One Cent, Classic Head, Coin Type from United States - detailed information

One Cent, Classic Head, Coin Type from United States (issued 1808 - 1814)
Coin TypeOne Cent, Classic Head

The United States one-cent coin (often called a penny, from the British coin of the same name) is a unit of currency equalling one-hundredth of a United States dollar. The cent's symbol is ¢. It has been the lowest-value physical unit of U.S. currency since the abolition of the half-cent in 1857.

The earliest one cent coins were large and made of copper. In 1793, two short-lived types were struck: the Flowing Hair / Chain Cent and the Flowing Hair / Wreath Cent. Their design was met with heavy criticism, so the Philadelphia Mint discontinued them and later in the year updated the denomination to an obverse design featuring a figure of Miss Liberty and a pole with a Liberty cap on it, known as the Liberty Cap Cent. These were only issued until 1796, after which time the Draped Bust type of One Cent coins was issued until 1807.

Between 1808 and 1814, the one cent denomination had this "Classic Head" obverse. The Classic Head interpretation of Liberty was designed by John Reich for use on the half cent and the one cent; a different design, by by William Kneass, was used on the silver and gold coins. The Classic Head depicts Liberty with long, curly hair. The reverse, also designed by John Reich, shows the coin's denomination and value inside a wreath. Beginning in 1831, new equipment at the mint and modified dies produced a raised rim on both sides of the coins.

This design persisted on the half cent denomination until 1836, but was discontinued on the one cent after 1814; in 1816, the new "Liberty Head" cent was introduced instead.

The large copper format of the one cent denomination was discontinued by the Coinage Act of February 21, 1857 and was replaced by a smaller bronze coin. While withdrawn from circulation and not used any more, these coins have never been officially demonetised though.

United States / One Cent, Classic Head - obverse photo

The obverse of the coin shows, within a denticled (toothed) border, the bust of Liberty, facing left, with long curly hair tied with a fillet (ribbon).

On the ribbon, the inscription LIBERTY.

Thirteen six-pointed stars (seven around left and six around right) represent the first thirteen states that formed the United States.

Around below, the date of issue: [year].

Obverse Inscription ******* [year] ******
United States / One Cent, Classic Head - reverse photo

On two lines at its centre, the coin displays its value and denomination: ONE CENT, surrounded by an olive/laurel wreath.

Around, the legend UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

Unlike large cent coins of earlier types, there is also a bar (horizontal line) below the word "CENT".

EdgePlainEdge InscriptionNone
The Definitive Guide to Australian Silver Coins
The Definitive Guide to Australian Silver Coins
One Cent, Classic Head: Details
CountryUnited States
CurrencyUS Dollar
Sub-type ofOne Cent
Face Value1 (x Cent)
CurrentNo; withdrawn 1857
DesignerJohn Reich
TechnologyMilled (machine-made)
OrientationCoin Alignment (Axis 6)
Size29.0000 mm
Mass10.8900 g