The classic head large cents of the United States 1808 to 1814 are all coins that are very hard to locate in high grades any where today. They can be found on eBay and other online auction sites, but the prices they end up going for will amaze you.
All but disappearing from the market, high grade examples now run into the thousands and sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars. People who had started sets even ten years ago now find they must lower their grade expectations to be able to afford to complete their collections.
One of the reasons for this lack of good high grade examples is the copper that was used during the dates in question. Said to be of a much softer nature, it is now apparent that most examples were well worn during circulation. Collectors who put them away new are now in for a huge windfall if they chose to sell.
The Internet also played a large roll in this phenomenal increase in price. The collector base has been so quickly and proportionately expanded that there is too much demand for the supply. This happens in very few commodity areas and when it does notice should be taken and a good investment opportunity should be observed.
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There may be a weak strike on either the obverse or reverse of the coin. The other end of the uncirculated spectrum is the 70 coin. A perfectly struck coin without blemishes or any nicks. No flaws and no wear, not even a rub of the finger from the day it was struck.
This is the cream of the crop in coin collecting and any 70 coin is a treasure. Collections with coins in this condition are sought after like rare antiques or classic automobiles only on a much larger scale. Millions of people from every corner of the world collect numismatics and the Internet has now connected them all to each other. eBay has given them a platform to buy and sell their rarities to each other and they are doing so at a maddening pace.
Minted from 1808 until the year 1814, the classic head large cents are a very short run to collect. A complete year set can be assembled with only seven coins. It is recommended to collect the hardest coin in the highest grade you can afford first. This will set the grade for your set. Match all the other coins to this one and the set will get cheaper to build as you go along. This will also keep you from running into road blocks that prevent the set from being completed.
Hard years for this series have to be the 1811 and the 1813. The rest of the coins are pretty easy to get. Make sure you get the key dates first, if possible.
Color should be a concern when collecting these coins also. Try to match the copper the best you can when purchasing examples. A well matched set will command a much higher price at sell time. Keep the grades the same and keep your collection in an environmentally safe collectors album or in certified coin capsules.
Collecting classic head United States large cents is not only a good investment for the times, it is also a great long term investment for those thinking of their children's future. These coins have historically made quite a few people rich in the past and will continue to do so for the savvy investor.
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