Coronet Head Cent Highlights

1817 Coronet Head Large Cent, 15 Stars

  • Varieties of this type are not as heavily collected as earlier cents, but some remain interesting such as the 1817 Coronet Head Cent with 15 obverse stars. Although somewhat common in lower circulated grades, this variety does become elusive in higher grades, particularly in mint state.
  • The variety was created from a single 1817 obverse die which featured 15 stars rather than the usual 13. The reason for this is unknown, as 13 had been used as the standard since the previous series and the Union already had 19 states in 1817, with a twentieth added late in the year. Some have attributed the variety to a mistake made by the aging Robert Scot, whose eyes at his age almost certainly would have been less accurate than in earlier years, causing an irregular placement of the stars when punched into the die.
  • As mentioned, the variety is obtainable in circulated grades, but drives a stronger premium in higher grades. Some AU and lower mint state examples have sold for prices of around $2,000 at recent auction appearances. 


1821 Coronet Head Large Cent

  • The 1821 Coronet Head Cent had a mintage of just 389,000, which represents the lowest reported mintage of the series. For all other dates with a known mintage, the figures exceed one million.
  • The rarity of this issue in mint state is well know.  Most examples of this date went into circulation and those that did survive in uncirculated condition may come with various problems. As a result, true gems are virtually unheard of, if any truly exist. Together with the two 1823 varieties this issue is the scarcest issue of the Coronet Head Cent series.
  • One of the finest known examples graded MS63 Red and Brown by PCGS sold for $29,000 at auction in January 2006.

1823 Coronet Head Large Cent

  • From an unknown mintage, the 1823  Coronet Head Cent is usually considered to be the rarest of the middle date large cents. Two major varieties exist, one with a normal date, the other struck from an overdated 1823/2 die.
  • Despite the scarcity of this issue, low grade examples can be found at reasonable cost, but these are often porous, corroded or otherwise damaged. High grade examples are rare and very few true uncirculated examples exist. A higher end about uncirculated example graded PCGS AU58 sold for $32,200 in January 2010.
  • An unofficial restrike for this date exists, made outside the Mint circa 1860. It was created using a discarded 1823 obverse die paired with an 1813 reverse die. Both dies were heavily rusted and most examples will display both dies cracked across. These restrikes are believed to have been created at the same time and by the same people as the 1804 restrike cents.

1839/6 Coronet Head Large Cent

  • Many varieties exist within this series, but none is as rare or appealing than the 1839/6 Coronet Head Cent. The overdate is bold and clear, making the pieces readily identifiable and adding to the allure of the variety.
  • From an unknown mintage, very few examples have survived in high grade, with even heavily circulated examples somewhat scarce. The finest known example is graded by PCGS as MS65 Brown and could easily fetch six digits when sold at auction, a rare feat within this series which is generally considered to be “common”.

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