1793 Flowing Hair Large Cent, Chain Reverse

The 1793 Chain Cent (Buy on eBay) was struck during the first year of regular production at the United States Mint in Philadelphia. Although the design was harshly criticized at the time of release, it has become a popular issue with collectors and represents the first cent ever struck for circulation.

1793 Chain Cent
1793 Chain Cent

All Chain Cents were struck from late February to mid-March of 1793. During this brief period, there were a total of eight different deliveries of cents, comprising a mintage of 36,013 pieces. There are five varieties for the issue. One of these (Sheldon’s NC-1, Breen’s variety #5) is extremely rare with only four examples presently known.

A famous blundered reverse die represents the most well-known of the 1793 Chain Cent varieties. An engraving error was created, presumably by Voigt, when he realized that he had spaced the words of the inscription too widely, not leaving enough space for the word “AMERICA.” As such, he engraved only “AMERI.” to make up for the lost space. It is estimated that 200 examples of the variety remain in all grades, with the majority well-worn, damaged, or corroded. One of the finest known examples graded PCGS MS-64+ Brown sold for $1,500,000 in 2019.

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