Braided Hair Large Cent Values

How Much Braided Hair Large Cents are Worth: Braided Hair Large Cent Values & Coin Price Chart

Description and History

The Braided Hair Large Cent, minted from 1839 to 1857, represents the final design in the series of large cents produced by the United States Mint. This coin is a crucial piece of early American numismatics, reflecting the artistic and manufacturing advancements of the U.S. Mint during that period and the evolving economy of the pre-Civil War United States.

Christian Gobrecht, Chief Engraver at the U.S. Mint, created the Braided Hair design. The coin’s obverse features a portrait of Liberty wearing a coronet inscribed with “LIBERTY,” her hair styled in a tightly braided fashion that gives this coin its name. The reverse showcases a wreath encircling the denomination “ONE CENT,” with the words “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” encircling the wreath.

The Braided Hair Large Cent was introduced during significant change and innovation at the U.S. Mint. It succeeded the earlier Coronet (or Matron Head) design, reflecting a desire for a more modern and aesthetically pleasing depiction of Liberty. Minted until the advent of the smaller Flying Eagle cent in 1857, the Braided Hair Large Cent was among the last of the large copper coins that had been a staple of American currency since the late 18th century. Its production ceased as part of a broader effort to modernize the nation’s coinage, which included the introduction of smaller, more practical coins made of less expensive materials.

Today, the Braided Hair Large Cent is highly valued by collectors and investors for its historical significance, beauty, and rarity, especially in higher grades. Its presence in a collection offers a glimpse into a pivotal era of American numismatics. It is marked by the transition from large, cumbersome copper coins to the smaller, more convenient denominations that would dominate U.S. currency in the following years.