US Type Coins

Large Cents – 1793 Wreath Cent

Large Cents – 1793 Wreath Cent

Description: The Chain cents produced early in 1793 received immediate criticism. The obverse Liberty was considered an unflattering portrait of the symbol of freedom, particularly in the rendition of the hair which was described as unkempt or even savage in appearance. The reverse chain motif, apparently intended to represent the unity of the states, was […]

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Large Cents – Liberty Cap Cent, 1793-1796

Large Cents – Liberty Cap Cent, 1793-1796

Description: The Liberty Cap design by Joseph Wright was derived from what today is likely one of the most popular early medals, the Libertas Americana medal by Augustin DuprŽ. Sponsored by Benjamin Franklin, the Libertas Americana medal not only symbolized American victories in our Revolutionary War, but also represented the friendship between France and the […]

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Large Cents – Draped Bust Cent, 1796-1807

Large Cents – Draped Bust Cent, 1796-1807

Description: Copper cents in the early years of the country had a checkered history. The large cents were not the most easily handled, but they were extensively used because the denomination was convenient for small transactions. The Mint, however, had trouble producing the coins because of poor quality copper supplies, problems in creating the dies, […]

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Large Cents – Classic Head Cent 1808-1814

Large Cents – Classic Head Cent 1808-1814

Description: Robert Patterson, an Irish immigrant, was a schoolmaster, shopkeeper, and mathematician, the teacher of the man who later surveyed the original boundaries of the District of Columbia. Principal of the Wilmington Academy in Delaware in the mid-1770s, he left that post to serve in the Revolutionary War, attaining the rank of brigade major. Following […]

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Large Cents – Matron Head Large Cent, 1816-1835

Large Cents – Matron Head Large Cent, 1816-1835

Description: The Classic Head cents had been coined through 1814, but because of a copper shortage no cents were made in 1815; the only year without cent production from the beginning in 1873 to the present. The design of the Classic Head cent had resulted in criticism, for the narrow headband worn by Liberty (called […]

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Large Cents – Modified Matron Head Cent, 1836-1839

Large Cents – Modified Matron Head Cent, 1836-1839

Description: Continuous modifications were made to the Matron Head cent starting in the mid-1830s, and the transitional nature of the changes has resulted in differences between reference texts regarding the dates dividing Engraver Robert Scot’s original design and the changes made later by William Kneass and Christian Gobrecht. Walter Breen (Walter BreenÕs Complete Encyclopedia of […]

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Large Cents – Braided Hair Cent, 1839-1857

Large Cents – Braided Hair Cent, 1839-1857

Description: Liberty Head Large cents were produced from 1816 through 1857. Modifications were made to the Matron Head style starting in the mid-1830s, and the transitional nature of the changes has resulted in differences between reference texts regarding the dates dividing the Robert Scot/ John Reich original design and the changes made later by William […]

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Small Cents – One Cent Flying Eagle, 1856-1858

Small Cents – One Cent Flying Eagle, 1856-1858

Description: By the early 1850s copper availability was limited, and the price of the raw metal rose to the point that the Mint lost money on every cent that was made. At the same time the large copper cents had become increasingly unpopular with the public, which thought the coins unattractive, too heavy, and too […]

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Small Cents – Indian Head Cent 1859 COPPER-NICKEL Laural Wreath Reverse

Small Cents – Indian Head Cent 1859 COPPER-NICKEL Laural Wreath Reverse

Description: The Indian Head one-cent coin was produced by the United States Mint from 1859 through 1909. It was designed by James Barton Longacre, the Engraver at the Philadelphia Mint. The obverse of the coin shows UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, an Indian head facing to the left, wearing a feather bonnet. The word LIBERTY is […]

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Small Cents – Indian Head Cent, Copper-Nickel, 1860-1864

Small Cents – Indian Head Cent, Copper-Nickel, 1860-1864

Description: James B. Longacre’s Indian Head design for the cent debuted in 1859. The previous Flying Eagle design had been minted for only three years (including the 1856 pattern, usually considered a regular issue by collectors). The apparent reason for the change from the Flying Eagle design was weakness in the strike, brought about because […]

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Small Cents – Indian Head Cent, Bronze, 1864-1909

Small Cents – Indian Head Cent, Bronze, 1864-1909

Description: The small “white cents”, so-called because of their light color compared to that of the older large cents, had at first escaped the hoarding of coins that came with the Civil War. But by 1862, in spite of the production of millions of the coins, the cent also disappeared from circulation, joining the silver […]

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Small Cents – 1909 V.D.B. Lincoln Cent

Small Cents – 1909 V.D.B. Lincoln Cent

Description:The first year issue of perhaps one of the most popular and enduring designs in US Coinage. The new coin featured a portrait of Abraham Lincoln on the front and two “ears” of wheat on the back. The designers initials “VDB” were placed near the rim on the reverse. A total mintage of 24,479,000 coins […]

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Small Cents – Lincoln Cent, Bronze, Wheat Ears Reverse, 1909-1958

Small Cents – Lincoln Cent, Bronze, Wheat Ears Reverse, 1909-1958

Description: The Lincoln cent has been a favorite of collectors for many years. Part of the appeal lies in the fact that it is the first circulating U.S. coin to feature a likeness of an real person; who just happens to be one of the most respected and admired presidents in this country’s history. The […]

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Small Cents – Lincoln Cent, Steel, Wheat Ears Reverse, 1943

Small Cents – Lincoln Cent, Steel, Wheat Ears Reverse, 1943

Description: Lincoln cents were made of bronze most years, but World War II resulted in a couple of changes to the cent composition. Because copper was a critical war material, efforts were made to find alternative materials (ceramics and plastics were considered) from which to produce cents, with the eventual selection of zinc-coated steel planchets […]

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Small Cents – Lincoln Cent, Bronze/ Brass, Memorial Reverse, 1959-1982

Small Cents – Lincoln Cent, Bronze/ Brass, Memorial Reverse, 1959-1982

Description: The Lincoln motif on the cent was introduced to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Lincoln’s birth. The 150th anniversary of that event occasioned another design change, the replacement of the wheat seed heads on the reverse with a depiction of the Lincoln Memorial. The Memorial is located at the west end of the National […]

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Two Cent Pieces – 1864-1873

Two Cent Pieces – 1864-1873

The two-cent coin was produced in the United States from 1864-1873 with decreasing mintages throughout that time. The two-cent piece was made of 95% copper with tin and zinc making up the remainder. It was very slightly smaller than a modern U.S. quarter. The two-cent piece was designed by James B. Longacre, the Chief Engraver […]

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