Coronet large cent

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Coronet large cent
United States
Value0.01 U.S. Dollar
Mass10.89 g
Diameter29 (1836–1839) or 27 (1839–1857 and 1868) mm
Composition100% Cu
Years of minting1816–1857 and 1868
Mint marksNone; all large cents were minted at the Philadelphia Mint.
1819 cent obv.jpg
DesignerRobert Scot
Design date1816
1837 cent obv.jpg
DesignerRobert Scot (original design), Christian Gobrecht (modified design)
Design date1836
1839 Braided Hair cent obverse.jpg
DesignLiberty, Braided Hair, Petite Head
DesignerRobert Scot (original design), Christian Gobrecht (modified design)
Design date1839
1855 cent obv.jpg
DesignLiberty, Braided Hair, Mature Head
DesignerRobert Scot (original design), Christian Gobrecht (modified design)
Design date1843
1819 cent rev.jpg
DesignerRobert Scot
Design date1816
1855 cent rev.jpg
DesignerRobert Scot (original design), Christian Gobrecht (modified design)
Design date1839

The Coronet large cent was a type of large cent issued by the United States Mint at the Philadelphia Mint from 1816 until 1839.

There are two similar designs of the Coronet large cent, the Matron Head and the Braided Hair, the latter with a slightly altered profile. This was the last large cent produced by the mint, being replaced by the reduced diameter Flying Eagle cent in 1857.


During the War of 1812, a trade embargo was imposed between the United States and England, which had supplied the US Mint with copper planchets.[1] The mint's supply was exhausted in 1814, and no Classic Head cents were produced dated 1815. It has often been written that no cents at all were struck that year, but coinage did resume in December of 1815 using an 1814 or 1816-dated die.[2]

Once the embargo was lifted and the mint received new planchets, large cent production resumed, this time with a new design of the goddess Liberty by Robert Scot. The design change was made because the Classic Head cents received much criticism.

In 1823, only proof cents were produced during the calendar year, all others were made in 1824 using back-dated dies.[3]

The new cents, known as Matron Head cents, were not much better, however, and numismatist Walter H. Breen called the design "a spectacularly ugly head of Ms. Liberty".[4] In 1836, Christian Gobrecht made several modifications to the design, giving the bust of Liberty a younger appearance.

Gobrecht made further changes in 1839, creating the "Petite Head" Braided Hair cent. In 1843, the bust was enlarged and tilted upward, this design is known as the "Mature Head".


Matron Head varieties[edit]

Matron Head varieties (1816–1839)
Year Variety Mintage Notes
1816 2,820,982
1817 13 stars 3,948,400
15 stars error Likely to have been caused by Robert Scot's poor eyesight due to age
1818 3,167,000
1819 Standard date 2,671,000
9 over 8 error
1820 Small date 4,407,550
Large date
20 over 19 error Both small date and large date known[5]
1821 389,000
1822 2,072,339
1823 Standard date
3 over 2 error
Restrike An estimated 240 examples exist[6] Believed to have been created around the same time as the 1804 restrike large cent[7]
Silver restrike >2
1824 Standard date 1,262,000
4 over 2 error
1825 1,461,100
1826 Standard date 1,517,425
6 over 5 error
1827 2,357,732
1828 Large date 2,260,624
Small date
1829 Large lettering 1,414,500
Small lettering
1830 Large lettering 1,711,500
Small lettering
1831 Large lettering 3,359,260
Small lettering
1832 Large lettering 2,362,000
Small lettering
1833 2,739,000
1834 Small 8, large stars 1,855,100
Large 8, small stars
Large 8, large stars, small lettering
Large 8, large stars, large lettering
1835 Small 8, small stars 3,878,400
Large 8, large stars
Type of 1836
1836 2,111,000
1837 Type of 1837, large lettering 5,558,300
Type of 1837, small lettering
Type of 1838
1838 6,370,200
1839 Head of 1838 3,128,661
Head of 1838, 9 over 6 error
"Silly Head"
"Booby Head"

Braided Hair varieties[edit]

Braided Hair varieties (1839–1857; 1868)
Year Variety Mintage Notes
1839 3,128,661
1840 Small date 2,462,700
Large date
Small over large date error
1841 1,597,367
1842 Large date 2,383,390
Small date
1843 Small head, small lettering 2,425,342
Small head, large lettering
Large head
1844 Standard date 2,398,752
44 over 81 error In reality, the date was punched into the die upside-down, but was corrected by punching the date correctly[8][9]
1845 3,894,804
1846 Small date 4,120,800
Medium date
Tall date
1847 Standard date 6,183,669
Large over small 47
1848 Standard date 6,415,799
Small date (counterfeit) >10-12 Although this coin is a counterfeit, many numismatists include this coin in coin catalogs
1849 4,178,500
1850 4,426,844
1851 Standard date 9,889,707
51 over 81 This error is similar to the 44 over 81 error, and inverted date was corrected by punching the date correctly into the die[10]
1852 5,063,094
1853 6,641,131
1854 4,236,156
1855 Upright 55 1,574,829
Slanted 55
Slanted 55, knob on ear Error caused by a die break
1856 Upright 5 2,690,463
Slanted 5
1857 Large date 333,456
Small date
1868 Nickel >7 Pattern coins struck for collectors
Copper ≈12


An 1868 dime pattern struck with the Coronet large cent obverse.

The price of copper rose dramatically in the late-1840s, and the cost of producing large cents rose as a result. The US Mint started seeking an alternative that used less copper. The first attempt was to perforate the coin, resulting in the ring cents of 1850 and 1851. The standard composition of these coins was billon, an alloy of 90% copper and 10% silver. This coin was not placed into production as it was expensive to extract the silver from the alloy, and the coins were difficult to eject from the dies. Additionally, a drop in the price of copper temporarily eliminated the need to replace the large cent.

The price of copper rose again in the mid-1850s, and the mint again looked for an alternative cent. This time, the cent was reduced in size, only a little larger than a dime. Patterns for the Flying Eagle cent were struck in 1854, and proved to be a suitable replacement for the large cent. The small cent was approved for production in 1856, and several thousand 1856 Flying Eagle cents were sold to collectors. Full-scale production commenced in mid-1857, replacing the large cent last struck earlier that year.[11]

In 1868, eleven years after the last large cent was produced, a mint employee struck around a dozen and a half large cents dated 1868. These coins were struck in both copper and nickel planchets.[12][13] Also produced that year were about 2 dozen dime patterns were minted in nickel with the obverse die of the 1868 large cent, plus an additional 2 dozen pieces struck in copper.[14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Classic Head Large Cents (1808–1814)". Retrieved May 3, 2019.
  2. ^ Julian, R.W. (May 3, 2022). "Matron Head Cents 1816-1835". Numismatic News. No. Volume 71, Number 11. Active Interest Media.
  3. ^ Julian, R.W. (May 24, 2022). "U.S. Mint Reports and Coinage". No. Numismatic News. Active Interest Media.
  4. ^ "Coronet Head Large Cents (1816-1839)". Retrieved May 3, 2019.
  5. ^ "1817 Coronet Head Large Cent, 15 Stars". June 21, 2012. Retrieved May 1, 2019.
  6. ^ "1823 1C Private Restrike, BN (Regular Strike) Coronet Head Cent - PCGS CoinFacts". PCGS. Retrieved March 17, 2019.
  7. ^ "1823 Coronet Head Large Cent". June 21, 2012. Retrieved May 1, 2019.
  8. ^ "1844/81 1C, BN (Regular Strike) Braided Hair Cent - PCGS CoinFacts". PCGS. Retrieved May 1, 2019.
  9. ^ "1844/81 "Blundered Date" Braided Hair Large Cent". October 15, 2013. Retrieved May 1, 2019.
  10. ^ "1851/81 1C, BN (Regular Strike) Braided Hair Cent - PCGS CoinFacts". PCGS. Retrieved May 1, 2019.
  11. ^ "1857 Flying Eagle Cent". July 20, 2009. Retrieved May 3, 2019.
  12. ^ "J610/P675". Retrieved May 3, 2019.
  13. ^ "J611/P676". Retrieved May 3, 2019.
  14. ^ "J647/P720". Retrieved May 10, 2019.
Preceded by United States one-cent coin
Succeeded by