US Large Cents are an integral part of American numismatic history, representing the first coins minted by the US Government. These coins were produced from 1793 to 1807 and were used as currency during a pivotal period in American history. Coin collectors and enthusiasts seek the Large Cents for their historical significance, intricate designs, and rarity.
This article, ‘Discovering US Large Cents: History, Types, and Values,’ explores the different types of Large Cents, specifications, key dates, and coin values. The article also delves into the notorious fake 1804 cent and provides sources for further reading.
This article provides a comprehensive overview of these important coins and their place in American history by examining the history, types, and values of US Large Cents. Whether you’re a seasoned collector or a newcomer to the numismatics world, this article will surely deepen your appreciation for US Large Cents and their rich legacy.
- US Large Cents were minted from 1793 to 1807 and were the first coins struck by the US Government.
- There were different types of Large Cents, including Flowing Hair, Chain Type Reverse (1793), Flowing Hair, Wreath Type Reverse (1793), Liberty Cap Type (1793-1796), and Draped Bust Type (1796-1807).
- Each type had its specifications: diameter, weight, edge, composition, quantity minted, mint marks, and designer.
- Collectors should be aware of fake 1804 cents, manufactured from discarded mint dies in 1860 and distinguishable from genuine 1804 cents.
Types and Designs
The types and designs of US Large Cents, including Flowing Hair (Chain Type and Wreath Type), Liberty Cap (Thick Planchet and Thin Planchet), and Draped Bust (Style 1 and Style 2), are characterized by specific specifications, mint marks, and designers. The design evolution of US Large Cents can be traced from 1793 to 1807, with each type presenting unique features and notable varieties.
The Flowing Hair type, for instance, has AMERI. and AMERICA variations in its legend, while the Wreath type was introduced to address criticism of the chain design. On the other hand, the Liberty Cap type has beaded borders in 1793 and denticles or teeth in 1794, with the famous 1794 variety having a starred reverse with a border of 94 tiny 5-pointed stars. The Draped Bust type has two hairstyles: Style 1 hair appears on all 1796-96, many 1798 varieties, and 1800 over 1798, while Style 2 hair, used 1798-1807, is mostly recognized by the extra curl near the shoulder.
Each type of US Large Cent also has specific specifications, including diameter, weight, edge, composition, quantity minted, mint marks, and designers. Notable varieties, such as the Thick Planchet and Thin Planchet varieties of the Liberty Cap type, also exist for each type.
Overall, the design evolution of US Large Cents offers a rich history of the country’s early coinage, with each type and variety providing a glimpse into the period and the craftsmanship of the US Mint.
Key Dates and Values
Some of the most sought-after dates and corresponding values for US Large Cents include rare varieties such as the 1793 Chain AMERI. and AMERICA, the 1794 Starred Reverse, and the 1804 restrike.
The 1793 Chain AMERI. variety, with only 12 known to exist, is valued at over $100,000 in average condition. The 1794 Starred Reverse, with a border of 94 tiny 5-pointed stars, is valued at around $500,000 in average condition. The 1804 restrike, manufactured from discarded mint dies in 1860, is valued at around $3,000 in average condition and is easily distinguished from a genuine 1804 cent.
The grading criteria must be considered to determine the value of a US Large Cent. The coin’s condition, on a scale from 1 to 70, is crucial in determining its value. A coin that has never been circulated and is in pristine condition is considered a ‘mint state’coin, while a coin that has been heavily circulated and shows signs of wear and tear is considered ‘poor’or ‘fair.’
The rarity of the coin, as well as its historical significance and overall aesthetic appeal, also contribute to its value. Collectors and investors alike are always looking for rare and valuable US Large Cents, making them a fascinating and ever-evolving part of numismatic history.
Fake 1804 Cent
One interesting aspect of US Large Cent numismatics is the presence of a counterfeit 1804 cent, which was manufactured from discarded mint dies in 1860.
This fake cent was created by an individual who had access to the original dies used to mint the 1804 cent. The manufacturing process involved using the original dies to strike new planchets, which were then struck with the 1804 design.
These fake coins were then sold to collectors and dealers, and even made their way into some collections. However, distinguishing features make it easy to tell apart the fake 1804 cent from a genuine one.
The restrike is missing the characteristic die cracks on the reverse of the genuine coins. The restrike has a smooth edge, while the genuine coins have a toothed edge. Finally, the restrike has a slightly different weight and diameter than the genuine coins.
Due to these distinguishing features, collectors and dealers can identify and avoid the fake 1804 cent easily.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the history behind the US government’s decision to mint large cents as their first coins?
Large cents were the first coins struck by the US Government due to the need for a national currency and the popularity of copper coins. They significantly impacted the early US economy, providing a stable currency for everyday transactions.
How did the public respond to the introduction of the Wreath Type Reverse design in 1793?
The introduction of the wreath type reverse design in 1793 was met with mixed public reaction, as some appreciated the change from the previous chain design while others still criticized the overall design of the coin.
Are there any interesting stories or legends surrounding specific large cent varieties?
Numismatic lore surrounds mythical varieties of large cents, such as the 1793 Chain AMERI. variety and the 1794 Starred Reverse. Famous collections and notable discoveries, like the 1804 restrike, add to the intrigue of these coins.
How were the Planchet varieties affected by weight reductions ordered in 1795?
The weight reductions ordered in 1795 affected the planchet varieties of Liberty Cap Type large cents, resulting in thinner planchets that could not accommodate edge lettering. This led to the mint using denticles instead, and the rarity of thick planchet varieties has increased market demand.
What is the significance of the extra curl near the shoulder on the Style 2 hair design of the Draped Bust Type?
The extra curl near the shoulder on the Style 2 hair design of the Draped Bust type was an artistic choice made by the designer. It is mostly recognized as a distinguishing feature and adds to the aesthetic appeal of the US large cents.