1793 United States Chain Cent

United States 1793 Large Cent

1793 United States large cents were originally minted in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, at the United States mint. The so called chain cent is pictured above.

This is the first officially minted coin by the United States Of America. Several varieties exist, with and without periods and with an abbreviation Ameri. These variations have created a collection within a collection for these coins.

Savvy coin collectors will attempt to assemble a type set for the year, with all varieties of 1793 cents represented. A daunting task to say the least and there are still several varieties that are already noncollectable.

Showing a full bust of Liberty with such a scared look on her face, public outrage and outspoken opposition, forced an early design change, several months into the year. This produced a very short run for this design. Mint numbers show only 36,100 examples struck prior to the change.

The abbreviated type with Ameri.. on the reverse is slightly harder to find then its counterpart with the full word written out. Both will set you back several thousand dollars in even the lowest grades.

High grade examples have sold at auction for over a hundred thousand dollars. These coin's are rarely seen above extra fine.

1793 United States Flowing Hair Wreath Type Large Cent

1793 United States Wreath Large Cent

The design change took place with reverse dies being substituted with a single bow wreath, instead of the chain and a small sprig of plant was placed above the date, on the obverse. The variety pictured above, has a beaded edge. This coin was also struck with denticles around the edge in the same style. Also a rarity today, there were 63,353 examples of this type of 1793 US large cent.

1793 United States Strawberry Leaf Large Cent - ( 4 known )

1793 Strawberry Leaf United States Large CentLarge Cent

Within this year, an extreme rarity was found, with a strawberry leaf sprig above the date. Numismatic exports report 4 known and no collection is expected to contain a strawberry leaf example. Price books neglect to list a value for these, as no sales have been recorded.

Two edge devices are known for this type. One version shows a vine and bars edge and the other is lettered with the words ONE HUNDRED FOR A DOLLAR. The lettered edge coin sells for a slightly higher rate and they both command $1,000 in low grade and up to hundreds of thousands in high grades.

1793 United States Liberty Cap Large Cent

1793 United States Liberty Cap Large Cent

The final type of large cent for this year is the Liberty cap design. This obverse shows liberty facing right with a cap behind her head. 1793 varieties have a pole behind the head holding the cap. This design change was a direct reaction by the US Mint to satisfy objections to the frightened face of Liberty being portrayed. This capped bust received a welcome reaction from the general public and had a good run through the middle of 1796.

The Liberty cap cents of 1793 are among the rarest known large cents for this year, with only 11,056 minted a cool three or four thousand for a worn out example and hundreds of thousands, and yes that's a plural, have been paid for high grade examples.

Collecting 1793 United States large cents is obviously a racket that must be left to the elite coin collector, with unlimited financial restraints. Getting even a worn set put together, will set most of us back a year's pay.