The 1844 “44 over 81″ Braided Hair Cent is one of many interesting varieties of the series and also one of several date blunders. The date was first punched inverted, especially evident by traces under the 4s of the date. While not rare, this variety is popular and especially in demand in high grades.
An example graded PCGS MS64RB which is tied for the finest known realized a price of $29,900 at an auction held in September 2011.
While variety collecting of this type is not as popular as the early large cents due to the minute difference of dies it still is a very interesting field of study. This variety is also listed in literature as “blundered date”.
The 1857 Braided Hair Cent represented the last year of both the series and the large cent denomination. The total mintage for circulation reached 333,456 pieces with an estimated 200 proof strikings. This issue represents the lowest mintage for any circulation strike of the series and also experiences some increased demand due to its status as the last of the large cents.
Although there is a modest premium attached to this issue compared to other dates, many examples were saved and remain readily available for contemporary collectors. Some intense searching might be necessary to find a mint state piece with full mint red color. Examples graded MS64 Red have recently sold for prices around $5,000.
Higher grade proofs with red color are similarly in demand. An example graded PCGS PR65RD with CAC verification realized a price of $57,500 in March 2012.
taken from: http://braidedhaircent.com/