1885 – Braided Hair Cent (1839-1857)Trade Dollar T$1 

The Braided Hair Cent is a historic coin issued by the United States Mint from 1839 to 1857. It represents the final design of the large cent series before it was replaced by the smaller-sized Flying Eagle Cent. Here's an overview of the Braided Hair Cent: 

Design: The obverse (front) of the coin features a left-facing bust of Lady Liberty with her hair intricately braided and tied with a ribbon. The word "Liberty" is inscribed on a band encircling her head. The reverse (back) typically depicts a wreath encircling the denomination "One Cent" or "1/100." 

Designer: The design of the Braided Hair Cent is attributed to Christian Gobrecht, the Chief Engraver of the United States Mint at the time. Gobrecht's rendition of Lady Liberty on the coin reflects the neoclassical style prevalent in the mid-19th century, with its emphasis on classical motifs and graceful proportions. 

Metal Composition: The Braided Hair Cent was struck in bronze, with a composition of 95% copper and 5% tin and zinc. This composition remained consistent throughout the entire series. 

Mintage: The mintage numbers for the Braided Hair Cent varied from year to year, with production levels influenced by factors such as demand for small denomination coins, economic conditions, and technological advancements in coin production.  

Historical Context: The issuance of the Braided Hair Cent occurred during a period of significant change and expansion in the United States. The mid-19th century saw the country undergoing rapid industrialization, westward expansion, and social transformation.  

Collector's Value: Due to their age, historical significance, and limited mintage numbers, Braided Hair Cents are highly sought after by coin collectors and numismatists. Coins in good condition, particularly those with sharp details and attractive patina, can command high prices on the numismatic market. 

Legacy: The Braided Hair Cent represents the end of an era for the large cent series in the United States. In 1857, the Mint Act of 1857 abolished the large cent coin due to declining use and rising production costs.  

1. Today, these coins serve as tangible artifacts that offer insights into the economic, cultural, and political landscape of the mid-19th century United States.

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