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Large Cent Coin Collecting

Updated on September 28, 2020
LouCannon profile image

Writer and Photographer - Life is there for experiencing, which I live each and every day to do!


Large Cents: A Fun Hobby & Great Investment!

Coin collecting can be a great pass-time for all age demographics! The hunt for 'that special' find is thrilling... the buy rewarding and if by chance you stumble across that elusive rare coin coin, it can also become quite an investment!

My passion with coin collecting started about two decades ago when I stumbled upon a street vendor that had thousands of coins displayed for sale at the side of a road. Never in my life had I witnessed such a sight! Walking from one side of his table to the other had me hooked!

He had coins of all shapes, sizes, metals, conditions, years and dates. It was quite hard to wrap my head around what I was seeing! There was just so much there, but what stuck out to me was the over-sized coins. Compared to what we have in North America, these coins were a sight to see!

As I browsed his table there was a 1858, Canadian large cent, that caught my eye and in the end it was the prized coin of the ones I had purchased that day. Now, since that experience, I have been collecting Large (Canadian) Cents. It has been over a decade and I have accumulated a small, but decent sized collection that is worth more than I spent.

My grandfather started my passion, a street vendor started me on a hobby and now I have a great source of entertainment and also a fantastic, be it abstract, form of investing for my future!

Where to track down old coins

Old coins, especially ones from the 1800's are not so easy to come by in this day and time, so you might have to get creative when you go on the hunt for one of these gems. All you have to do is get out there and get looking you are sure to find gold, or silver... maybe a key date, or perhaps just a really interesting piece... or, shall we say, you are sure to find 'coin'!

Best Advice? Avoid bad coins!

Golden rules for coin collecting: do not buy coins that will contaminate your collection, a fake or completely word piece.
Golden rules for coin collecting: do not buy coins that will contaminate your collection, a fake or completely word piece. | Source

Do you think investing in coins is a good way to save for the future?

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Coin collecting is my way for saving for my retirement -- Abstract and fantastic!

— LouCannon
Properly storing your coins in protective packaging will save them from damage
Properly storing your coins in protective packaging will save them from damage | Source

So where can we find these coins?

Top Ways to Locate Coins

  • Second-hand stores
  • Yard sales
  • Auctions
  • Newspaper classified ads
  • On-line Ads
  • Ask friends and family
  • Look in your pocket change! You just never know!

They are out there, you just have to look!

Canadian, Provincial... American and Beyond

Large Cents have been a hit with not only hobbyist collectors, but for folks who want to put their savings into a non-traditional, be it abstract investment... when you are going this route for long term return remember: buy QUALITY, go for RARE and hold-on until the profit margins are hot!

Tidbits to Remember

I often will seek out coins where the hair still has distinct detail
I often will seek out coins where the hair still has distinct detail | Source

Important pieces of advice in regards to Coin Collecting

  1. Go for the coin that has the best detail
  2. Ask the vendor or seller of the coin if they will take a buck or so less for the coin
  3. Put your coin in a protected coin folder or album to keep it in great shape
  4. Do some research on your coin to find out the value -- Ebay sold listings are great sources of information, because a coin is only worth what someone is willing to spend on it
  5. Check your coin for any errors it might have from when it was made -- Minting errors can increase the value
  6. To check to see if it is silver: use a magnet, if the coin sticks to the magnet it is not silver

Interesting Canadian and American Facts on Large Cents

Did you know...

~ The first U.S. large cent was struck in 1793

~ The last U.S. large cent was in 1857

~ The first Canadian large cent struck was in 1858

~ The last Canadian large cent was made in 1920

~ The average large cent weighted over 10 grams, while a small cent only weights around 3 grams

Do you currently collect coins?

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Large Cents

They make great gifts too... For old or young!

If you are planning on bestowing someone with a gift anyway, why not consider giving a unique piece of history like a large cent as a keepsake present? I'm sure that special someone already has enough pairs of socks! Large cents make very unique gifts and they are something that they likely will not have already. If the coin is in a protective coin casing then you can easily put it into a card to add a little happy surprise for the recipient... You get to give unique gift that is interesting and you save on wrap, we call that a double bonus!

People of all incomes, ages and demographics can participate in this fun hobby... If you are seeking out something for a child in school they might find it fascinating that coins were so large at one time compared to their mini size now... Not only will they get a gift that no one else is sure to give them, they will get a lesson on history as well!

With everything in our world being so accessible in this day and age -- one of the things that I have decided to do for my children (all three of them) is make them three history packages each. One they will receive when they graduate, one when they get married and the other is willed to them. The packages (still in construction) do and will contain items such as ink wells, old news papers, an oil lamp and a skeleton key, among other tidbits of our history... And all of the chests that they are to receive will contain coins... My goal is to finish collections from the very first minting right to the year of their birth... All of the coins will be spread between the three chests and not only will they be getting a pieces of history, but they will also be given a little 'investment' for their future...


P.S -- Don't Forget Provincial Coins!

Though most Canadians will stick to collecting the 1858 through 1920 traditional large cents... there has began to be a climb in interest with the 'Provincial' large cents. These coins from the east side of the country had much lower mintage's!
Though most Canadians will stick to collecting the 1858 through 1920 traditional large cents... there has began to be a climb in interest with the 'Provincial' large cents. These coins from the east side of the country had much lower mintage's! | Source

© 2014 Lou Cannon


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    • Aladdins Cave profile image

      Aladdins Cave 

      7 years ago from Melbourne, Australia

      Nice lens, thank you.

      Next time you you are editing, have a look at this sentence. "Putting an ad the internet "

      Hope you don't mind me pointing it out.

      Cheers and thanks for visiting my lens "From Australia to Germany"

    • LouCannon profile imageAUTHOR

      Lou Cannon 

      7 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      @Elsie Hagley: Anytime! Hope you make some more going through the coins when you locate them...

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 

      7 years ago from New Zealand

      Interesting I have a few coins of NZ old pounds shillings and pence, before we changed to the dollar. Must take a look and see if I can find them, thanks for the memories.

    • Nithya Venkat profile image

      Nithya Venkat aka Vellur 

      7 years ago from Dubai

      Coin collecting is a great hobby! great tips on selecting coins.

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 

      7 years ago from Arkansas USA

      Great hobby and very fun way of investing in your future!

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 

      7 years ago from Canada

      I love discovering a unique coin in my change although I don't really keep a coin collection. I pass the coins along to my grandchildren in their birthday or Christmas cards so by the time they get to be adults they will certainly have a very interesting collection.


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