Wreath cent

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1793 Flowing Hair Cent (wreath)

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.


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]


The 1793 Wreath Cent is featured in the 2014 novel The Automation.


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