Large cent love
If I had another collecting life, I would spend it collecting large cents.
The large cent collector is special. He/she is a true numismatist, not afraid to go against the crowd, collecting these coins because the coins are lovely, quaint, historical, varied. One lifetime may not be enough to assemble a great collection. A complete collection has never been achieved, and probably never will be. The large cent specialist may even discover the next scarce variety.
A large cent specialist needs to appreciate history. He/she loves research, poring over old reference books and auction catalogs, absorbing every detail, always learning something new about 200 year old coins.
An eye for detail is required. A glance at the Red Book shows the many varieties available, from overdates to senseless fractions to branches, berries, Silly Heads and Booby Heads. Don't forget the edge devices.
Collectors who want only super-duper Mint State coins would not fit. Many large cents are well worn. They went out and did the job they were created to do. Sometimes the best known specimen is graded VG or less. The copper can show different colors, from attractive to ordinary to unnatural to ugly.
An argument can be made that large cents are the coins that began coin collecting. When the large cent was discontinued in 1857, people tried to collect one of each year. The 1799 was rarely found. This was the birth year of a collector, who learned of the rarity of this coin when he searched for one.
Large cents are what numismatics is all about.
Wonderful article. Agree 100%. Beautiful to see, to own and to research.
Someone could spend a lifetime on Large Cents. Others could literally spend their life on 1794 Large Cents. The 2016 Deluxe Edition Red Book lists 67 varieties of 1794 Large Cents, with 8-12 pretty rare.
The Coin Student
I like large cents. The only one I own was given to me, as part of the ANA YN Early America Copper Coin Project. It's a 1853 large cent in VF condition. I especially like the reverse on mine. I hope to collect more over the years to come. Thanks for posting a blog about large cents.
I love large cents. There is so much to learn from them.
A very challenging series.
I like large cents. If I had my way I would own as many as I could. I love copper in coins from all over the world. There's something about them. And you don't need a MS 65. Just to own them is good enough for me! Thanks for the blog!
I agree. I, stupidly, sold a couple Large Cents that I got for nothing. I kick myself ever since. I would never part with one again! Thanks!!
Pliny The Elder
I agree, love large cents. Big pieces of copper are very attractive as far as collecting goes, in my opinion.