Coronet Head Cent (1816-1839)

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The so-called Matron Head (a term devised by Kenneth E. Bressett) copper was produced in several variations from 1816 through 1837 (plus 1839/6). In 1837, a major change was made in that Miss Liberty's hair cords were changed from plain to beaded. In 1839, the curiously-named Silly Head and Booby Head portrait coins were made, only for this year.

EARLY ISSUES: As shown on the 816 cent, Miss Liberty is restyled and now sports a serious, even severe mien. Her hair is tied behind her head in a bun, with two plain cords, with additional tresses hanging downward. In her hair a diadem or coronet is inscribed LIBERTY. Thirteen stars surround, interrupted by the date at the bottom.

The reverse is stylistically similar to that used in 1808-1814 and consists of a continuous wreath tied with a ribbon, enclosing ONE CENT, with UNITED STATES OF AMERICA surrounding. This particular obverse style was used only on large cents and, unlike certain other large cent motifs, had no counterpart in the half cent series. In 1835 the head was slightly restyled; the change is most obvious at the point of the neck truncation. This new style is found on some 1835, all 1836 (and 1839/6) and some 1837 piece and is distinguished by the small tip to the neck.

Follow this external link to learn more about Coronet Head Large Cents