|Value||1¢ (0.01 United States dollar)|
|Edge||Various edge designs|
|Composition||Various compositions (billon was to be standard)|
|Years of minting||1850–1851, 1853 (restrikes dated 1850), 1883–1885|
The ring cent or holey cent was a one-cent pattern coin first struck in various compositions and designs between 1850 and 1851 as part of an experiment on producing a cent with a reduced weight and diameter, as the rising price of copper had caused cents to cost more than their face value to produce. Many varieties exist, with differing designs as well as differing compositions, including billon (standard), aluminum, copper, cupronickel, nickel silver, nickel, silver, and white metal.
In the late-1840s, the price of copper had risen to the point that large cents cost more than one cent to produce. In response to a bill drafted in 1849 by Congressman Sam F. Vinton to reduce the size of the cent,the US mint began looking for an alternative type of cent. One solution to the problem was to perforate the coin in the center, creating a ring-like appearance.
Pattern ring cents were first struck in 1850 in various test compositions. However, it was found that the coin was difficult to eject from the presses and that it was expensive to recover the silver from the alloy. Because of this, the ring cent was not placed into mass-production and the large cent continued to be produced until 1857, when it was replaced by the Flying Eagle cent. According to numismatic historian Walter Breen, another factor in the rejection of the ring cent was that it reminded many of the Chinese cash coin, which had minimal purchasing value.
The ring cent was briefly revived in 1884 by Eastman Johnson, although this time the design was somewhat cruder as the holes appeared to have been handcut as they vary in both size and shape.Although a more refined and smoother design was struck the following year, no more ring cents would ever be struck. 196 ring cents (originals and restrikes) are known to exist.
Patterns of this "ring cent" were struck in various metals and with various hole sizes. There were also various different designs, with some designs lacking a date or a reverse design. Some did not even have a hole, in its place being a circle resembling a line for perforation.These were known as annular cents.
All 1885 ring cents (with and without the hole) were struck with a die featuring a 5 over 3 overdate error.
The 1850 blank non-perforated reverse was probably struck from the same die that was used for an 1852 gold dollar pattern.
In the case of the 1850 non-perforated reverse with the denomination surrounded by a wreath, although they were dated 1850 (and thus used the 1850 non-perforated reverse), the coins were actually struck in 1853.
A nickel is a five-cent coin struck by the United States Mint. Composed of 75% copper and 25% nickel, the piece has been issued since 1866. Its diameter is .835 inches (21.21 mm) and its thickness is .077 inches (1.95 mm). Due to inflation, the purchasing power of the nickel continues to drop, and currently the coin represents less than 1% of the federal hourly minimum wage. In 2018, over 1.26 billion nickels were produced at the Philadelphia and Denver mints.
The half dime, or half disme, was a silver coin, valued at five cents, formerly minted in the United States.
The half cent was the smallest denomination of United States coin ever minted. It was first minted in 1793 and last minted in 1857. It was minted with five different designs.
The Gobrecht dollar, minted from 1836 to 1839, was the first silver dollar struck for circulation by the United States Mint since production of that denomination was officially halted in 1806. The coin was struck in small numbers to determine whether the reintroduced silver dollar would be well received by the public.
The Indian Head cent, also known as an Indian Head penny, was a one-cent coin ($0.01) produced by the United States Bureau of the Mint from 1859 to 1909. It was designed by James Barton Longacre, the Chief Engraver at the Philadelphia Mint.
The United States large cent was a coin with a face value of 1/100 of a United States dollar. Its nominal diameter was 11⁄8 inch (28.57 mm). The first official mintage of the large cent was in 1793, and its production continued until 1857, when it was officially replaced by the modern-size one-cent coin.
This article is a collection of numismatic and coin collecting terms with concise explanation for the beginner or professional.
The Flying Eagle cent is a one-cent piece struck by the Mint of the United States as a pattern coin in 1856 and for circulation in 1857 and 1858. The coin was designed by Mint Chief Engraver James B. Longacre, with the eagle in flight based on the work of Longacre's predecessor, Christian Gobrecht.
The Shield nickel was the first United States five-cent piece to be made out of copper-nickel, the same alloy of which American nickels are struck today. Designed by James B. Longacre, the coin was issued from 1866 until 1883, when it was replaced by the Liberty Head nickel. The coin takes its name from the motif on its obverse, and was the first five-cent coin referred to as a "nickel"—silver pieces of that denomination had been known as half dimes.
The silver center cent is an American pattern coin, one of the precursors to the large cent and an early example of a bimetallic coin. Fewer than a dozen specimens are known to exist today, and they generally fetch substantial prices; an uncirculated silver center cent sold at auction for $414,000 in January 2002. That price was eclipsed by an example graded PCGS MS61 offered at auction in April 2012, with a price tag of more than $1 million.
The three-dollar piece was a gold coin produced by the United States Bureau of the Mint from 1854 to 1889. Authorized by the Act of February 21, 1853, the coin was designed by Mint Chief Engraver James B. Longacre. The obverse bears a representation of Lady Liberty wearing a headdress of a Native American princess and the reverse a wreath of corn, wheat, cotton, and tobacco.
In 1847, the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi, under the reign of King Kamehaheha III, issued its first official coinage—a large one-cent copper penny—to alleviate the chronic shortage of small denomination coins circulating in the Hawaiian Islands. The next and last official coinage of the Hawaiian Islands was minted in 1883, by King Kalākaua I; however during the intervening period, the changing needs of the Hawaiian Islands were met by circulating private-issued tokens and the coins of the United States of America.
The Coronet large cent was a type of large cent issued by the United States Mint at the Philadelphia Mint from 1816 until 1839.
The Lincoln cent 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, depicting two stalks of wheat. The coin has seen several reverse, or tails, designs and now bears one by Lyndall Bass depicting a Union shield. All coins struck by the United States government with a value of 1/100 of a dollar are called cents because the United States has always minted coins using decimals. The penny nickname is a carryover from the coins struck in England, which went to decimals for coins in 1971.
James Barton Longacre was an American portraitist and engraver, and the fourth Chief Engraver of the United States Mint from 1844 until his death. Longacre is best known for designing the Indian Head cent, which entered commerce in 1859, and for the designs of the Shield nickel, Flying Eagle cent and other coins of the mid-19th century.
The three-cent silver, also known as the three-cent piece in silver or trime, was struck by the Mint of the United States for circulation from 1851 to 1872, and as a proof coin in 1873. Designed by the Mint's chief engraver, James B. Longacre, it circulated well while other silver coinage was being hoarded and melted, but once that problem was addressed, became less used. It was abolished by Congress with the Coinage Act of 1873.
The two-cent billon was a pattern US coin struck in 1836 and initially proposed as part of the Act of January 13, 1837. Versions exist with either a reeded edge and coin orientation or a plain edge and medal orientation; however, those with the former tend to be original strikes, whereas the latter are always proof restrikes.
The United States has several coins and banknotes which were proposed at one time but never adopted.
The 1942 experimental cents were pattern coins struck by the United States Mint to test alternative compositions for the penny.
The Washington nickel is a pattern coin that was struck by the United States Mint in 1866 and again in 1909 and 1910.