Wreath cent

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The Wreath cent was an American large cent. It was the second design type, following the Chain cent in 1793. It was produced only during that year.

Obverse design[edit]

The obverse design consisted of a stylized Liberty head with flowing hair. The inscription "LIBERTY" appeared above the portrait. Below it was a three-leaved sprig and the date.[1] The design of the Liberty head was modified somewhat from that of the Chain cent to address public criticism.

Reverse design[edit]

The reverse's central design figure, for which the coin is named, was a wreath. The words "ONE CENT" appeared within the wreath, and the corresponding fraction "1/100" appeared beneath it. Along the outer edge was inscribed "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA". A decorative beaded border was added along the rim.

Varieties[edit]

Approximately 63,353 Wreath cents were struck. Early specimens featured a stylized "vine/bars" design on the edges of the planchet, which was identical to that of the earlier Chain cent. Later on, this was changed to a lettered edge reading "ONE HUNDRED FOR A DOLLAR". Early American copper collectors generally categorize the coins still further into thirteen different varieties under the Sheldon system.[2][3] Most of these variations entail relatively minor changes, and often require careful examination to discern. One variety, however, is far more recognizable: the "Strawberry Leaf". On these strikings, the trefoil sprig above the date took the form of a strawberry plant. Only four such specimens are known, and all are heavily circulated. The finest known Strawberry Leaf cent sold at auction for $414,000 in November 2004.[4]

References[edit]

Preceded by
Chain cent
United States one-cent coin
1793
Succeeded by
Liberty Cap cent