THE U.S. LARGE CENT VALUES AND HISTORY

1793 DESIGNS

This is the obverse from the first design of the large cent. It is the Chain Design.
This is the obverse from the first design of the large cent. It is the Chain Design. | Source
This is the obverse from the Wreath Design.
This is the obverse from the Wreath Design. | Source
This is the obverse of the Liberty Cap design.
This is the obverse of the Liberty Cap design. | Source

The United States large cent was a coin produced by the United States mint and had a value of one penny or 1/100th of a U.S. dollar. The very first large cent was produced in 1793 and the series continued up to 1857. This was the very first coin that was produced by the United States that was produced solely by America. The large cent saw many designs and designers during the coin's production. There was 8 different designs from 1793-1857. The large cent was then changed to the same size pennies that we see today.

LARGE CENT DESIGNS

DESIGN TYPE 
YEARS OF PRODUCTION 
LOW/HIGH END VALUES 
Flowing Hair, chain reverse 
1793 
$4,600-$435,000 
Flowing Hair, wreath design 
1793 
$1,300-$273,000 
 Liberty Cap
1793-1796 
$3,700-$783,000 
Draped Bust
1796-1807
$200-$108,000 
Classic Head
1808-1814
$900-$35,250 
Coronet Head
1816-1835
$60-$29,000 
Mation Head
1835-1839
$26-$1,600 
Braided Hair
1839-1857
$24-$825 

LARGE CENT HISTORY

Henry Voight was the designer of the 1793 large cent. The coin had a chain design of the reverse side of the coin and the design enraged the public. They said the coin depicts slavery. After only 36,103 produced coins, the design was changed.

Later in 1793, Mint Director David Rittenhouse chose Adam Eckfeldt to change the design of the reverse. Eckfeldt discarded the chain design and replaced it with a wreath. On this coin, the hair on the obverse was longer and wider.

In 1793, Rittenhouse hired Joseph Wright to change the design once more. In the early years, the large cent had many issues with striking and minting errors. Wright added a cap to this design, which stood for peace. He also changed the wreath to a laurel design. Robert Scot also helped with revisions of this design.

Robert Scot was given the power to redesign all U.S. coins in 1796, including the large cent. This new design featured Liberty wearing a drapery at her neckline. There was also a ribbon added in her flowing hair. This coin was revised several times during this coin's design, but lasted until 1807.

John Reich was chosen to change the design in 1808. Reich was Robert Scot's assistant at the time the design was once again changed. Robert Patterson was the new Mint Director at the time and he appointed Reich to do the design. This design was called the "Classic Head" design because of the fillet that Liberty wore. The coin was made with high quality copper, but very little metals. Due to this fact, the coin usually worn quickly. These coins are highly valued today because there are only a few known to exist in good condition.

In 1816, the large cent was changed again. The new design was made by Robert Scot. On this design, Liberty was portrayed larger and stars were added on the obverse. It gave Liberty a younger look.

The last design change came in 1935 when Christian Gobrecht redesigned the coin. He gave Liberty a slim look on the new design. The design was revised here and there, but made it through all the way until the last coins were produced in 1857. A mint employee took these large cent plachets and produced large cent coins dated for 1868. Only a few are known to exist today. They must have tried to sell the coins at the time because they were very rare.


LARGE CENT VALUES

As far as values go, the value depends on the condition of your large cent and the date. The early large cent coins are very valuable, even in low grade quality. The 1793 chain design is worth nearly $5,350 in G4 grade. The coin is worth tens of thousands in higher grades. The 1793 wreath design is worth $1,700 in G4 grade and worth thousands in higher grades. The Liberty Cap design is worth $3,700 in low grade and in the tens of thousands in high grade.

The 1794 large cent is worth $579, 1795 is worth $300, and the $1796 is valued at $354. Most of large cent coins are in rough condition and very worn. Even so, these large cent coins are extremely valuable. The 3 series dated for 1793 are the top coins in the series.

There were no large cent coins produced in 1815 because of a copper shortage. There are numerous large cent coins that have striking and minting errors. Always pay close attention to your coins to see if something is different. These error coins are extremely valuable for this series. Even common date coins are worth a lot of money if they are in high grade condition.

All coins from 1816-1857 have a based value of around $20 in low grade. However, these coins can be valued in the high hundreds or thousands in high grade. Always get a second opinion when buying, selling, or coin appraisals.

IMAGES OF LARGE CENT DESIGNS

This is the 1796 large cent. The design is the Liberty Cap.
This is the 1796 large cent. The design is the Liberty Cap. | Source
This is the 1805 large cent. The design is the Draped Bust.
This is the 1805 large cent. The design is the Draped Bust. | Source
This is the 1810 large cent. The design is the Classic Head
This is the 1810 large cent. The design is the Classic Head | Source
This is the 1816 large cent. The design is the Coronet Head.
This is the 1816 large cent. The design is the Coronet Head. | Source
This is the 1847 large cent that has the Braided Hair Design.
This is the 1847 large cent that has the Braided Hair Design. | Source
You can clearly see the chain design on the reverse. This was the design that was said to bear slavery. It was changed to the one below.
You can clearly see the chain design on the reverse. This was the design that was said to bear slavery. It was changed to the one below. | Source
The wreath design was produced after the public stated their disgust for the Chain Design above.
The wreath design was produced after the public stated their disgust for the Chain Design above. | Source

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Comments 17 comments

Cutters profile image

Cutters 5 years ago from South Carolina

So very interesting and such a vast knowledge. I have to look at my coins for sure. Thanks for these hubs!


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 5 years ago from West Virginia Author

Hey there Cutter. Thanks for coming by. The 1793 is a great coin and very valuable. These first pennies are the size of modern day dollar coins.


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 5 years ago from Riga, Latvia

This was very interesting and informative. So many coins I never knew about. I have probs here when I have a lot of chan?e seeing the difference between the 1 and 2 santime pieces and between the 5 and 10 santimes. Our currency is lats and santimes.


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 5 years ago from West Virginia Author

Thank you very much Gypsy. I have been trying to research coins outside the U.S. but I haven't found that much yet. I am working on it though and I hope to get some articles out soon. Gypsy, your a doll:) Take care.


Mentalist acer profile image

Mentalist acer 5 years ago from A Voice in your Mind!

I'd love to scarf one of these up for sure Lyrics!;)


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 5 years ago from West Virginia Author

Hey there Mentalist. Thanks for coming by. Hope you have been well.


feenix profile image

feenix 5 years ago

Hello, thelyricwriter,

This is one of the most educational hubs I have ever read on HupPages.

That is true because before reading this post, I had absolutely no knowledge of the history and value of U.S. coins that were minted in the past.


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 5 years ago from West Virginia Author

Feenix, thanks so much for your thoughtful comment. I was also took my surprise when I first began researching coin values. Some coins are worth millions! You just have to learn what to look for. There are also a few pennies from the 90's that are worth a few thousand. Thanks for your time Feenix and take care.


Sueswan 5 years ago

Hi thelyricwriter

Valuable and interesting information on coins as always.

Voted up and awesome.


masmasika 5 years ago

Your hub is very informative. Thanks for sharing. voted up.


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 5 years ago from malang-indonesia

Again....you describe about the value and the history of coins very well. You are the master of coins. No one can make like this except you. Thanks for share with us. Well done and RATED UP!

Prasetio


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 5 years ago from West Virginia Author

Masmasike, thanks for coming by. I appreciate your comment, time, and vote my friend. I shall see you soon.:) Take care.


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 5 years ago from West Virginia Author

Hey there Prasetio. Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment my friend. I am always glad to see you over. I appreciate it. I feel the same about all your informative hubs my friend. From largest items to beautiful places, to useful articles about food, you are the man. So I am honored for the comment. See you in a few.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

I have one of these. It's like the 1810 version. I forgot the date.


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 5 years ago from West Virginia Author

Hey there Will. Thanks for the comment my friend. That is an early type my friend. Even in low grade, they can be worth a few hundred dollars. That particular series was only produced from 1808-1814.


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 4 years ago from Central United States of America

Interesting detailed information. I have several poor condition of the large cents but have not had them all authenticated. They are not of the high value ones. There seems to be a lot of learning and detail involved in collecting coins and your hub gave some good advice.


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 4 years ago from West Virginia Author

Frogyfish, thanks for taking the time to drop by. Glad you were able to pick up a few things. One thing that we all do, those who collect coins, we overvalue our coins. That is one of the biggest mistakes. But even in bad condition, these are still worth a solid value. Thanks for everything.

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