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Highest Graded US Classic Head Large Cents 1808 Through 1814

By Edited Sep 25, 2015 2 2

1808 US Large Cent (31616)

Collecting or investing, are both areas that should be paying special attention, to the dramatic rise in price, for the highest graded US classic head large cents, 1808 through 1814.

These coins hold a special niche within the US large cent series. Such a short run is unusual. Collecting a complete year set of classic head cents can be accomplished by assembling only seven coins.

There are common years within the series. These will be purchased by people assembling type sets who desire one coin from each of the different designs within a denomination.

Cent collectors for instance will assemble one US cent from each design change.

The classic head cents that are commonly purchased for this type of set will be the 1810, 1812 and 1814, these are the most common as well as the most inexpensive to obtain in high grades.

1808 large cent reverse

The classic head cents where mostly minted, on very soft copper planchets. The resulting effect was a coin that didn't hold up very well in circulation. These coins are now found predominately in worn, low grade condition.

This is a phenomenon that has driven the price of this coin to the sky. High grade samples are off the charts and continue to gain momentum. Rarity is increasing as examples continue to be taken off the market and installed in sets for future generations to enjoy.

When the market has an increase in demand, the supply will quickly become depleted. This is a limited commodity we're talking about. What's out there now for numbers, which some estimate to be only in the thousands, of surviving examples, will only dwindle, with the introduction of websites, such as eBay and other similar auction websites.

When supply drops and demand rises the only logical reaction the market could have is a significant price increase. Think of gasoline prices when a shortage occurs for one reason or another. They shoot up like a pack of bottle rockets.

The major difference with these coins compared to gas is that the shortage cannot be dealt with by increasing production. OPEC can pump more oil any time they want. The mint will never make another classic head large cent.

These factors are showing us an amazing business opportunity, as well as a last chance, to be one of the few that will be able to say they own this certain part of numismatic history. This will be an elite club.

The list we've compiled for reference, is using data from three major grading companies, that is up to date as of today (10-04-2010). Please remember that any data relating to this industry, is going to change daily. This article is for a quick reference only and any investment in coins, should be thoroughly researched yourself, before the purchase is made.

1808 Large Cent

1808 Mintage: 1,007,000

Diameter: 28.00 millimeters

Designer: John Reich

Weight: 10.89 grams

Edge: plain

Estimated surviving examples: 4,000

 Metal content: Copper

Examples graded better than MS 65: 2

Highest graded example: MS 66 brown

1809 Large Cent

1809 Mintage: 222,867

Diameter: 28.00 millimeters

Designer: John Reich

Weight: 10.89 Grams

Edge: Plain

Metal Content: Copper

Estimated surviving examples: 2,000

Examples graded above MS 65: 0

Highest graded example MS 64 Brown

1810 Large Cent

1810 Mintage: 1,458,500

Diameter: 28.00 millimeters

Designer: John Reich

Weight: 10.89 Grams

Edge: Plain

Metal Content: Copper

Estimated surviving examples: 4,005

Examples graded above MS 65: 2

Highest graded example: MS 67 Red Brown

1811 Large Cent

1811 Mintage: 218,025

Diameter: 28.00 millimeters

Weight: 10.89 Grams

 

Designer: John Reich

Edge: Plain

Metal Content: Copper

Estimated surviving examples: 2,007

Examples graded above MS 65: 5

Highest graded example: MS 66 Red Brown

1812 Large Cent

1812 Mintage: 1,075,500

Diameter: 28.00 millimeters

Designer: John Reich

Weight: 10.89 Grams

Edge: Plain

Metal Content: Copper

Estimated surviving examples: 3,005

Examples graded above MS 65: 2

Highest graded example: MS 65 Red Brown

1813 Large Cent

1813 Mintage: 418,000

Diameter: 28.00 millimeters

Designer: John Reich

Weight: 10.89 Grams

Edge: Plain

Metal Content: Copper

Estimated surviving examples: 2,500

Examples graded above MS 65: 1

Highest graded example: MS 65 Brown

1814 Large Cent

1814 Mintage: 357,830

Diameter: 28.00 millimeters

Weight: 10.89 Grams

Designer: John Reich

Edge: Plain

Estimated surviving examples: 1,500

Metal Content: Copper

Examples graded better than MS 65: 3

Highest graded example: MS 66 Brown

There are several other variables that can arrive within this series. One important factor is the existence of over dates.

This will occur on an obsolete coin, during the early years of operation for the US Mint. Dies were individually cut by hand tediously and took quite a long time to complete. When these dies were still in good shape, at the years end, a fastidious mint director would instruct the die cutters, to recut an existing die, with the new year. This practice has created a completely separate collector base within this issue.

1810 over 9 Large cent

1811 over 10 Large Cent

Over dates known in the classic head cents, consist of the 1810 over 9, And the 1811 over 10, These two varieties of classic head cents, are not needed to complete a year set. They carry a premium, that prevents the logic of that. A complete variety set however will contain one of each over date.

As stated at the beginning of this article, a suggestion was made, that a good investment opportunity was available today. The collection of classic head cents pictured in this article, would cost in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Lower grades are obtainable for under a hundred dollars each, for all years. This avails, even the small time collector, the possibility of completing a year set of these coins.

As the expansion of global markets, for United States obsolete coins increases, lower grade coins will become harder and harder to obtain. Eventually they will disappear from the market altogether, excepting that rare appearance, for an astronomical price when a collector decides to cash in.

A very small window remains open and all evidence points to a buy for these coins. Financial institutions are now recommending rare coins as a hedge against inevitable inflation. It makes sense when the highest graded US classic head large cents 1808 through 1814 have all but disappeared.

A Guidebook of United States Coins 2014: The Official Red Book
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Comments

Nov 6, 2010 7:55am
buriguri
This is a great and informative article. I don't have much of a collection right now, but I love old coins.
Nov 6, 2010 4:50pm
dreamaker
This can be a fun area because all price ranges are available, anyone can collect large cents,
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