U.S. Cents

From 1793 to 1857, the cent was a copper coin about the size of a half dollar. The discovery of gold in California caused a large inflation in prices. As gold became more abundant, the price of copper rose. Cent and half-cent manufacture was one of the only profit centers for the Mint and by 1850 the Mint began looking for alternatives. In 1857 the Mint reduced the size of the cent and changed the composition to 12% nickel and 88% copper (copper-nickel), issuing a new design, the Flying Eagle cent. The new pieces were identical in diameter to modern cents, though thicker. This was the first use of copper-nickel by the United States. The copper-nickel made them look brighter and they began to be called "White cent" or "Nicks".

In 1858 the Flying Eagle was replaced with the Indian head design. The Flying Eagle design caused production difficulties and the Mint soon looked to replace it. Mint Director James Ross Snowden selected the Indian Head design and chose a laurel wreath for the reverse that was replaced in 1860 by an oak wreath with a shield. Cents were hoarded during the economic chaos of the American Civil War when the metal nickel was in short supply. As Mint officials saw that privately issued bronze tokens were circulating, they induced Congress to pass the Coinage Act of 1864, authorizing a slimmer cent of bronze alloy. The Lincoln cent (or sometimes called Lincoln penny) is a one-cent coin that has been struck by the United States Mint since 1909. The obverse or heads side was designed by Victor David Brenner, as was the original reverse. The coin has seen several reverse, or tails, designs and now bears one by Lyndall Bass depicting a Union shield


Product 2
$5.00
Add to Cart
Close
Shopping Cart
Your Cart is Empty