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CopperCollector's Blog

04 Mar 2021

Die Varieties and Variation of the Large Cent

Coins | CopperCollector

Before I start I would like to give a define Varieties vs. Variation. Varieties almost always come from the hand engraved dyes you know like a engraver makes one die and then the next one the letter U is slightly bent. A Variation would be if the engraver didn't quite like how the coin was coming out so he made a change. Another reason could be that the mint had gotten a new engraver mid way through coinage. Both ways have affected coinage like the 1794 large cents I have two pictures of the varieties, the designer must have never been happy with his design.So with that knowledge I will first talk about the Varieties. Varieties are a more advanced way to collect large cents. With over 1200 different known it makes sense that nobody has ever completed a collection. The way that the large cent varieties are ranked on rarity is like this:1-2 the most common varieties of the most common years3-4 more common years but rarer varieties5-7 scarcer years and scarcer varieties8-10 very scare years and very scarce varieties10-12 rare years and rare varieties13-14 very rare years and very rare varieties15 only one to three specimens known to existA very useful guide the large cent varieties is the book I have been reading United States Coins 1793-1857. So now that you know how the rarity scale works we will jump in to how to identify your varieties. Many large cent Numismatists have to use a magnifying glass to see all the little items that make up the varieties. Most commonly used for reference on the obverse is the dates position to the bust, on later issues the angle of the coronet to the 5th & 6th stars, the stars are also used in finding the position of letters on the reverse. Which brings us to the reverse to further your surety of the type the reverse is used. Things like how many berries, what direction the leaf is pointing, and as I said earlier the letters position to the stars, finally the lines and dots in between the word CENTS. Tools that large cent die varieties hunters use are: a piece of paper but I have heard of people using a metal wire, a magnifying glass, and most important a light source. That is a quick overview of the Varieties of the large cent.Now I will talk about the as I call them Variations of the Large Cent. As is said in the first paragraph the variations were caused by the engraver not being satisfied with the coin or the mint hiring a new engraver. Most of these variations can be found in the red book. 1793 the sprig of leaves changes 2-3 times creating the rare strawberry leaf large cent. 1794 had an amazing amount of varieties the red book lists 13 different types. To name a few there is the Beaded Border, my personal favorite the Jefferson Head, and the head of 1793, 1794, and 1795. Fast forwarding to 1807 there is the "comet variety" which there appears to be a comet streaking behind lady liberty's head. Other variations exist like the unicorn where lady liberty has got a spike coming of of her head, the snail or dolphin large cent where liberty has a bump above her head. All these coins could be a fun collection it would be pricy if you included all of the variations of the 1794 cent but you don't have to do that. Here are the basic facts I hoped you learned the rarity scale the varieties are different dies engraved and variation were are designers fixing the coin up mid way through the coinage.

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24 Feb 2021

Uses of the Large Cent.

Coins | CopperCollector

The Large Cent was not a popular coin. Since many people disliked the coin they were put to other uses. Here are a few; they were often bought in kegs and then melted for their copper, used as buttons, hotel keys, gun sights, gears, good luck pieces, made into saucers, they were also very commonly altered especially to the date 1815. Large Cents were also used in food. People would drop them into their pickle jar and the vinegar and brine would dissolve the large cent turning the pickles green. Medicine was another interesting use. A Large Cent was placed into a saucer and vinegar was lightly dumped on top. The verdigris that formed was then given to the patient throughout the day. Undertakers would put large cents on the eyelids of dead people to keep them shut. These coins were minted from 1793-1857 excluding 1815 and millions were made. But because of these uses many have been destroyed or made into culls. So to sum it up people really didn't like the large cents.

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18 Feb 2021

The 1793 yellow fever.

Coins | CopperCollector

The year 1793 was a tough year for Philadelphia. The mint was closed for the greater part of the summer this is a reason for the 1793 cents rarity. It all started in August of 1793 before it had started many doctors had not seen any changes in their patients health. But with the arrival of the Santo Domingo, AMELIA, SANS CILLOTE, FLORA and many other ships that had come from harbors and ports infected with the dreaded yellow fever. August 7, the Mary arrived into the harbor its captain sailed to shore with symptoms of yellow fever. Before long people everywhere near the docks were either sick or staying inside many of the streets had been deserted. August 7, a young daughter of Dr. Hodge died of yellow fever known to them as "Bilious fever." The cases were rising with extreme rapidity in Philadelphia. A notable physician through the yellow fever was Dr. Benjamin Rush. This man worked so hard through the fever that he would attend close to a hundred cases a day. Later he was criticized. Every time a yellow fever pandemic broke out the mint would close. That is why most coins from the 1700s are very rare. Yellow fever deaths at the mint were: Joseph Wright the chief engraver his wife, Jonathan D. Sargeant who was the son in law of Rittenhouse. August 26, the government finally took over the situation they said "all unnecessary contact with infected persons should be avoided" also the houses with sick people inside would be marked. Dr. Benjamin Rush was also infected by yellow fever but by his own method of bleeding himself he soon was well and was later established as the treasurer of the United States Mint. The yellow fever of 1793 was an awful ordeal it lasted from August 16, to November 14. 1793 was the year of the large cent and half cent. Two different reverses were used and only one obverse. No.1 reverse had a chain with 15 links in it representing the 15 states of the U.S.A. This design was discarded because many people thought the chain symbolized slavery. So it was changed to a wreath which would be No. 2. Three distinct varieties exist the first AMERI in legend, AMERICA with periods, and AMERICA without periods. The wreath cent has different edges there is the Vine and Bars edge, and the Lettered edge. The leaf under the depiction of liberty also changes there is the ultra rare strawberry leaf with only about 4 specimens known to exist. The 1793 half cent had no big differences throughout the year it was basically the same design. During the 1793 pandemic the mint had trouble minting coins but they still made a couple of coins for Numismatists to enjoy.

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10 Feb 2021

Numismatic firsts part2

Coins | CopperCollector

Here is part two of numismatic firsts. I have learned many things from this and I hope you will to. So without further ado here is what I have got.

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04 Feb 2021

Numismatic firsts part1

Coins | CopperCollector

I will talk about all of the firsts from the 1700s. all of the coins are very rare that were minted then so getting an example will be difficult anyways we can still enjoy them right.

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01 Feb 2021

Wheat Cent

Coins | CopperCollector

This is a 1958D wheat cent. 800,933,000 were minted so it is a common date. But I was looking through my Red Book and I kind of think it resembles a mirror proof. My coin was found while roll hunting. Please comment on what you think it is. Thanks for reading.

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08 Jan 2021

Roll Hunting

| CopperCollector

Hi today I will give some tips on roll hunting. Since I started roll hunting I have found and added to my collection many cool coins. Things you should gather before starting would be a guide book of United States coins also known as the "Red Book" a magnifying glass and your favorite mint error reference guide. Coins to look for are pre 1965 half dollar, quarters, and dimes. Mint error coins are also coins to look for. Notable coins I have found are two silver quarters two buffalo nickels and a 1958D wheat cent in probably AU. Another place to look is the coin star machine discard trey and hole. Canadian coins can be found "magnetized" to the edge. Hopefully you learned something from this blog. Happy hunting.

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