One Cent Types (1793-Date)

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Authorization

Together with the half cent, the large cent was one of two denominations to be struck at the Philadelphia Mint in the first year of regular coinage, 1793. The term large cent did not come into use until after the late 185Os, when a smaller cent was introduced, after which there was reason to compare.

Released in March 1793, the Chain-type large cent was the first regular issue coin to be produced at the Mint. Its authorization, as well as that for all initial denominations, came on April 2, 1792, but because Congress required security bonds to be posted before Mint officials could handle gold and silver bullion, there was a delay in production of almost all authorized denominations (with the exception of the 1792 half dime, struck on a privately owned press using silver supplied by President Washington)Research shows the Washington story to be probable myth. Except for the half dime, half cent, and cent, no denominations were produced for regular issue until 1794 and 1795.

Large cents were produced continuously from 1793 to 1857, with the solitary exception of the year 1815. More populous than the smaller half cents, the copper one-cent pieces were widely seen in the channels of commerce, but only in the northeastern section of the United States. So far as can be determined, such coins circulated extensively only as far west as Illinois and Michigan and about as far south as Virginia.

Follow this external link to learn more about Large Cents

An Overview of Flying Eagle and Indian Head Cents

Introduction

The Mint Act of February 21, 1857 ended the long reign of the 1793-1857 large cent, and provided for a new, small cent made of copper-nickel alloy. Since that time, one-cent pieces have been made to the standard of 19 mm diameter.

Alloys for the manufacturing of small cents have changed over the years, as have the designs. The evolution of the small cent is treated in the sections to follow. In brief, small cents are of the following major designs:

Flying Eagle design, 1857-1858, with patterns dated 1856. Indian design, 1859-1909. Lincoln design, 1909 to date.

Within these types are numerous important additional types, as delineated below.

The advanced collector may wish to acquire a copy of Flying Eagle & Indian Cents, by Richard Snow, 1992, as it gives much history concerning these series, and provides information pertaining to the rarity of dates and varieties.

Despite numerous public statements by various officials in the 1980s and 1908 to the effect that one-cent pieces have virtually no buying power on their own, it seems a certainty that these small coins will be with us for many years to come. The reason? They are needed to make change in transactions involving the pricing of goods at such figures as 99c, $1.78, etc., and, equally important, to pay state and local sales taxes.

Follow this external link to learn more about Flying Eagle and Indian Head Cents

An Overview of Lincoln Cents

Introduction

The Mint Act of February 21, 1857 ended the long reign of the 1793-1857 large cent, and provided for a new, small cent made of copper-nickel alloy. Since that time, one-cent pieces have been made to the standard of 19 mm diameter.

Alloys for the manufacturing of small cents have changed over the years, as have the designs. The evolution of the small cent is treated in the sections to follow. In brief, small cents are of the following major designs:

Flying Eagle design, 1857-1858, with patterns dated 1856. Indian design, 1859-1909. Lincoln design, 1909 to date.

Within these types are numerous important additional types, as delineated below. The advanced collector may wish to acquire a copy of Flying Eagle & Indian Cents, by Richard Snow, 1992, as it gives much history concerning these series, and provides information pertaining to the rarity of dates and varieties.

Follow this external link to learn more about Lincoln Cents

Classification of copper and its alloys

Family - Principal alloying element - UNS numbers

  • Copper alloys, brass Zinc (Zn) C1xxxx–C4xxxx,C66400–C69800
  • Phosphor bronzes Tin (Sn) C5xxxx
  • Aluminium bronzes Aluminium (Al) C60600–C64200
  • Silicon bronzes Silicon (Si) C64700–C66100
  • Copper nickel, nickel silvers Nickel (Ni) C7xxxx
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