matron Head” 1816 – 1835
  2. “Matron Head Modified” 1835 – 1839
  3. “Braided Hair variety” of 1839 – 1857

There are a lot of small variations in almost all of these styles that serious collectors feel need to be included in a “set” to be called complete. Prices range from about $1 for a very poor example with no readable date, to as much as $150,000. These are all exceptional coins to collect and should continue to hold or increase their value.

Liberty Coin & Currency specializes in rare coins and currency. We are a family owned business located in Portland and Vancouver. We are also gold, silver, diamond, currency and jewelry buyers. Visit us first for a free evaluation.
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