Braided Hair Cent (1839 – 1857)

#1 Braided Hair Cent Buyer Las Vegas & Henderson

History of Braided Hair Large Cents

From its very beginnings, the large cent had suffered abuse and ridicule. Liberty Head Large cents were produced from 1816 through 1857 and throughout its series contemporary and modern names describing Miss Liberty vividly illustrate the public’s disdain. Criticism never ceased starting from the “Liberty in a fright” of the Chain cents through the Classic Head’s “fat mistress” to the “obese ward boss” of the Matron Head. Now Gobrecht was faced with the same for his “Silly” and “Booby” head cents of 1839, though few people inside or outside the U.S. Mint were satisfied with the large cent design. It was clearly time for a change.

Modifications were made to the Matron Head style starting in the mid-1830s, and the transitional nature of the changes has resulted in differences between reference texts regarding the dates dividing the Robert Scot/ John Reich original design and the changes made later by William Kneass and Christian Gobrecht. Gobrecht’s inspiration for the new 1839 design was the classic figure of Love in Benjamin West’s painting, Omnia Vincit Amor (Love Conquers All), created early in the 19th century. The braided hair over Liberty’s brow, her coronet and the long, loose locks flowing down her neck reflect the famed Empire style, then a decade out of date in Europe but firmly fixed in American hair and clothing fashions of the day.

Gobrecht made changes to Liberty in 1839 that were apparently intended for use in 1840, but some 1839-dated cents show these revisions. For this reason, most reference texts or date it was minted include 1839 in both the previous Matron Head style and the new Braided Hair Large Cent style.

The obverse features a left-facing, neoclassical Liberty in the center. Curled and flowing hair is swept back to a bun tied by beaded cords, with locks draped around the ear and down the back of the neck. A coronet worn above the ear and forehead displays LIBERTY, with the hair above the forehead in a rope-like braid rather than loosely swept to the side as in the previous style. Thirteen six-point stars encircles the bust near the rim, and the date is inscribed at the bottom.

The reverse continued to use the design of John Reich which features a closed-circle laurel wreath, made up of a single stem with leaves in groups of four with large round berries on it. The wreath encircled ONE CENT, without the line below the letters E and N that appeared on earlier designs.  The words UNITED STATES OF AMERICA is struck in a semi-circle fashion near the rim.

The design still received criticism. The youthful “Petite” depiction was modified by Gobrecht in 1843. Gobrecht’s 1843 revision featured bold serif-style letters substantially larger than on earlier reverses. Grading of this design is fairly straightforward, with measurable wear first appearing on the hair above the ear and on the bow on the wreath.

The large cents were initially widely used but gradually the public came to dislike them, not only because of their size and weight, but in part because the coins were not legal tender. By 1856 preparations were well under way to replace the large cents with a smaller one cent coin, and included the production of trial pieces. In 1857 both Braided Hair cents and the new smaller copper-nickel Flying Eagle cents were minted, the former the last official large cent issue and the latter the first issue of the small cent that continues to the present.

What is a Braided Hair Large Cent

The Braided Hair large cent carries same features with the Liberty Head large cent but with a few modifications that was made by Christian Gobrecht. The minting of Braided Hair large cent started way back 1839 until 1857. Braided Hair large cents are made of 100% copper up until its discontinuation. Some modifications were made again when some people started criticizing the design, so in 1843, Gobrecht made Lady Liberty look younger than how it was designed before.

The obverse features Lady Liberty facing left, wearing a coronet sitting on top of the braided part of her head. The coronet has the word LIBERTY struck on it, and her hair is tied in bun with beaded cords holding it. There a thirteen six-point stars encircling the bust and the date is inscribed below the bust.

The reverse carries the past design of John Reich. It has the laurel wreath encircling the word ONE CENT, and there’s no horizontal line below it anymore. The word UNITED STATES OF AMERICA surrounds them near the dentilled part of the rim.

Composition and Specifications of Braided Hair Large Cents

Braided Hair Cents were struck out of pure copper. These pieces weigh 10.89 grams (168 grains) and have a diameter of 27 millimeter with a plain edge. All were minted in large qualities at the Philadelphia Mint, as the branch Mints did not strike minor (copper) coinage until the early 20th century. The coins do not carry a mint mark.

Copper’s price increased steadily since the early 19th century, and by 1857 it had become too expensive to profitably mint large cents. This was also the reason for the discontinuation of the Braided Hair large cent.

These are the three conditional factors that determine the value of a Draped Bust Large Cent coins and they are: Red (RD), RB (Red-Brown), BN (Brown). A RD coin is going to have at least 90% original luster as struck by the mint and is the most valuable condition. The luster conditions only apply to mint state coins so any circulated coin will be designated BN.

Designer: Robert Scot, after John Reich, with modifications by William Kneass and Christian Gobrecht
Circulation Mintage: high 9,889,707 (1851), low 333,546 (1857)
Proof Mintage: high 200 (1857 estimated), low 20-30 pieces (most dates prior to 1855, estimated)
Denomination: One cent (01/100)
Diameter: 27.5 mm; plain edge
Metal Content: 100% copper
Weight: 10.89 grams
Varieties: Many known, including 1840 Large Date and Small Date, and Small Date Over Large 18; 1842 Small Date and Large Date; 1843 Petite, Large Letters and Small Letters; 1844, 44 Over 81; 1846 Small Date, Medium Date, and Tall Date; 1851, 51 Over 81; 1855 Upright 5’s and Slanting 5’s; 1856 Upright 5’s and Slanting 5’s; 1857 Large Date and Small Date; and other minor die variations.

How We Grade Braided Hair Large Cents

These are the different grades of Braided Hair Large Cent:

  • Uncirculated: These are the coins that never made it out onto the open market. They normally have a brand new look or same as how it looked like when it was first minted way back in 1839 to 1857.
  • Extremely Fine: These coins look the same as uncirculated but it has few minor scratches and chips. These imperfections are noticeable but nothing so large that it will detract from the appearance of the coin.
  • Fine: These coins were likely been circulated for over a long period of time. They have scratches and chips but the letters and numbers on the surface image can still be seen by the naked eye.
  • Good: These are the coins that have been heavily circulated and damaged. The letters and numbers worn away due to deep scratching and smoothing. Most good graded coins are in the worst condition.

We prefer coins that have been graded and certified as authentic by Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) or Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC), though we will still give a fair deal for these coins.

Price Quote for Braided Hair Large Cents

We have different estimated prices for these years of production of Braided Hair large cents. Prices varies from 1839 to 1842, 1843 to 1845, 1846 to 1850, 1851 to 1854, 1855, 1856, and 1857.

For the 1839 to 1842 Braided Hair large cents, the price for Good graded coins reach up to $20; for the Fine graded coins, it can reach up to $40; while the Extremely Fine graded coins reach up to $130; and for the Uncirculated graded coins, it can reach up to $900.

The 1843 to 1845 Braided Hair large cents price for Good graded coins reaches up to $25; for the Fine graded coins, the prices can reach up to $50; while the price for Extremely Fine graded coins can range up to $175; and the Uncirculated graded coins reaches up to $700.

For the 1846 to 1850 Braided Hair large cents, the price for Good graded coins can reach up to $20; for the Fine graded coins, it can reach up to $35; while the Extremely Fine graded coins reaches up to $180; and for the Uncirculated graded coins, it can reach up to $300.

The 1851 to 1854 Braided Hair large cents price for Good graded coins reaches up to $30; for the Fine graded coins, the prices can reach up to $50; while the price for Extremely Fine graded coins can range up to $190; and the Uncirculated graded coins reaches up to $600.

While the 1855 Braided Hair large cents price for Good graded coins reaches up to $20; for the Fine graded coins, the prices can reach up to $40; while the price for Extremely Fine graded coins can range up to $180; and the Uncirculated graded coins reaches up to $700.

For the 1856 Braided Hair large cents price for Good graded coins reaches up to $20; for the Fine graded coins, the prices can reach up to $30; while the price for Extremely Fine graded coins can range up to $80; and the Uncirculated graded coins reaches up to $300.

And the 1857 Braided Hair large cents price for Good graded coins reaches up to $70; for the Fine graded coins, the prices can reach up to $130; while the price for Extremely Fine graded coins can range up to $300; and the Uncirculated graded coins reaches up to $700.

Uncirculated coins price higher than the other grades because it has never been used or circulated in the open market, and it looks brand new with no imperfections or scratches.

As you can see, we buy Braided Hair large cents of 1839 to 1857. We will buy your coins no matter the grade and the condition. So, if you have Braided Hair large cent coins, sell it to us and we will give you a good deal for your coins. Contact us now!

 

 

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