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U.S. One Cent Coins

Large Cents                 

Small Cents             

In the fledgling United States the most popular standard of value was the Spanish silver dollar and its fractional pieces of eight, however, English coins of pounds, shillings and pence were also widely accepted. Since each state valued the Spanish coins differently in relation to English money, the rate of exchange was confusing and frustrating and what your money was worth depended upon where you were. In an attempt to stop the confusion and standardize the currency Congress passed the Mint Act of April 2, 1792. That Act provided that ". . . the money of account of the United States shall be expressed in dollars or units, dismes or tenths, cents or hundredths, . . . a disme being the tenth part of a dollar...etc."

Based upon the weight and metal content, the gold ten-dollar piece had approximate the same value as a British double guinea. The silver dollar would correspond to the Spanish eight reales. The copper cents was roughly equivalent to the English halfpenny.

It is arguable that the 1792 half dismes, the silver-center cents, or the Birch cents were the first coins struck by the United States. They were made by mint officials, but they were more in the nature of Proofs. The first regular coins struck for circulation by the federal government on its own machinery and within its own premises were the 36,103 Chain cents struck in the first twelve days of March of 1793.

★★★★★ Flowing Hair Large One Cent 1793 ★★★★★

In his Encyclopedia of United States Large Cents, Walter Breen commented upon the belief of some who suggested that the abbreviated legend was "deliberate symbolism, after the style of the Masonic Unfinished Pyramid on the reverse of the Great Seal". Others, however, believe that it simply reflects the inexperience of the engravers of the first cent.

Type 1 Chain and "AMERI." on the Reverse

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Flowing Hair One Cent Coin (Type 1) Obverse Flowing Hair One Cent Coin (Type 1) Reverse

Type 1 Flowing Hair chain &
AMERI. on reverse (1793)

The first regular coins struck by the federal government on its own machinery and within its own premises were the 36,103 Chain cents struck in the first twelve days of March of 1793. Wright drew inspiration from a popular design created by French medalist Augustin Dupre's 1783 Libertas Americana Medal commemorating American victories at Saratoga and Yorktown over the English. The metal and the coin displayed Liberty with her hair unbound and flowing in the wind, superimposed on a pole topped by a pileus (the helmet-like emblem of freedom).

With the small hand presses then in use, if the central device of Liberty was to have any appreciable relief, then the reverse design had to have a simple layout with much open space in the fields. The chain design was simple enough and is easily the most successful element on the coin. Its fifteen interlocking links form an unbroken chain, with the words ONE CENT and the fraction 1/100 inside.




Type 2 Chain and "AMERICA" on the Reverse One Cent

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Flowing Hair One Cent Coin (Type 2) obverse Flowing Hair One Cent Coin (Type 2) reverse

Type 2 Chain and
"AMERICA" on Reverse

The chain device was an obvious allusion to the inter connectedness of the fifteen states in the Union. This chain device had recently been used on Continental Currency to signify the common, shared cause of the 13 colonies. Even more recently, it had been seen on the widely circulated Fugio cents of 1787. This made the public reaction to the coin more difficult to understand: Many people associated the chain device with the chains of slavery.

Whatever the meaning, the "AMERI." was quickly replaced by "AMERICA".

The March 18, 1793 edition of Philadelphia′s The Mail, or Claypoole′s Daily Advertiser stated the opinion, "The chain on the reverse is but a bad omen for liberty." Soon after the "Chain" reverse was replaced by the "Wreath" reverse.

The 1793 Flowing Hair and wreath reverse was issued with two Borders. Click the link below to see an example of both, side by side. click to view


  

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Flowing Hair Large Cent (Chain Reverse) Grading

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Type 3 Wreath and "AMERICA" on the Reverse

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Flowing Hair One Cent Coin (Type 3) Obverse Flowing Hair One Cent Coin (Type 3) Reverse

Type 3 Wreath and
"AMERICA" on the Reverse

Despite the obstacles, a quick change of the cent design seemed desirable, and Mint Director David Rittenhouse first told coiner Adam Eckfeldt to delete the offending chains from the reverse. The new Liberty head had long, separate locks blowing even more wildly than those on the Chain coins. The new reverse presented an elegant wreath of elongated leaves resembling laurel, the ancient symbol of victory.

Philadelphia Mint records show that 63,353 Wreath cents were struck. Many were saved, probably as curiosities. A number were set aside by visiting Britons, for whom the coin collecting hobby was already well established.






  

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Flowing Hair One Cent Specs.


Designer: 1793: Robert Scot
Designer: 1794: Joseph Wright / Robert Scot
Designer: 1795-1796: Robert Scot

Weight: 1793 1795 - 13.5 grams
Weight: 10.9 grams at the last part of 1795
Weight: 1796 - 10.9 grams

Content: 100% copper
Mint Mark: None (Philadelphia)
Edges: 1795 - 1796 3 Types
  1. Lettered: ONE HUNDRED FOR A DOLLAR with a leaf after DOLLAR, points down
  2. Lettered: ONE HUNDRED FOR A DOLLAR with a leaf after DOLLAR, points up
  3. Lettered: ONE HUNDRED FOR A DOLLAR
Edges: 1795 - 1796 2 Types
  1. Plain
  2. Experimental vertical reeding

Flowing Hair Large Cent (Wreath Reverse)

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Liberty Capped Large One Cent 1793 - 1796

Dissatisfied with Eckfeldt's designs, mint director Rittenhouse hired Joseph Wright to do another redesign in the troubled first year of the one cent. Wright faced Liberty to the right and "tamed" her wild hair. The cap was added as a symbol of freedom, it was often worn in the French Revolution. The reverse design was a laurel wreath, and Robert Scot aided with several revisions to the design over the next three years.

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Liberty Cap One Cent Coin  (Type 1) Obverse Liberty Cap One Cent Coin  (Type 1) Reverse

Type 1 Liberty Capped
Beaded Border

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Liberty Cap One Cent Coin  (Type 2)  Obverse Liberty Cap One Cent Coin  (Type 2) Reverse

Type 2 Liberty Capped
Denticled Border

Click to view 1794 Type 3 Liberty Capped

The new design continued into 1796, but in 1795, planchets became too thin for the edge lettering because of a weight reduction, so the mint stopped edge lettering on the cent, and the rest of these coins were made with a plain edge.

     

Liberty Capped Specs.


Designer 1793: Robert Scot
Designer 1794: Joseph Wright / Robert Scot
Designer 1795-1797:John Smith Gardner

Content: 100% copper
Diameter 1793 1795: 28.5mm
Diameter 1796: 28mm

Weight 1793 1795: 13.5g
Weight 1796: 10.9g

Edge 1793 & 1794: 2 edges:
Lettered: ONE HUNDRED FOR A DOLLAR with one leaf after DOLLAR, leaf points down
Lettered: ONE HUNDRED FOR A DOLLAR with one leaf after DOLLAR, leaf points up
Edge 1795 & 1796: 3 edges:
1. Lettered: ONE HUNDRED FOR A DOLLAR
2. Plain
3. Experimental vertical reeding Mint Mark Legend
Liberty Capped Cent Mintage


Date/Mint Circulation Strikes
1793 11,056
1794 918,521
1795-1796 538,500

Liberty Capped Large Cent Grading

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Draped Bust Large One Cent 1796 - 1807

Robert Scot modeled the Draped Bust design after a drawing by artist Gilbert Stuart. It is reported that the model for the "Draped Bust" coins was Anne Bingham. Ms. Bingham achieved notoriety similar to today's pop stars. The Grecian-style "Draped Bust" has been very popular in American coinage.

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Draped Bust One Cent Coin Obverse Draped Bust One Cent Coin Reverse

Draped Bust Cent
(1796 1808)

The obverse depicts Liberty with flowing hair, a ribbon behind her head and drapery at her neckline. LIBERTY is inscribed above the bust and the date below. The reverse features the denomination ONE CENT, encircled by an open wreath of two olive branches tied with a bow. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA surrounds the wreath, and the fraction 1/100 is between the ends of the bow.

There are three varieties of reverses; each varies the leaves and berries on the wreath. They are known as the "Type of 1794," "Type of 1795" or "Type of 1797." All three types were used on the reverse of 1796 cents, with the last two types were used on the 1797. The last reverse was used from 1797 through 1807.

Because the lettering was hand punched into the dies, errors were prevalent. One such blunder is the "LIHERTY" error where the "B" was rotated 180 degrees before being punched and then crudely corrected. Another is the "T" over "Y" blunder in 1802. There were many other variations involving spacing and positioning of the letters and dates.

Many of these coins were used to make jewelry, which may partially account for their scarcity and explain why so many have holes punched in them.

In the 1850's, the popularity of coin collecting grew, scarce date production began to spread both on and off the mint premises. Around 1858, the rare 1804 Draped Bust cent was "restruck" using dies sold as scrap metal by the mint. These restrikes are easily distinguished from the originals, tooling to correct flaws in the badly rusted dies is easily detectable. Other restrikes and uniface examples of this date can be found in white metal.

     

Draped Bust One Cent Specs.

Designer: Robert Scot
Weight: 10.9 grams
Diameter: 28 millimeters
Edge: Plain
Content: 100% copper
Draped Bust Cent Mintage

Date/Mint Circulation Strikes Date/Mint Circulation Strikes
1796 363,375 1797 897,510
1798 1,841,745 1799
1800 2,822,175 1801 1,362,837
1802 3,435,100 1803 3,131,691
1804 96,500 1805 941,116
1806 348,000 1807 829,221

Draped Bust Large Cent Grading

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Classic Head Large One Cent 1808 - 1814

In the early years of the US Mint, the cent underwent many changes. There were four major changes took place in the first five years. Additionally, there were many minor variations. The Draped Bust image on the cent and other coins gave a sense of stability to U.S. coinage (lasting around 10 years.

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Classic Head One Cent Coin Obverse Classic Head One Cent Coin Reverse

Classic Head Cent
(1808 1814)

Totally unimpressed with this, in 1807 Mint Director wrote President Thomas Jefferson asking permission to hire a German migrant John Reich as assistant to the aging engraver Robert Scot. Reichs was very shortly promoted to second engraver and given the assignment of redesigning the coinage from the half cent to half eagle, essentially all US coinage.

The copper used in this period was of a higher quality, with much fewer metallic impurities than usual. For this reason, they were softer and would wear and corrode more quickly than issues before or since. As a result, high-grade specimens are particularly difficult to obtain and command a much higher premium.

They also appear on market less frequently, especially with red or red-brown mint luster.

A shortage of planchets halted production in 1815, the Mint made no cents with that date. In 1816, when production resumed, the cent bore Robert Scot's new and undistinguished "Matron Head" design.

The "Classic Head" name was not given the coin until the 1860's. It derives the name from the fillet worn by Liberty on the obverse. A fillet on "Lady Liberty" seems a bit out of place since it was worn only by male athletes in "the Classic Period" of ancient Greece.

     

Classic Head Large One Cent Specs.

Designer: John Reich
Denomination: One cent (1/100 dollar)
Diameter: 29 mm; plain edge
Metal Content: 100% copper
Weight: 10.89 grams
Mint Marks: None (all Philadelphia)
Classic Head Cent Mintage

Date/Mint Circulation Strikes Date/Mint Circulation Strikes
1808 1,007,000 1809 222,867
1810 1,458,500 1811 218,025
1812 1,075,500 1813 418,000
1814 357,830

Classic Large Cent Grading

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Matron Head One Cent 1816 - 1839

Early in the war of 1812 supplies of copper planchets from the English manufacturer, Boulton & Watt of Liverpool stopped, and by 1814 the last of the imported copper blanks had been turned into "Classic Head" cents.

With no copper Planchets available in 1815, the idle time proved to be very useful. The Mint had been criticized since it struck its first coins in 1793. The Classic Head cent was no exception, critics were quick to point out that the fillet on "Lady Liberty's" head had never been worn by women but was given as a prize to male athletes in Classical times. The down time was used to update mint equipment and processes as well as redesigning the cent. This allowed greater uniformity in coinage.

"Matron Head" One Cent

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Coronet Head One Cent Coin Obverse Coronet Head One Cent Coin Reverse

Matron Head One Cent
(1816 1839)

Redesigned in 1835 the Braided Hair is slimmer and more youthful. The button below will show an example of the 15 star version of the Braided Hair version.

Wishing to avoid further embarrassment with the new design, Mint officials bypassed Assistant Engraver John Reich (who had created the Classic Head) and assigned redesign of the cent to Scot. While Scot's creation was a terrible failure from an artistic stand point, there was no doubt of Liberty's gender. The fillet holding the hair back was replaced with coronet. The redesign also enlarged the obverse portrait, giving Liberty a much more mature look. While the correct name for the design was the "Coronet" cent, many people call it the "Matron Head" cent.

The reverse was essentially unchanged and retained the "Christmas wreath" of Reich's 1808 design.

     

Matron Head Cent Specs.

Designer: John Reich
Denomination: One cent (1/100 dollar)
Diameter: 29 mm; plain edge
Metal Content: 100% copper
Weight: 10.89 grams
Mint Marks: None (all Philadelphia)
Matron Head Cent Mintage

Date/Mint Circulation Strikes Date/Mint Circulation Strikes
1816 2,820,982 1817 3,948,400
1818 3,167,000 1819 2,671,000
1820 4,407,550 1821 389,000
1822 2,072,339 1823 1,262,000
1824 None 1825 1,461,100
1826 1,517,425 1827 2,357,732
1828 2,260,624 1829 1,414,500
1830 1,711,500 1831 3,359,260
1832 2,362,000 1833 2,739,000
1834 1,855,100 1835 3,878,400
1836 2,111,000 1837 5,558,300
1838 6,370,200 1839 3,128,661

Matron Large Cent Grading

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Braided Hair Large Cent 1839 - 1857

Because of negative public reaction, the earlier "Matron Head" cents was again redesigned in 1835 by Christian Gobrecht for the last major change to this one cent coin. The updated gave Lady Liberty a slimmer, younger appearance. Minor tweaks continued up to 1843, but the 1843 through 1855 cent was never changed.

To view a side by side comparison, click this button

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Braided Hair One Cent Coin Obverse Braided Hair One Cent Coin Reverse

Braided Hair
(1839 1857)

The public (needing small change) initially welcomed the large one cents. But the cumbersome coins soon fell from favor (even before the Braided Hair design came along), they were considered too heavy, often badly worn or corroded and they were not legal-tender. After a while, Merchants began to refuse them and began offering their own "store tokens" or "hard times tokens" as change.

These unwanted cents didn't go to waste. Using the copper for their projects many found advantageous to purchase one cent coins by the keg (approximately 14,000 coins), and melt them down. When copper prices went up in the 1850's one could buy one cent coins for less than raw copper.

It is believed that Gobrecht's inspiration for the new 1839 design was Benjamin West's painting, Omnia Vincit Amor (Love Conquers All). The braided hair over Liberty's brow reflected the famed Empire style (out of date by a decade in Europe but well established in American}.

"Braided Hair" coins achieved greater uniformity than any of the earlier large cents thanks to the introduction of steam power, advances in hubbing the design into the dies and the use of logotypes or single, four-digit punches to impress dates. This eliminated so many varieties so beloved by copper collectors.

Minor varieties do exist they include:

     

Braided Hair One Cent Specs.

Designer: 1839: Robert Scot, modified by Christian Gobrecht.
1840-1857: Christian Gobrecht
Diameter: 1839: 28-29 millimeters.
1840-1857: 27 millimeters
Weight: 10.89 grams
Content: 100% copper
Edge: Plain
Mint Marks: None (Philadelphia)
Braided Hair Cent Mintage

Date/Mint Circulation Strikes Date/Mint Circulation Strikes
1839 3,128,661 1840 2,462,700
1841 1,597,367 1842 2,383,390
1843 2,425,342 1844 2,398,752
1845 3,894,804 1846 4,120,800
1847 6,183,669 1848 6,415,799
1849 4,178,500 1850 4,426,844
1851 9,889,707 1852 5,063,094
1853 6,641,131 1854 4,236,156
1855 1,574,829 1856 2,690,463
1857 333,456

Braided Hair Large Cent Grading

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★★★★★ Flying Eagle Cent ★★★★★

Slow to respond, in the 1850's Mint officials finally became willing to deal with the problems caused by the large cents since 1793. The large copper cents (because of their size) were too cumbersome and unpopular, they were also uneconomical to make. Additionally, there were still many small Spanish silver coins circulating in the United States which made the need for a smaller US coin obvious.

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Flying Eagle One Cent Coin Obverse Flying Eagle One Cent Coin Reverse

Flying Eagle Cent
(1856 1858)

Sparked by the widespread use of tokens, the idea of fiduciary coinage, based on the trustworthiness of the issuing authority, not on the coin's intrinsic value, was beginning to catch on as well. Large Copper coins were on their way out, but it was the large numbers of small Spanish colonial silver coins in use that finally made it imperative that smaller cents should be struck.

The coinage law of February 21, 1857 gave Snowden the means to purge the halls of commerce of foreign coins. In addition to abolishing the half cent, the law also specified that the new cents would weigh 72 grains and be composed of 88% copper and 12% nickel, and that they were redeemable for the old copper cents and half cents. But the most important provision as far as Snowden was concerned was the one that permitted the Mint to redeem Spanish double-reales, reales and medios at the rate of 25, 12-1/2, and 6-1/4 cents, respectively, for the new cents. All other government offices would only convert them at 20, 10, and 5 cents respectively, therefore, banks were very desirous of exchanging as many of the Spanish coins as possible. When the Flying Eagle cents were first released on May 25, 1857, more than a thousand people were at the mint building to convert their old Spanish coins and large coppers.

1858 Flying Eagle Example
1858 Flying Eagle Example

Designed by James B. Longacre, the Flying Eagle motif was actually an adaptation of the design used on pattern silver dollars twenty years before. The eagle figure had originally been drawn by Titian Peale and sculpted by Christian Gobrecht. The reverse wreath was similarly adapted from the model Longacre had made for the 1854 one and three dollar gold pieces.

The relationship of the head of the eagle, the tail of the eagle (both on the front) and the wreath (on the reverse) when added to increased striking pressure (in order to show the eagles feathers) all led to frequent die breakage on the "Flying Eagle" cent. After three years of production the "Flying Eagle" was suspended.

     

Flying Eagle One Cent Specs.

Designer: James Barton Longacre using Christian Gobrecht's eagle design
Diameter: 19 millimeters
Weight: 4.7 grams
Content: 88% copper 12% nickel
Edge: Plain
Mint Mark: None (Philadelphia)
Flying Eagle Cent Mintage

Date/Mint Circulation Strikes
1856 About 750
1857 17,450,000
1858 24,600,000

Flying Eagle Small Cent Grading

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Indian Head Cent 1859 - 1909

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Indian Head One Cent Coin (Type 1) Obverse Indian Head One Cent Coin (Type 1) Reverse

Type 1 No Shield
on Reverse (1859)

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Indian Head One Cent Coin (Type 2) Obverse Indian Head One Cent Coin (Type 2) Reverse

Type 2 Copper-Nickel
alloy (1860-1864)

The Flying Eagle cent had barely begun to circulate when Mint Director James Ross Snowden instructed Chief Engraver James B. Longacre to start preparing new designs, one of which would be chosen to replace it. This was because of deficiencies in the design of the Flying Eagle cent (it often emerged weakly struck, especially at the eagle's tail and wingtip).

Director Snowden suggested that Longacre fashion a head of Christopher Columbus for the cent. Even though he had created the flying eagle cent, Longacre threw himself into the task and created more than a dozen pattern cents. Eventually, Longacre came up with an alternative that Snowden liked even better than Columbus. It was a portrait of an Indian girl- or more likely a Caucasian-wearing a feathered headdress. Modern historians believe the Indian Head was apparently modeled after the Greco-Roman statue of Venus Accroupie.

Like its Flying Eagle predecessor, the Indian Head cent started out as a copper-nickel coin, made from an alloy whose light color led to its being called a "white" cent. Most experts agree that his idea was indeed inspired, for the Indian Head cent won immediate and enduring acclaim from the American public.

Click to view 1860 Example.
Click to view 1860 Example.

The reverse laurel wreath design was modified in 1860 to an oak wreath and a Union shield. Reasons for the change are uncertain even today. Some historians have speculated that because the events leading to the Civil War were building, the shield was intended to portray a sense of unity. Anticipating war, jittery Americans from both north and south began hoarding gold and silver coins and by the summer of 1862, precious metal coins virtually disappeared from circulation.

Not being made of precious metal, cents continued to circulate for a while longer. At the time, it seemed unlikely that people would hoard the bronze one cents coins. The smaller copper-nickel coins issued since the Flying Eagle cents were worth less as metal than as money. This was unusual since most U. S. coins (other than the small one cent) had high intrinsic value. Most Americans demanded this in their coinage. In spite of this, the public welcomed the small one cent coin, since the larger one cent coins were too cumbersome for normal use.

Copper-nickel Indian Head cents were minted annually from 1860 through 1864, but in 1864 the alloy was changed to bronze. All Indian Head cents were minted at the Philadelphia Mint until 1908 when they were struck in both Philadelphia and San Francisco.

     

Indian Head Cents Specs.

Type 1 No Shield on Reverse (1859)
Designer: James B. Longacre
Weight: 4.67 grams
Diameter: 19 millimeters
Edge: Plain
Content: 88% copper 12% nickel
Mint Mark: None (Philadelphia)

Type 2 Shield on Reverse (1860 - 1864)
Designer: James B. Longacre

Type 3 (1865 - 1909)
Content: Bronze
Mint Mark: Reverse (1908 1909 - below wreath)
Indian Head Cent Mintage

Date/Mint Circulation Strikes Date/Mint Circulation Strikes
Copper Nickel, W/O Shield (1859)
1859 36,400,000
Copper Nickel W/Shield (1860 - 1864)
1860 20,566,000 1861 10,100,000
1862 28,075,000 1863 49,840,000
1864 13,740,000
Bronze W/Shield (1864 - 1909)
1864 39,233,714 1864 L 5,000,000
1865 35,429,286 1866 9,286,500
1867 9,821,000 1868 10,266,500
1869 6,420,000 1870 5,275,000
1871 3,929,500 1872 4,042,000
1873 11,676,500 1874 14,187,500
1875 13,528,000 1876 7,944,000
1877 852,500 1878 5,797,500
1879 16,228,000 1880 38,961,000
1881 39,208,000 1882 38,578,000
1883 45,591,500 1884 23,257,800
1885 11,761,594 1886 17,650,000
1887 45,223,523 1888 37,489,832
1889 48,866,025 1890 57,180,114
1891 47,070,000 1892 37,647,087
1893 46,640,000 1894 16,749,500
1895 38,341,474 1896 39,055,431
1897 50,464,392 1898 49,281,284
1899 53,598,000 1900 66,831,502
1901 79,609,158 1902 87,374,704
1903 85,092,703 1904 61,326,198
1905 80,717,011 1906 96,020,530
1907 108,137,143
1908 32,326,367 1908 S 1,115,000
1909 14,368,470 1909 S 309,000

Indian Head Cent Grading

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Lincoln Head Cent 1909 - Present

Despite the objections of putting a historical figure on a U.S. coin, President Theodore Roosevelt ask designer Victor D. Brenner to come up with a design to place President Lincoln on the one cent coin. Brenners design was timed to be introduced in 1909 to honor the nation's 16th president on his 100th birthday. The first coins struck (June to Aug. 5) had the initials v.d.b. at six o'clock on the reverse side and for the first time on the cent, the motto IN GOD WE TRUST at 12 o'clock on the obverse. The controversy over Lincoln's portrait soon died away; most Americans found the design appealing.

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Lincoln One Cent Coin (Type 1) Obverse Lincoln One Cent Coin (Type 1) Reverse

Type 1 Lincoln Cent
(1909 - 1942)

A controversy developed over the first few examples of the coin that were found to bear the initials V.D.B. in large letters at the reverse. This led to their removal which resulted in a major rarity. Since only 484,000 of these cents were minted in San Francisco with the initials, the 1909-S V.D.B. cent has become the most coveted coin in the Lincoln series. The 1909-S without the V.D.B. are four times more common but still difficult to find. Brenner's initials (V.D.B.) was later restored in 1918, but in smaller letters, and on Lincoln's shoulders.

Click to view 1909 Example
Click to view 1909 VDB Example

The Lincoln cent production was substantial from the beginning. The Philadelphia (with no mint mark) and San Francisco (with a S mint mark) was the first producers, in 1911 the Denver mint began producing one cent coins also. Philadelphia (the largest producer) minted more than 100 million cents in 1909 and in 1941 topped the one billion coin production for the first time.

Only two coins in the early part of the series (before 1940) have mintages below one million, they are the 1909-S V.D.B. and the 1931-S (866,000). The great depression era is sited as the reason for such low mintage of the 31-S. Several other issues are coveted as key coins in the Lincoln series, they are the 1910-S, 1911-S, 1912-S, 1913-S, 1914-S, 1914-D, 1915-S and 1924-D.

One Lincoln of some notoriety is the 1922 plain. This coin is in fact an error coin: no one cent coins were minted in Philadelphia in 1922. The 1922 plain was the results of the D being filled with metal and therefore it was not stamped on the coin.

Type 2 - Lincoln Cent Zinc over Steel (1943)

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Lincoln One Cent Coin (Type 2) Obverse Lincoln One Cent Coin (Type 2) Reverse

Type 2 Steel Cent
(1943 only)

During World War II zinc-coated steel plachets replaced the copper plachets normally used. The zinc, unfortunately, quickly deteriorates in use and the public complained the coin was easily confused with dimes. An error was made that year when several 1943 cents were struck using bronze plachets and a slightly larger number of 1944 cents were struck in steel. Both are very valuable. One specimen of the 1943-D sold in 2010 for $1.7 million. Bronze Plachets were resumed after the failed experiment. The design was not changed until 1959 when the Lincoln Memorial replaced the wheat on the reverse.

Click to view 1955 ONE CENT example.




     

Lincoln Cent Type 1 Specs.

Designer: Victor David Brenner
Diameter: 19 millimeters
Content: 95% Copper 5% Tin/Zinc
Weight: 3.11 grams
Edge: Plain

Type 2 Steel
Content: 100% steel thin zinc coating
Weight: 2.7 grams
Lincoln Cent Mintage 1909 - 1958

Date/Mint Circulation Strikes Date/Mint Circulation Strikes Date/Mint Circulation Strikes
Type 1 Lincoln Cent
1909 VDB 27,995,000 1909 S VDB 484,000 1909 72,700,000
1909 S 1,825,000 1910 146,798,813 1910 S 6,045,000
1911 101,176,054 1911 D 12,672,000 1911 S 4,026,000
1912 68,150,915 1912 D 10,411,000 1912 S 4,431,000
1913 76,529,504 1913 D 15,804,000 1913 S 6,101,000
1914 75,237,067 1914 D 1,193,000 1914 S 4,137,000
1915 29,090,970 1915 D 22,050,000 1915 S 4,833,000
1916 131,832,627 1916 D 35,956,000 1916 S 22,510,000
1917 196,429,785 1917 D 55,120,000 1917 S 32,620,000
1918 288,104,634 1918 D 47,830,000 1918 S 34,680,000
1919 392,021,000 1919 D 57,154,000 1919 S 139,760,000
1920 310,165,000 1920 D 49,280,000 1920 S 46,220,000
1921 39,157,000 1921 S 15,274,000 1922 D 7,160,000
1922 no D ? 1923 74,723,000 1923 S 8,700,000
1924 75,178,000 1924 D 2,520,000 1924 S 11,696,000
1925 139,949,000 1925 D 22,580,000 1925 S 26,380,000
1926 157,088,000 1926 D 28,020,000 1926 S 4,550,000
1927 144,440,000 1927 D 27,170,000 1927 S 14,276,000
1928 134,116,000 1928 D 31,170,000 1928 S 17,266,000
1929 185,262,000 1929 D 41,730,000 1929 S 50,148,000
1930 157,415,000 1930 D 40,100,000 1930 S 24,286,000
1931 19,396,000 1931 D 4,480,000 1931 S 866,000
1932 9,062,000 1932 D 10,500,000 1933 14,360,000
1933 D 6,200,000 1934 219,080,000 1934 D 28,446,000
1935 245,388,000 1935 D 47,000,000 1935 S 38,702,000
1936 309,632,000 1936 D 40,620,000 1936 S 29,130,000
1937 309,170,000 1937 D 50,430,000 1937 S 34,500,000
1938 156,682,000 1938 D 20,010,000 1938 S 15,180,000
1939 316,466,000 1939 D 15,160,000 1939 S 52,070,000
1940 586,810,000 1940 D 81,390,000 1940 S 112,940,000
1941 887,018,000 1941 D 128,700,000 1941 S 92,360,000
1942 657,796,000 1942 D 206,698,000 1942 S 85,590,000
Type 2 Lincoln Cent (1943 only)
1943 684,628,670 1943 D 217,660,000 1943 S 191,550,000
Type 1 Lincoln Cent Resumed
Date/mint Circulation Strikes Date/mint Circulation Strikes Date/mint Circulation Strikes
1944 1,435,000,000 1944-D 430,578,000 1944-S 282,760,000
1945 1,040,515,000 1945-D 266,268,000 1945-S 181,770,000
1946 991,655,000 1946-D 315,690,000 1946-S 198,100,000
1947 190,555,000 1947-D 194,750,000 1947-S 99,000,000
1948 317,570,000 1948-D 172,637,500 1948-S 81,735,000
1949 217,775,000 1949-D 153,132,500 1949-S 64,290,000
1950 272,635,000 1950-D 334,950,000 1950-S 118,505,000
1951 284,576,000 1951-D 625,355,000 1951-S 136,010,000
1952 186,775,000 1952-D 746,130,000 1952-S 137,800,004
1953 256,755,000 1953-D 700,515,000 1953-S 181,835,000
1954 71,640,050 1954-D 251,552,500 1954-S 96,190,000
1955 330,580,000 1955-D 563,257,500 1955-S 44,610,000
1956 420,745,000 1956-D 1,098,201,100
1957 282,540,000 1957-D 1,051,342,000
1958 252,525,000 1958-D 800,953,300

Lincoln Wheat Cent Grading

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Type 3 Lincoln Memorial One Cent (1959 - 2008)

In celebration of Lincoln's 150th birthday, the Mint gave the one cent coin a new reverse with Lincoln's Memorial depicted on it.

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Lincoln One Cent Coin (Type 3) Obverse Lincoln One Cent Coin (Type 3) Reverse

Type 3 Lincoln Memorial
(1959 2008)

There are several varieties and mint errors in the Memorial Reverse series. Both the Philadelphia and Denver issues have both Large and Small date varieties in 1960. Proof sets in 1979-S and 1981-S have two distinct mint mark types. Double Die varieties are well know on the front of some 1972, 1984 and 1995 cents also on the reverse of some 1983 cents. Both Wide and Close AM (in AMERICA) varieties can be found on the 1996, 1998, 1998-S, 1999, 1999-S, and 2000 one cents.

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In 1982 the alloy used for the cent was changed. Copper-plated zinc was the new alloy, and the weight was changed from 3.11 grams to 2.5 grams. Some 1982 cents were struck on the old 95% copper planchets and others on the new metal. This combined with Large and Small date varieties caused 1982 to have eight varieties of coins. The set of 1982 include: 1982 Large Date Bronze, 1982 Small Date Bronze, 1982 Large Date Zinc, 1982 Small Date Zinc, 1982-D Large Date Bronze, 1982-D Large Date Zinc, 1982-D Small Date Zinc, and the 1982-S proof. There is no 1982-D Small Date Bronze variety.

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Type 3 Lincoln Memorial Specs.

Reverse Designer: Frank Gasparro 1959 - 1982
Composition: copper and zinc
Weight: 3.11 grams
Diameter: 19 mm
Edge: Plain

1982 Composition: copper-plated zinc
Weight: 2.5 grams

Type 3 Lincoln Memorial Cent Mintage

Date/Mint Circulation Strikes Date/Mint Circulation strikes Date/Mint Circulation Strikes
1959 609,715,000 1959 D 1,279,760,000 1960 586,405,000
1960 D 1,580,884,000 1961 753,345,000 1961 D 1,753,266,700
1962 606,045,000 1962 D 1,793,148,400 1963 754,110,000
1963 D 1,774,020,400 1964 2,648,575,000 1964 D 3,799,071,500
1965 1,497,224,900 1966 2,188,147,783 1967 3,048,667,100
1968 1,707,880,970 1968 D 2,886,269,600 1968 S 258,270,001
1969 1,136,910,000 1969 D 4,002,832,200 1969 S 544,375,000
1970 1,898,315,000 1970 D 2,891,438,900 1970 S 690,560,004
1971 1,919,490,000 1971 D 2,911,045,600 1971 S 525,133,459
1972 2,933,255,000 1972 D 2,665,071,400 1972 S 376,939,108
1973 3,728,245,000 1973 D 3,549,576,588 1973 S 317,177,295
1974 4,232,140,523 1974 D 4,235,098,000 1974 S 409,426,660
1975 5,451,476,142 1975 D 4,505,275,300 1976 4,674,292,426
1976 D 4,221,592,455 1977 4,469,930,000 1977 D 4,194,062,300
1978 5,558,605,000 1978 D 4,280,233,400 1979 6,018,515,000
1979 D 4,139,357,254 1980 7,414,705,000 1980 D 5,140,098,660
1981 7,491,750,000 1981 D 5,373,235,677 1982 10,712,525,000
1982 D 6,012,979,368 1983 7,752,355,000 1983 D 6,467,199,428
1984 8,151,079,000 1984 D 5,569,238,906 1985 5,648,489,887
1985 D 5,287,399,926 1986 4,491,395,493 1986 D 4,442,866,698
1987 4,682,466,931 1987 D 4,879,389,514 1988 6,092,810,000
1988 D 5,253,740,443 1989 7,261,535,000 1989 D 5,345,467,111
1990 6,851,765,000 1990 D 4,922,894,533 1991 D 4,158,442,076
1992 4,648,905,000 1992 D 4,448,673,300 1993 5,684,705,000
1993 D 6,426,650,571 1994 6,500,850,000 1994 D 7,131,765,000
1995 6,411,440,000 1995 D 7,128,560,000 1996 6,612,465,000
1996 D 6,510,795,000 1997 4,622,800,000 1997 D 4,576,555,000
1998 5,032,200,000 1998 D 5,225,200,000 1999 5,237,600,000
1999 D 6,360,065,000 2000 5,503,200,000 2000 D 8,774,220,000
2001 4,959,600,000 2001 D 5,374,990,000 2002 3,260,800,000
2002 D 4,028,055,000 2003 3,300,000,000 2003 D 3,548,000,000
2004 3,379,600,000 2004 D 3,456,400,000 2005 3,935,600,000
2005 D 3,764,450,500 2006 4,290,000,000 2006 D 3,944,000,000
2007 3,762,400,000 2007 D 3,638,800,000 2008 2,558,800,000
2008 D 2,849,600,000

Lincoln Bicentennial Type 4, 5, 6 & 7

The 1909 issue of the Lincoln cent was in celebration of Lincoln's 100th birthday. For the sesquicentennial celebration in 1959 the Wheat Reverse was changed to the Memorial Reverse. In 2009 to recognize the bicentennial of Lincoln's birth and the 100th anniversary of the Lincoln cent, the Presidential $1 Coin Act, passed in 2005 also authorized the Mint to issue four different reverse designs in 2009

The four revere designs represented four major periods of Lincoln's life:
The first (Type 4) Birth & Childhood, shows a log cabin that symbolic of his childhood in Kentucky.
The Second (Type 5) symbolizes the Formative Years with Lincoln educating himself while resting from splitting logs.
The third (Type 6) symbolizes Lincoln's Professional Life standing in front of the State of Illinois Capitol building.
The Fourth (Type 7) symbolizes Lincoln's Presidency it shows the U. S. Capitol under construction as it was in Lincoln's time in office.

2009 Lincoln Bicentennial One Cent Coin obverse

Obverse

2009 Lincoln Bicentennial One Cent Coin (Log Cabin) reverse

Childhood
Type 4

2009 Lincoln Bicentennial One Cent Coin (Formative Years) reverse

Formative Years
Type 5

2009 Lincoln Bicentennial One Cent Coin (Professional Life) reverse

Professional Life
Type 6

2009 Lincoln Bicentennial One Cent Coin (Presidency) reverse

The Presidency
Type 7

  

Lincoln Bust (All) Specs.

Obverse Designer: Victor David Brenner

2009 Type 4 Childhood (Log Cabin) Specifications
Reverse Designer: Richard Masters, engraved by Jim Licaretz
2009 Type 5 Indiana (Formative) Specifications
Reverse Designer: Charles Vickers
2009 Type 6 (Professional Life) Specifications
Reverse Designer: Joel Iskowitz, engraved by Don Everhart
2009 Type 7 (Presidency) Specifications
Reverse Designer: Susan Gamble, engraved by Joseph Menna

Content: Core: 99.2% Zinc, .8% Copper
Weight: 2.5 grams
Diameter: 19 millimeters
Edge: Plain
Mint: Philadelphia / Denver
Type 4, 5, 6 & 7 Lincoln Cent Mintage

Date/Mint Circulation Strikes Date/Mint Circulation Strikes Date/Mint Circulation Strikes Date/Mint Circulation Strikes
Type 4
Kentucky Childhood
Type 5
Indiana (Formative) Years
Type 6
Professional Life in Illinois
Type 7
Presidency
2009 284,800,000 2009 376,000,000 2009 316,000,000 2009 129,600,000
2009 D 350,000,000 2009 D 363,600,000 2009 D 336,000,000 2009 D 198,000,000

Preservation Shield Type 8 (2010 Present)

Lincoln One Cent Coin (Type 8) Obrerse Lincoln One Cent Coin (Type 8) Reverse

Type 8 Preservation Shield
(2010 Present)

The sane act that authorized the four new reverse designs for 2009 called for a new reverse to be designed for 2010. This design was to be emblematic of President Lincoln's preservation of the United States of America as a single and united country. The Union Shield reverse design was chosen, and the composition for this issues was copper-plated zinc.











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Lincoln Shield Cent Specifications

Obverse Designer: Victor David Brenner
Reverse Designer: Lyndall Bass, engraved by Joseph Menna
Content: Core: 99.2% Zinc, .8% Copper
Weight: 2.5 grams
Diameter: 19 millimeters
Edge: Plain
Mint: Philadelphia/Denver
Type 8 Lincoln Shield Cent Mintage

Date/Mint Circulation Strikes Date/Mint Circulation Strikes
2010 1,963,630,000 2010 D 2,047,200,000
2011 2,402,400,000 2011 D 2,536,140,000
2012 3,132,000,000 2012 D 2,883,200,000
2013 3,750,400,000 2013 D 3,319,600,000
2014 3,990.800,000 2014-D 4,155.600,000
2015 4,691.300,000 2015-D 4,674.000,000
2016 1,600.400,000 2016-D 1,534.800,000