Braided Hair Cents

Coins / United States of America / 1 Cent

Braided Hair Penny Value

The braided hair penny value ranges from $1 to $100,000 depending on the quality of the coin, which year it was minted in, which mint it was manufactured at, and its strike type.

1856 Braided Hair Cent Obverse

1856 Braided Hair Cent Reverse

Braided Hair Penny Overview / History

The Braided Hair Cent was a variation of the Coronet Head Cent or Matron Cent. This Large Cent features Lady Liberty looking left, but is mainly differentiated by a braid of Liberty’s hair from her ear across her forehead. This modification of the Coronet Head Cent represents the last Large Cent to be produced mainly because of rising copper prices. The Braided Hair Cent was designed by Cristian Gorbrecht who had redesigned Lady Liberty from the early version of the previous Coronet Head Cent.  

Similar to the Classic Head Cent and the Coronet Cent the obverse of this coin features Lady Liberty looking left, wearing a fillet inscribed with the word LIBERTY.  The namesake braid of hair extends across her forehead, and an uncurved date is found below Liberty’s bust. Thirteen stars, representing the original thirteen colonies are found around the rim of the coin. The reverse features the similar wreath encircling the words ONE CENT.  There is no horizontal line under the ONE CENT as seen on previous Large Cent coins, nor is there a fraction denoting the value of the coin out of 100 as seen on early Large Cent coins.  The text UNITED STATES OF AMERICA comprises the outer circle of the reverse side of this coin.     

Two notable variations of the Braided Hair Cent exist, the Petit Head and Mature Head.  The Petit Head has a smaller head for Lady Liberty relative to the coin size and her head is tilted forward.  The Mature Head variation enlarged Lady Liberty’s head in 1843 and was used until the end of the series in 1857.

ID: 14

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