THE U.S. LARGE CENT VALUES AND HISTORY
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
YEARS OF PRODUCTION
LOW/HIGH END VALUES
Flowing Hair, chain reverse
Flowing Hair, wreath design
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.
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