The Silver center cent is an American pattern coinproduced by the United States Mint in 1792. As a precursor to the large cent it was one of the first coins of the United States and an early example of a bimetallic coin. Only 12 original examples are known to exist, of which one is located in the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution. Two more specimens (Morris and California) exist but contain fabricated plugs added after minting.
Due to their rarity and historical significance Silver center cents are highly prized by collectors with one graded PCGS MS61 being sold in an online auction in April 2012 for $1.15 million.
During the early years of the American republic, there was a general consensus that the intrinsic bullion value of the new nation's coinage should be approximately equal to its face value. Some merchants would refuse to accept coins that did not meet this standard.For most denominations, bullion parity was achieved by producing the coins in a gold or silver alloy. However, the Coinage Act of 1792 specified that the cent was to consist of 11 pennyweight (264 grains or 17.1 g) of pure copper. Such a weight, needed to maintain intrinsic value, would have been too heavy for practical everyday use.
U.S. Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson suggested an alternative: a coin made of an alloy that was primarily copper, but that included enough silver to give a reasonably-sized coin an intrinsic value of one cent. This billon alloy was considered by the U.S. Mint, 3⁄4¢ at contemporary bullion prices, while the copper planchet added an additional 1⁄4¢ of intrinsic value. Several such coins were produced as test pieces. Ultimately, the additional labor required for these bimetallic coins proved unsuitable for mass production, and the large cent that was produced for circulation starting in 1793 consisted of 208 grains of 100% copper.but U.S. Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton feared that it would be too susceptible to counterfeiting, since its appearance differed little from that of pure copper. In 1792, the Mint's chief coiner, Henry Voigt, hit upon a solution: a copper planchet, slightly smaller than that of a modern quarter, with a small silver "plug" inserted in a center hole during the striking process. The silver plug would have been worth approximately
The obverse of the silver center cent features a right-hand facing Liberty head with flowing unbound hair. The date appears below the portrait, and the words "LIBERTY PARENT OF SCIENCE & INDUST." are inscribed in a circular pattern around the central devices. The reverse design consists of a wreath with the words "ONE CENT" in the center, and the fraction "1/100" below. Surrounding the wreath, "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" is inscribed.
|List of Known Specimens|
|Garrett Specimen||MS67 Brown PCGS|
|Norweb Specimen||MS64 PCGS|
|Bushnell Specimen||MS61+ Brown NGC||2000 - $178,250 |
2013 - $822,500
|Morris Specimen||MS61 Brown PCGS||2012 - $1,150,000||Non-genuine center plug|
|Weinberg Specimen||Mint State||2019 - $750,000|
|Stearns Specimen||XF||2015 - $499,375|
|Judd Specimen||XF||2018 - $336,000|
|Newman Specimen||XF||2014 - $1,410,000|
|Queller Specimen||VF30 NGC||1875 - $45 |
2009 - $253,000
|Starr Specimen||Fine 15 PCGS|
|California Specimen||VG10 Details, Scratched ANACS||Non-genuine center plug determined to be made of iron upon grading|
|Unplugged Specimen||SP63 PCGS||Missing silver insert|
A coin is a small, flat, round piece of metal or plastic used primarily as a medium of exchange or legal tender. They are standardized in weight, and produced in large quantities at a mint in order to facilitate trade. They are most often issued by a government. Coins often have images, numerals, or text on them. Obverse and its opposite, reverse, refer to the two flat faces of coins and medals. In this usage, obverse means the front face of the object and reverse means the back face. The obverse of a coin is commonly called heads, because it often depicts the head of a prominent person, and the reverse tails.
Coins of the United States dollar were first minted in 1792. New coins have been produced annually and they make up a valuable aspect of the United States currency system. Today, circulating coins exist in denominations of 1¢, 5¢, 10¢, 25¢, 50¢, and $1.00. Also minted are bullion and commemorative coins. All of these are produced by the United States Mint. The coins are then sold to Federal Reserve Banks which in turn are responsible for putting coins into circulation and withdrawing them as demanded by the country's economy.
1943 steel cents are U.S. one-cent coins that were struck in steel due to wartime shortages of copper. The Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco mints each produced these 1943 Lincoln cents. The unique composition of the coin has led to various nicknames, such as wartime cent, steel war penny, zinc cent and steelie. The 1943 steel cent features the same Victor David Brenner design for the Lincoln cent which had been in use since 1909.
A nickel is a five-cent coin struck by the United States Mint. Composed of cupronickel, the piece has been issued since 1866. Its diameter is 0.835 inches (21.21 mm) and its thickness is 0.077 inches (1.95 mm).
The United States Mint is a bureau of the Department of the Treasury responsible for producing coinage for the United States to conduct its trade and commerce, as well as controlling the movement of bullion. It does not produce paper money; that responsibility belongs to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. The first United States Mint was created in Philadelphia in 1792, and soon joined by other centers, whose coins were identified by their own mint marks. There are currently four active coin-producing mints: Philadelphia, Denver, San Francisco, and West Point.
The dime, in United States usage, is a ten-cent coin, one tenth of a United States dollar, labeled formally as "one dime". The denomination was first authorized by the Coinage Act of 1792. The dime is the smallest in diameter and is the thinnest of all U.S. coins currently minted for circulation, being 0.705 inches in diameter and 0.053 in (1.35 mm) in thickness. The obverse of the current dime depicts the profile of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the reverse boasts an olive branch, a torch, and an oak branch, from left to right respectively. As of 2011, the dime coin cost 5.65 cents to produce.
The eagle was a United States $10 gold coin issued by the United States Mint from 1792 to 1933.
The Coinage Act of 1792, passed by the United States Congress on April 2, 1792, created the United States dollar as the country's standard unit of money, established the United States Mint, and regulated the coinage of the United States. This act established the silver dollar as the unit of money in the United States, declared it to be lawful tender, and created a decimal system for U.S. currency.
The half dime, or half disme, was a silver coin, valued at five cents, formerly minted in the United States.
The Canadian five-cent coin, commonly called a nickel, is a coin worth five cents or one-twentieth of a Canadian dollar. It was patterned on the corresponding coin in the neighbouring United States. It became the smallest-valued coin in the currency upon the discontinuation of the penny in 2013. Due to inflation, the purchasing power of the nickel continues to drop and currently the coin represents less than 0.5% of the country's lowest minimum hourly wage.
The Flowing Hair dollar was the first dollar coin issued by the United States federal government. The coin was minted in 1794 and 1795; its size and weight were based on the Spanish dollar, which was popular in trade throughout the Americas.
This glossary of numismatics is a list of definitions of terms and concepts relevant to numismatics and coin collecting, as well as sub-fields and related disciplines, with concise explanations 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 1792 half disme is an American silver coin with a face value of five cents which was minted in 1792. Although it is subject to debate as to whether this was intended to be circulating coinage or instead an experimental issue, President George Washington referred to it as "a small beginning" and many of the coins eventually were released into circulation. It is widely considered the first United States coinage struck under authority of the Coinage Act of 1792.
The 1974 aluminum cent was a one-cent coin proposed by the United States Mint in 1973. It was composed of an alloy of aluminum and trace metals, and intended to replace the predominantly copper–zinc cent due to the rising costs of coin production in the traditional bronze alloy. Of the 1,571,167 coins struck in anticipation of release, none were released into circulation. To encourage congressional support for the new alloy, the Mint distributed several examples to US Congressmen. When the proposed aluminum cent was rejected, the Mint recalled and destroyed those coins. However, despite the recall, a few aluminum cents were not returned to the Mint, and those coins may remain at-large. One example was donated to the Smithsonian Institution, while another was alleged to have been found by Albert P. Toven, a US Capitol Police Officer. A 1974-D specimen was found in January 2014 by Randall Lawrence, who said it was a retirement gift to his father, Harry Edmond Lawrence, who was Deputy Superintendent at the Denver Mint. Randall planned on selling it in a public auction, but the Mint demanded its return, saying that the coin was never authorized for release and therefore remains U.S. Government property. Lawrence ultimately surrendered the coin when the Mint showed that the aluminum cent had never been authorized to be struck in Denver, and there was no evidence that the coin had been a gift of any kind.
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 coinage metals comprise, at a minimum, those metallic chemical elements which have historically been used as components in alloys used to mint coins. The term is not perfectly defined, however, since a number of metals have been used to make "demonstration coins" which have never been used to make monetized coins for any nation-state, but could be. Some of these elements would make excellent coins in theory, but their status as coin metals is not clear. In general, because of problems caused when coin metals are intrinsically valuable as commodities, there has been a trend in the 21st century toward use of coinage metals of only the least exotic and expensive types.
The 1804 dollar or Bowed Liberty Dollar was a dollar coin struck by the Mint of the United States, of which fifteen specimens are currently known to exist. Though dated 1804, none were struck in that year; all were minted in the 1830s or later. They were first created for use in special proof coin sets used as diplomatic gifts during Edmund Roberts' trips to Siam and Muscat.
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 Morris specimen traces its pedigree back to Charles Morris and its appearance in S.H. & H. Chapman's auction in April 1905.
Metal content: Copper - 100%. Weight: ±208 grains (±13.5 grams).
On January 14, 1793, the President signed into law a bill reducing the weight of the cent to 208 grains (13.48 grams).