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Copper and Bronze Coins

Updated on May 20, 2015

Large Cent Coin

Large cent coins are still affordable in lower grades.  This are great additions to a coin collection.
Large cent coins are still affordable in lower grades. This are great additions to a coin collection. | Source

Copper and Bronze Coins

Copper has been used in small denomination coins since before this country formed. The British had both a penny and a half penny, and that carried over to North America. The first copper coins of North America were one cent and half cent pieces. Before the colonies formed into the United States colonial copper coins were issued in the various colonies. Canada and Nova Scotia also minted copper coins. Nova Scotia had its own money until midway through the twentieth century.

In the early issues copper cent coins were large. One did expect to have a penny of copper in a copper coin. In the earliest coins of the United States Liberty faced right, then turned left in 1808 when the design changed radically. The large cent continued until 1857, the last year of the large cent. Throughout this time the image used changed frequently.

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Early United States Issues

The first small United States penny was the flying eagle, which lasted but three years. It was first minted in 1856, along with the large cent, and last minted in 1858. It was replaced by the Indian Head penny in 1859, which was the one cent piece until 1909. In 1909, the last Indian Head pennies were minted, and the first Lincoln cents took their place. The reverse of the Lincoln cent was wheat shafts until 1959, then the Lincoln Memorial replaced them. The penny was made from zinc coated steel in 1943, due to the need for copper in the war effort. Since 1983 the penny has been copper plated zinc. Now, the mint has issued four special pennies depicting images significant in Lincoln’s life.

Other Issues

From 1864 through 1873 a two cent coin was issued. This coin was larger than the small cent, but not as large as the large cent. This coin had a shield on the obverse where a figure of a person or of Liberty is expected. Unfortunately, these coins did not wear well, and quality pieces may price quite a bit higher than smaller coins.

Large Cent

1839-1857 Braided Hair Large Cent by US Mint
1839-1857 Braided Hair Large Cent by US Mint

Large cent coins have a lot of histo


French Colonies

While the eastern seaboard was under the control of English rule in colonial times, a large swath of land and a major part of Canada were controlled by France. French colonial pieces do exist, and can be found in copper coinage.

2015 Coin Book

A Guide Book of United States Coins 2015: The Official Red Book Spiral (Official Red Book: A Guide Book of United States Coins (Spiral))
A Guide Book of United States Coins 2015: The Official Red Book Spiral (Official Red Book: A Guide Book of United States Coins (Spiral))

Find the value of United states coins. While gold and silver coin prices swing with the bullion markets, copper and bronze coins are more stable.


Large Cents

Do you collect large cents?

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Canadian Large Cent Coins

Like the coins of the United States, Canadian coins were initially large. Canada also initially had a need to half cent coins. These large Canadian cent pieces are quite collectible.

Buy Real Coins

As copper has gotten one up, copper bullion coins have come out. In particular, the Zombcks, are often priced high for the value of copper. Why they have become collectible is a mystery, and I suspect it is a fad. and, why there are proof quality Zombucks is a greater mystery.

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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I'm feeling pretty smart right now, only missed two of your quiz questions, thank you!

    • sukkran trichy profile image

      sukkran trichy 

      7 years ago from Trichy/Tamil Nadu

      learned new things from this lens. thanks for the info.

    • sousababy profile image


      7 years ago

      I have resided in Canada all of my life and never knew that Nova Scotia had it's own currency (at one time) or that there was ever such thing as a Half Cent. Shame on me! Thank you for this amazing information, this must take a great deal of time and effort to collect these coins and put these lenses together. Very admirable! Sincerely, Rose


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