Large Cents

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Rare Large Cents Coins For Sale

Rare large cents are a cornerstone of American numismatics, embodying the early monetary history of the United States. These copper coins were first minted in 1793 and continued until 1857, playing a critical role in everyday commerce during the formative years of the American Republic. For collectors, each of these large cents tells a story, not just of its economic use, but also of the nation's growth and the evolution of its coinage.

Design Evolution and Historical Significance Large cents have undergone several design changes over their six-plus decades of production, reflecting both artistic trends and practical minting considerations of their times. The series includes:

  1. Flowing Hair Chain Cent (1793) - Recognizable by its links forming a chain on the reverse, symbolizing strength and unity, and featuring the word "LIBERTY" and the year on the obverse. This design was short-lived due to public dissatisfaction.

  2. Flowing Hair Wreath Cent (1793) - Quickly replacing the Chain cent, this version features a wreath on the reverse and a more refined Liberty portrait on the obverse.

  3. Liberty Cap (1793–1796) - This series shows Liberty with a cap on a pole, a classic symbol of freedom, and marked a shift toward more politically symbolic imagery.

  4. Draped Bust (1796–1807) - Portraying Liberty with flowing hair and a draped bust, this design added a more graceful and refined aesthetic to the coinage.

  5. Classic Head (1808–1814) - Featuring Liberty wearing a fillet inscribed with "LIBERTY," this design reflects classical influences prevalent in early 19th-century art.

  6. Coronet (1816–1839) - This longer-running series shows Liberty with a coronet headband inscribed with "LIBERTY," accompanied by increasingly detailed hair and clothing engravings.

  7. Braided Hair (1839–1857) - The final design in the large cent series, featuring a mature portrayal of Liberty with braided hair and a more ornate and detailed dress.

Collectibility and Rarity Large cents are highly collectible due to their age, historical context, and the variety of designs and die varieties, which appeal to both novice and experienced collectors. Certain years and variations—such as the 1793 Chain cent or the 1799 cent—are particularly rare and sought after, commanding high prices in the market.

Condition and Preservation Given their age, the condition of these coins can vary significantly. Rare large cents in well-preserved condition are especially prized. Factors such as the sharpness of the strike, the presence of original luster, and the degree of wear all play critical roles in assessing value.

 Large Cent Coins FAQs

A large cent is a penny that is about the same size as a half dollar.
13.48 grams of copper.
Flowing hair, Draped BUst, Classic head, Coronet head, Braided hair.
The rising prices of copper in the 1850s made the cost more than a penny in Large cents.