– Classic Head Cent (1808-1814)

The Classic Head Cent is a historic coin issued by the United States Mint from 1808 to 1814. It represents an important era in American numismatic history and is cherished by collectors for its classic design and historical significance.  

Design: The obverse (front) of the coin features a left-facing bust of Lady Liberty wearing a headband inscribed with the word "Liberty." The reverse (back) typically depicts a laurel wreath encircling the denomination "One Cent" or "1/100." 

Designer: The design of the Classic Head Cent is attributed to John Reich, a German-born engraver who worked for the United States Mint. Reich's rendition of Lady Liberty on the coin reflects the neoclassical style prevalent in the early 19th century, with its emphasis on classical motifs and graceful proportions. 

Metal Composition: The Classic Head Cent was struck in copper, with a weight of approximately 10.89 grams and a diameter of about 29 millimeters. Copper remained the primary metal used for U.S. coinage during this time period due to its availability and suitability for coin production. 

Mintage: The mintage numbers for the Classic Head 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 Classic Head Cent occurred during a period of significant change and growth for the United States. The early 19th century saw the expansion of westward settlement, the Louisiana Purchase, and the emergence of the United States as a global economic power.  

Collector's Value: Due to their age, historical significance, and limited mintage numbers, Classic Head Cents are highly sought after by coin collectors and numismatists. 

Legacy: The Classic Head Cent represents an important chapter in American numismatic history as one of the early official one-cent coins minted by the United States government. 

It reflects the ideals and aspirations of the young nation, as well as the artistic and technological achievements of its time. Today, these coins serve as tangible artifacts that offer insights into the economic, cultural, and political landscape of the early 19th century United States. 

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