One Cent 1793 Flowing Hair, Chain, Coin from United States - detailed information

One Cent 1793 Flowing Hair, Chain, Coin from United States (withdrawn 1857)
CoinOne Cent 1793 Flowing Hair, Chain

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; the United States Congress authorised coinage of one cent coins on January 14, 1793, with weight of 208 grains - smaller than the initially considered size of 264 grains, in which some patterns had been struck. With this act, the coinage of copper could begin on a regular basis. Before production started, the specifications were altered again, to 168 grains (13.48 g).

This first type of American one cent coin was only struck from 1st March to 12 March 1793, at which point the newly established Philadelphia Mint ran out of planchets. The coins were delivered to local banks for distribution and were imediately met with a negative raction by the population. The main motif on the reverse, being an interlocking chain with fifteen links representing the fifteen American states in existence at that time, was taken to be "a bad omen for liberty", while the representation of Liberty herself on the obverse "appeared to show her in a fright".

Confronted with this criticism, mint official stopped the production of coins of this type and in due course released another (also short-lived) version, with a wreath reverse and an improved Liberty head on the obverse.

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 While withdrawn from circulation and not used any more, these coins have never been officially demonetised though.

In the beginning of operations of the Philadelphia Mint, planchets for the coins were made on premises, from copper which was melted from various scrap lots, then rolled and punched by hand. The results were of varying quality, and many coins have defects such as porous surfaces, laminations and cracks.

It is estimated that only about a thousand Chain Cent coins survive from those that were struck, or less than 3% of the total mintage. Genuine coins with a plain edge are known and these are mint errors; however, many plain-edge fakes exist.

MintPhiladelphia Mint Mint MarkNo mint mark Total Mintage36,103
Obverse
United States / One Cent 1793 Flowing Hair, Chain - obverse photo

The obverse of the coin shows, within a plain rim, the head of Liberty, facing right, with flowing long hair.

Around above, LIBERTY.

Around below, the date of issue: 1793.

The second type has a sprig of three leaves between Liberty's head and the date.

Obverse Inscription LIBERTY 1793
Reverse
United States / One Cent 1793 Flowing Hair, Chain - reverse photo

The central motif of the reverse, for which the coin is named the Chain Cent, is an interlocking chain with fifteen links, representing the fifteen American states in existence at the time the coin was issued.

The value and denomination are expressed both in words: ONE CENT and as a fraction of a dollar: 1/100, within the chain.

Along the outer rim, the inscription UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

On the first working die, the engraver failed to allow adequate room for the entire inscription, and it had to be abbreviated to "UNITED STATES OF AMERI.". These early dies were cut by hand, rather than being made from master hubs as is the practice today.

Reverse Inscription ONE CENT UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1/100
EdgeDecorative, vine and barsEdge InscriptionNone
One Cent 1793 Flowing Hair, Chain: Known varieties
Variety AMERI.
Images United States / One Cent 1793 Flowing Hair, Chain / AMERI. - obverse photo United States / One Cent 1793 Flowing Hair, Chain / AMERI. - reverse photo
Mintage Issued: unknown
Variety Periods after the date and "LIBERTY".
Images United States / One Cent 1793 Flowing Hair, Chain / Periods after the date and "LIBERTY". - obverse photo United States / One Cent 1793 Flowing Hair, Chain / Periods after the date and "LIBERTY". - reverse photo
Mintage Issued: unknown
Showing 100 from a total of 238 coins of type: One Cent
Coin NameMintageSymbol / PortraitLegend
One Cent 1793 Flowing Hair, Chain 36,103 Liberty, Portrait LIBERTY 1793
One Cent 1793 Flowing Hair, Wreath 63,353 Liberty, Portrait LIBERTY 1793
One Cent 1793 Liberty Cap 11,056 Liberty, Portrait LIBERTY 1793
One Cent 1794 Liberty Cap 918,521 Liberty, Portrait LIBERTY 1794
One Cent 1795 Liberty Cap 538,500 Liberty, Portrait LIBERTY 1795
One Cent 1796 Liberty Cap 109,825 Liberty, Portrait LIBERTY 1796
One Cent 1796 Draped Bust 363,375 Liberty, Portrait LIBERTY 1796
One Cent 1797 Draped Bust 897,510 Liberty, Portrait LIBERTY 1797
One Cent 1798 Draped Bust 1,841,745 Liberty, Portrait LIBERTY 1798
One Cent 1799 Draped Bust 42,540 Liberty, Portrait LIBERTY 1799
One Cent 1800 Draped Bust 2,822,175 Liberty, Portrait LIBERTY 1800
One Cent 1801 Draped Bust 1,362,837 Liberty, Portrait LIBERTY 1801
One Cent 1802 Draped Bust 3,435,100 Liberty, Portrait LIBERTY 1802
One Cent 1803 Draped Bust 3,131,691 Liberty, Portrait LIBERTY 1803
One Cent 1804 Draped Bust 96,500 Liberty, Portrait LIBERTY 1804
One Cent 1805 Draped Bust 941,116 Liberty, Portrait LIBERTY 1805
One Cent 1806 Draped Bust 348,000 Liberty, Portrait LIBERTY 1806
One Cent 1807 Draped Bust 727,221 Liberty, Portrait LIBERTY 1807
One Cent 1808 Classic Head 1,007,000 Liberty, Portrait ******* 1808 ******
One Cent 1809 Classic Head 222,867 Liberty, Portrait ******* 1809 ******
One Cent 1810 Classic Head 1,458,500 Liberty, Portrait ******* 1810 ******
One Cent 1811 Classic Head 218,025 Liberty, Portrait ******* 1811 ******
One Cent 1812 Classic Head 1,075,500 Liberty, Portrait ******* 1812 ******
One Cent 1813 Classic Head 418,000 Liberty, Portrait ******* 1813 ******
One Cent 1814 Classic Head 357,830 Liberty, Portrait ******* 1814 ******
One Cent 1816 Matron Head 2,820,982 Liberty, Portrait ************* 1816
One Cent 1817 Matron Head 3,948,400 Liberty, Portrait ************* 1817
One Cent 1818 Matron Head 3,167,000 Liberty, Portrait ************* 1818
One Cent 1819 Matron Head 2,671,000 Liberty, Portrait ************* 1819
One Cent 1820 Matron Head 4,407,550 Liberty, Portrait ************* 1820
One Cent 1821 Matron Head 389,000 Liberty, Portrait ************* 1821
One Cent 1822 Matron Head 2,072,339 Liberty, Portrait ************* 1822
One Cent 1823 Matron Head 1,262,000 Liberty, Portrait ************* 1823
One Cent 1824 Matron Head 1,262,000 Liberty, Portrait ************* 1824
One Cent 1825 Matron Head 1,461,100 Liberty, Portrait ************* 1825
One Cent 1826 Matron Head 1,517,425 Liberty, Portrait ************* 1826
One Cent 1827 Matron Head 2,357,732 Liberty, Portrait ************* 1827
One Cent 1828 Matron Head 2,260,624 Liberty, Portrait ************* 1828
One Cent 1829 Matron Head 1,414,500 Liberty, Portrait ************* 1829
One Cent 1830 Matron Head 1,711,500 Liberty, Portrait ************* 1830
One Cent 1831 Matron Head 3,359,260 Liberty, Portrait ************* 1831
One Cent 1832 Matron Head 2,362,000 Liberty, Portrait ************* 1832
One Cent 1833 Matron Head 2,739,000 Liberty, Portrait ************* 1833
One Cent 1834 Matron Head 1,855,100 Liberty, Portrait ************* 1834
One Cent 1835 Matron Head 3,878,400 Liberty, Portrait ************* 1835
One Cent 1836 Matron Head 2,111,000 Liberty, Portrait ************* 1836
One Cent 1837 Young Head 5,558,300 Liberty, Portrait ************* 1837
One Cent 1838 Young Head 6,370,200 Liberty, Portrait ************* 1838
One Cent 1839 Young Head 3,128,661 Liberty, Portrait ************* 1839
One Cent 1840 Braided Hair 2,462,700 Liberty, Portrait ************* 1840
One Cent 1841 Braided Hair 1,597,367 Liberty, Portrait ************* 1841
One Cent 1842 Braided Hair 2,383,390 Liberty, Portrait ************* 1842
One Cent 1843 Braided Hair 2,425,342 Liberty, Portrait ************* 1843
One Cent 1844 Braided Hair 2,398,752 Liberty, Portrait ************* 1844
One Cent 1845 Braided Hair 3,894,804 Liberty, Portrait ************* 1845
One Cent 1846 Braided Hair 4,120,800 Liberty, Portrait ************* 1846
One Cent 1847 Braided Hair 6,183,669 Liberty, Portrait ************* 1847
One Cent 1848 Braided Hair 6,415,799 Liberty, Portrait ************* 1848
One Cent 1849 Braided Hair 4,178,500 Liberty, Portrait ************* 1849
One Cent 1850 Braided Hair 4,426,844 Liberty, Portrait ************* 1850
One Cent 1851 Braided Hair 9,889,707 Liberty, Portrait ************* 1851
One Cent 1852 Braided Hair 5,063,094 Liberty, Portrait ************* 1852
One Cent 1853 Braided Hair 6,641,131 Liberty, Portrait ************* 1853
One Cent 1854 Braided Hair 4,236,156 Liberty, Portrait ************* 1854
One Cent 1855 Braided Hair 1,574,829 Liberty, Portrait ************* 1855
One Cent 1856 Flying Eagle 2,000 Flying Eagle UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1856
One Cent 1856 Braided Hair 2,690,463 Liberty, Portrait ************* 1856
One Cent 1857 Flying Eagle 17,450,485 Flying Eagle UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1857
One Cent 1857 Braided Hair 333,456 Liberty, Portrait ************* 1857
One Cent 1858 Flying Eagle 24,600,300 Flying Eagle UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1858
One Cent 1859 Indian Head 36,400,800 Liberty, Indian Head UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1859
One Cent 1860 Indian Head 20,567,000 Liberty, Indian Head UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1860
One Cent 1861 Indian Head 10,101,000 Liberty, Indian Head UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1861
One Cent 1862 Indian Head 28,075,550 Liberty, Indian Head UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1862
One Cent 1863 Indian Head 49,840,460 Liberty, Indian Head UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1863
One Cent 1864 Indian Head (CuproNickel) 13,740,370 Liberty, Indian Head UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1864
One Cent 1864 Indian Head (Bronze) 39,233,899 Liberty, Indian Head UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1864
One Cent 1865 Indian Head 35,429,786 Liberty, Indian Head UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1865
One Cent 1866 Indian Head 9,827,225 Liberty, Indian Head UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1866
One Cent 1867 Indian Head 9,821,625 Liberty, Indian Head UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1867
One Cent 1868 Indian Head 10,267,100 Liberty, Indian Head UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1868
One Cent 1869 Indian Head 6,420,600 Liberty, Indian Head UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1869
One Cent 1870 Indian Head 5,276,000 Liberty, Indian Head UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1870
One Cent 1871 Indian Head 3,930,460 Liberty, Indian Head UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1871
One Cent 1872 Indian Head 4,042,950 Liberty, Indian Head UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1872
One Cent 1873 Indian Head 11,677,600 Liberty, Indian Head UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1873
One Cent 1874 Indian Head 14,188,200 Liberty, Indian Head UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1874
One Cent 1875 Indian Head 13,528,700 Liberty, Indian Head UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1875
One Cent 1876 Indian Head 7,945,150 Liberty, Indian Head UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1876
One Cent 1877 Indian Head 853,400 Liberty, Indian Head UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1877
One Cent 1878 Indian Head 5,799,850 Liberty, Indian Head UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1878
One Cent 1879 Indian Head 16,231,200 Liberty, Indian Head UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1879
One Cent 1880 Indian Head 38,964,955 Liberty, Indian Head UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1880
One Cent 1881 Indian Head 39,211,575 Liberty, Indian Head UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1881
One Cent 1882 Indian Head 38,581,100 Liberty, Indian Head UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1882
One Cent 1883 Indian Head 45,598,109 Liberty, Indian Head UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1883
One Cent 1884 Indian Head 23,261,742 Liberty, Indian Head UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1884
One Cent 1885 Indian Head 11,765,384 Liberty, Indian Head UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1885
One Cent 1886 Indian Head 17,654,290 Liberty, Indian Head UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1886
One Cent 1887 Indian Head 45,226,483 Liberty, Indian Head UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1887
Showing 1 to 100 of 238 Coins.
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One Cent 1793 Flowing Hair, Chain: Details
CountryUnited States
CurrencyUS Dollar
Coin TypeOne Cent, Flowing Hair
Issued1793
EffigyLiberty, Portrait
Face Value1 (x Cent)
Total Mintage36,103
CurrentNo; withdrawn 1857
MaterialCopper
DesignerHenry Voigt
TechnologyMilled (machine-made)
ShapeRound
OrientationCoin Alignment (Axis 6)
Size26.500 mm
Mass13.480 g
OCC IDRWKZ-EJNC-JWQW-EXGL
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One Cent 1793 Flowing Hair, Chain: Photos
ImageDetails
Chain Cent 1793
Copyright: PCGS
Source
Chain Cent 1793
Copyright: PCGS
Notes: Periods after 1793 and LIBERTY.
Source
Chain Cent 1793
Copyright: PCGS
Notes: Earliest coins, AMERI. reverse.
Source
Chain Cent 1793
Copyright: PCGS
Notes: Earliest coins.
Source
Chain Cent 1793
Copyright: PCGS
Source
Chain Cent 1793
Copyright: PCGS
Source
One Cent 1793 Flowing Hair, Chain: Catalogue Reference IDs
SourceReference ID
Krause, Standard Catalog of World CoinsUnited States KM# 11