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Neil S Berman
Expert Numismatist & Rare Coin Dealer

Rare Coins - Cents

CENTS 1793-to date
Cents were among the first coins struck by the new United States Mint in Philadelphia in 1793. There are ten basic types of cents broken into two large sub categories, Large Cents from 1793 to 1857, and Small Cents, from 1856 and still made today. Large Cents are collectable in almost any condition, but the later types are often plentiful in circulated condition and do not command much in the way of price. Small Cents are sometimes incorrectly called “pennies”. As rule they have large mintages and except for a few scarce or rare dates are mostly common. I buy hundreds of Indian Head Cents and early Lincoln Cents every week, so much so that the very inexpensive average circulated coins are found in large boxes all over the office. Small Cents and Silver Dollars are in my opinion the two most popularly collected United States coins.


Chain Cents Chain Cents Wreath Cents Wreath Cents Liberty Cap Large Cents Liberty Cap Large Cents
Chain Cents
Wreath Cents
Liberty Cap Large Cents
1793 - 1796

Chain Cent 1793
Chain Cents are a rare and desirable one year type coin with a short total mintage of thirty six thousand coins, and are the first of the Large Cent size coins of the cent series of United States coins. Any Chain Cent in any condition is a precious prize and we buy and sell United States Chain Cents every chance we get.

Wreath Cent 1793
Wreath Cents are another one year type coin and are always desirable in any condition. There were sixty three thousand Wreath Cents minted at the United States Mint in Philadelphia. I personally consider the design one of my favorite of United States coins. We will buy and sell any United States Wreath Cent coin.

Liberty Cap 1793-1796
Chain and Wreath Cents were not popular designs among the early American who used these coins in commerce. The Liberty Cap Cent was designed to improve the look of our Large Cent, but the designer of this type is unknown. Perhaps a million and a half coins were made of this this type, making them difficult to find. We buy and sell United States Liberty Cap Large Cents.

Draped Bust Large Cents Draped Bust Large Cents Classic Large Cents Classic Large Cents Coronet Large Cents Coronet Large Cents
Draped Bust Large Cents
1796 - 1807
Classic Large Cents
1808 - 1814
Coronet Large Cents
1816 - 1839

Draped Bust 1796-1807
Another United States Large Cent designed by Robert Scot, this type is very popular with collectors. With a total mintage of over ten million coins, this type shows up all the time, particularly in the lower grades. The 1799 is the key to this type and not often seen. We buy and sell Draped Bust Large Cents.

Classic Head 1808-1814
This is a popular but common type large cent. There are basically no scarce or rare dates in the short lived series to recommend it to collectors other than as a type. We buy and sell United States Classic Head Large Cents.

Coronet or Liberty Head 1816-1839
The Coronet Large Cent or sometimes called the Liberty Head Large Cent is divided into two basic subtypes.  The first is the Matron Head Large Cent 1816-1835, a long Large Cent type with a mintage of over thirty million coins in nineteen years it was current. There are virtually endless varieties including large dates, small dates and over dates for the large cent collector with patience, time and good eyesight. The Young Head Large Cent 1835-1839, The Young Head is a modified Matron Head design, and all the dates in this series common. We buy and sell Matron Head Large Cents, Young Head Large Cents, Coronet Large Cents or Liberty Head Large Cents, regardless of what you call them.

Braided Hair Large Cents Braided Hair Large Cents Flying Eagle Cents Flying Eagle Cents Indian Cents Indian Cents
Braided Hair Large Cents
1839 - 1857
Flying Eagle Cents
1856- 1858
Indian Cents
1859 - 1909

Braided Hair 1839-1857
The most common and available of all of the Large Cent types, there is nothing but common dates for the eighteen years this type was current. We buy and sell United States Braided Hair Large Cents. This is the last of the large cent types. In 1857 this size was abandoned and the new reduced size small cents were minted.

Flying Eagle 1856-1858
The Flying Eagle Cent designed by James Longacre was the first small cent coined by the United States Mint in Philadelphia. They were very popular immediately and were saved in great numbers, in addition to which over forty one million were minted. The 1856 is generally considered a pattern although it is collected with the other two years of the series.

Indian Head 1859-1909
The small size Indian Head Cents come in three sub varieties and all are popular and collectable. Most are common in circulated conditions. The first is type is the Laurel Wreath Reverse of 1859 in copper-nickel.  The second is the Oak Wreath Reverse of 1860-1864 in copper nickel, and the last is the Indian Head of 1864-1909 in bronze. We buy and sell all Flying age Cents, Copper-Nickel Cents and Indian Head Cents.

Lincoln Cent Lincoln Cent
Lincoln Cent
1909 to Date

Lincoln 1909-1958
The Lincoln Cent is the last of the small cents and is still manufactured today, although with only a few exceptions many collectors stop collecting them after 1958 when the reverse changed from Wheat Ears or Wheat Backs are they are sometime called, to the Memorial design. The first years were saved in quantity; in fact I have purchased 1909 cents mint in the roll on several occasions. The 1943 comes minted only in Steel except for a few errors in bronze. We buy and sell early United States Lincoln Cents.

Photographs © 2013 Professional Coin Grading Service. All rights reserved. Used with permission.



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