Large Cents, 1793-1857
The Large Cent was issued in 64 continuous years, from 1793 to 1857, with the sole exception of 1815 when a shortage of copper prevented production. This denomination was coined exclusively at the Philadelphia Mint and was originally intended to be the mainstay of circulating coinage for the general public, although it rarely circulated outside of larger cities. Since Large Cent production received such high priority at the time, however, hundreds of dies and die combinations were produced, resulting in numerous varieties which are enthusiastically collected by the novice and advanced numismatist alike today.
Many will seek top collect an example by variety. The more financially able will strive to complete a rewarding collection consisting of an example of each date!
There are seven major varieties of Large Cents. These include:
1793 Chain Reverse Type
1793 Wreath Reverse Type
1793-1796 Liberty Cap Type
1796-1807 Draped Bust Type
1808-1814 Classic (or Turban) Head Type
1816-1839 Matron (or Coronet) Head Type
1839-1857 Braided Hair Type
There are many rare to extremely rare types of Large Cents. Some of the most desirable and subsequently most expensive business strike examples are those dated 1793, 1795 and 1799. Several issues exist in proof condition but usually never appear for sale as they are highly-coveted by collectors.