US Large Cents (1793-1807)

Numismatic Information, Coin Values, Mintage Records and Images, page 1


This page describes all types of the US Large Cents minted from 1793 through 1807, and includes their specifics, mintage records, key dates, coin values (in AG-3, or G-4, and EF-40 conditions) and images of a few types (not all) that were recovered at various locations in the North-East USA.

Cents and half cents were the first coins struck under the authority of the United States Government. Large cents were minted every year from 1793 to 1857 with the exception of 1815, when a lack of copper prevented production. All large cents were coined at the Philadelphia Mint.

Dug US Large Cents

FLOWING HAIR, CHAIN TYPE REVERSE, 1793

Varieties with "AMERI." in legend and "AMERICA" with or without periods after date and LIBERTY exist.

Specifics:

Diameter: 26-27 mm
Weight: 13.48 grams
Edge: bars and slender vine with leaves
Composition: Copper
Quantity minted: 36,103
Proofs minted: None of record
Mint marks: None
Designer: Henry Voigt
• Average coin values: AG-3 - $1,300, EF-40 - $22,500

FLOWING HAIR, WREATH TYPE REVERSE, 1793

Introduction of this reverse answered criticism of the chain design, but the stronger modeling of the face and hair still failed to gain acceptance as representative of Liberty. After three months' production, the design was abandoned in favor of the Liberty Cap type.

Specifics:

Diameter: 26-27 mm
Weight: 13.48 grams
Edge: vine and bars, or lettered ONE HUNDRED FOR A DOLLAR followed by either a single or double leaf
Composition: Copper
Quantity minted: 63,353
Mint marks: None
Designer: Henry Voigt

REVERSE: The reverse of this type bears a "single-bow" wreath.
Both sides have borders of small beads.

OBVERSE: A three-leaf sprig appears above the date. Instead of the normal sprig, the rare "strawberry leaf" variety has a spray of trefoil leaves and a small blossom. It is not clear why this variety was created. Only four specimens of this variety are known, all are badly worn.

Key Dates and Coin Values:

• 1793 Vine/bars edge; AG-3: $380.00, EF-40: $7,100
• 1793 Lettered edge; AG-3: $525.00, EF-40: $8,100
• 1794 Strawberry leaf: 4 known

LIBERTY CAP TYPE 1793-1796

This version appears to have been more successful, as it was continued into 1796. The 1793 pieces had beaded borders, but a border of denticles or "teeth" was adopted in 1794. A famous 1794 variety has a "starred" reverse with a border of 94 tiny 5-pointed stars under the denticles.

Planchets became too thin for edge lettering after the weight reduction ordered in 1795. The variety with reeded edge was an experimental substitute, rejected in favor of a plain edge.

Thick Planchet Variety 1793-1795:

Specifics:

Diameter: 29 mm
Weight: 13.48 grams
Edge: ONE HUNDRED FOR A DOLLAR followed by a single leaf
Composition: Copper
Quantity minted: 966,577
Mint marks: None
Designer: Joseph Wright

Key Dates and Coin Values:

• 1793 Liberty Cap; AG-3: $1,100, EF-40: $32,000
• 1794 "Head of 1793"; AG-3: $350.00, EF-40: $14,100
• 1794 Starred reverse;; AG-3: $4,100,VF-20: $40,000
Average coin values of other dates: AG-3 - $65.00, EF-40 - $2,500


Thin Planchet Variety 1795-1796:

Specifics:

Diameter: 29 mm
Weight: 10.89 grams
Edge: plain
Composition: Copper
Quantity minted: 611,325
Mint marks: None
Designer: John Smith Gardner

Key Dates and Coin Values:

• 1795 Reeded edge - only 4 known
• 1795 Jefferson Head (not a regular mint issue), Plain edge; AG-3: $2,600, VF-20: $40,000
• 1795 Jefferson Head (not a regular mint issue), Lettered edge - only 3 known
Average coin values of other dates: AG-3 - $70.00, EF-40 - $850.00

DRAPED BUST TYPE 1796 - 1807

Style 1 hair appears on all 1796-96, many 1798 varieties and 1800 over 1798.

1798 Large Cent Draped Bust Style 1 Hair

Style 2 hair, used 1798-1807, is mostly recognized by the extra curl near the shoulder.

1803 Large Cent Draped Bust Style2 Hair

Specifics:

Diameter: 29mm or 1-1/8"
Weight: 10.89 grams or 168 grains
Edge: Plain
Composition: Copper
Quantity minted: 16,009,810
Proofs minted: None of record
Mint marks: None
Designers: Robert Scot, Gilbert Stuart

The border of the coin is denticled.

REVERSE: The size of the lettering in UNITED STATES OF AMERICA varies throughout the series.

Key Dates and Coin Values:

• 1796 LIHERTY error; AG-3: $155.00, EF-40: $3,500
• 1796 Stemless reverse; n/a
• 1799 9 over 8; AG-3: $555.00, VF-20: $15,000
• 1799 Normal date; AG-3: $550.00, VF-20: $14,000
• 1801 3 errors: 1/000, one stem & IINITED; AG-3: $40.00, EF-40: $4,500
• 1803 Large date, small fraction; AG-3: $2,100, VF-20: $17,500
• 1804 With normal or broken dies; AG-3: $325.00, EF-40: $7,100
• 1804 Unofficial restrike of 1860 - uncirculated; MS-60: $525.00
• 1807 Small 7 over 6, blunt 1; AG-3: $925.00, EF-40: $24,000
Average coin values of other dates: AG-3 - $22.00, EF-40 - $1,100

Large 1807, 7 Over 6, Pointed 1

1807 Large Cent error 7 over 6

A fake 1804 was manufactured from discarded mint dies in 1860. An altered 1803 die was used for the obverse, and a die of the 1820 cent was used ofr the reverse. They were minted to satisfy the demand for this rare date. Known as the "restrike," it was a patchwork job and is easily distinguished from a genuine 1804 cent.


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Sources: Encyclopedia Of U.S. Coins by Mort Reed and The Official Red Book of United States Coins by R.S. Yeoman.