Flowing Hair Cent, Chain Reverse: 1793


Quick Coinage Facts

Years Minted: 1793
Mints: Philadelphia
Composition: Copper
Diameter: 26-27 mm
Weight: 13.48 grams
Total Mintage: approx. 36,103
Edge: vine and bars


A young United States wanted to prove to the world that they were a legitimate state and one method was through the display of a strong economy. Promoting business and trade was high on Congress' agenda, and establishing a sovereign coinage system was one of its earliest acts. The Coinage Act of April 2, 1792 authorized the Mint and prescribed the standards for the first one cent coin. Because of it's rather large size compared to modern cent coins, collectors commonly call cents minted from 1793 to 1857 Large Cents.

Designed and engraved by Henry Voigt, the large cent had a composition of 100% copper.
The obverse design depicts an idealized head of Liberty facing right, the inscription LIBERTY appearing above the bust.

The reverse design has UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and a chain wreath which encloses ONE CENT and the fraction 1/100.

There are no mint marks as the Philadelphia mint was the only mint during that time period so there were was no need.

General Market Notes

Few coins have survived over the years and have thus created a rarity among collectors today. As if rarity was not enough to create demand, this is also a one year type so there is even more competition from type set collectors. It is highly recommended NOT to purchase a raw specimen but a certified coin as there are quite a few counterfeits produced over the years.

Even if you have the money for even a low grade (AG or G) specimen, finding one available for sale is another story. Collectors may never see one in their lifetime and may have a permanent hole in their type set. One avenue a collector can pursue is to obtain a replica coin.

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