The Flowing Hair Cents were struck on copper planchets which came from various sources, often of inferior quality, but the best that was available at the Mint at this time. In uncirculated condition, they weight 13.48 grams (208 grains) and have a diameter that varies between 26 and 27 millimeters, another result of the various sources used for the planchets. The edge shows a somewhat unusual design, with raised bars and vines, called the vine-and-bars edge.
Production quality of both the Chain as well as the Wreath cents varied, due to the primitive circumstances and less-than ideal machinery on which these pieces were created, together with the inexperience of most of the Mint’s personal. Striking quality thus varies from coin to coin, although some varieties are better struck than others. The popular and rare AMERI. variety is notably known for being weakly struck, with the date very weak, even on examples grading as high as Very Good. As a general rule, the wreath cents come better struck than the chain cents, struck earlier in the same year.