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Coronet And Braided Hair Cents - Physical Attributes

 
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New Member
United States
7 Posts
 Posted 01/22/2020  09:05 am Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add Buffalo78 to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
So I always weigh and check diameter and thickness of all coins I acquire. These stats are documented in a self developed spreadsheet. I do this to help assure authenticity of my acquisitions. I perform this even for common, low value coins as it gives me additional statistics for comparison purposes. It is very interesting as I can see some very direct correlations between weight and grades, especially with Morgans meaning I have a pretty good idea of what an authentic VG Morgan should weigh compared to mint specifications of the coin. I have found there to be a lot of variation in the Large Cents between 1816 and 1857. I have not found a lot of information but have seen where the mint was not nearly as stringent with the specifications of the blanks. Does anyone have much background/knowledge on this? I believe the RedBook even lists a diameter range for the Coronet Cents at 28-29 mm. I am asking this as I have two large cents that are just weighing less than I would expect and I do not see a clear correlation in diameter or thickness. They have me a bit concerned. Here is a snippet from my spreadsheet.




The two coins in question are the 1821 and 1822. The weight of the 1821 may be explained by the slightly smaller diameter but the 1822 has me perplexed. I will post a couple of photos when I have a chance but I was curious if anyone else had experience with the variation of the physical attributes of these large cents?
Bedrock of the Community
United States
31861 Posts
 Posted 01/22/2020  09:17 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add John1 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
to CCF. I know the mit has a tolerance they consider normal. 10.89 grams is normal http://goccf.com/t/280621#2382424
Don't know if that helps you or not.
John1
( I'm no pro, it's just my humble opinion )
Searched 5+ Million Cents Since 1971
Bedrock of the Community
United States
16235 Posts
 Posted 01/22/2020  11:39 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Conder101 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Gold and silver, being precious metals and until 1837 strictly owned by depositors, had strict tolerance ranges. This was also needed because the coins contained their full face value in metal value. Copper on the other hand was coined for government account and while the intrinsic value was intended to be fairly close to the face value there was a built in seigniorage profit built in. This profit, in theory, was to be enough to pay the expenses of the mint. For this reason while the cent planchets had a specified weight, until 1837 there was no official tolerance range for copper coins. These coins were struck without a restraining collar so the diameters vary depending on the annealing of the planchets and the force of the strike. And since the strike was controlled by the force applied by the swinging of the arm of the screw press coining workmen every coins strike force varied. Hence the diameters varied. Why the unusual low weight for your 1821 and 22 I can't say, unless possibly the mint may have been trying to source a second supplier of planchets at the time. I know Boulton & Watt was the main supplier of copper planchets at the early mint after 1796, I do know they were trying some other suppliers in the 20's and 30's but at the moment I can't say if they did so in 1821,22 or not.
Gary Schmidt
New Member
United States
7 Posts
 Posted 01/22/2020  12:55 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Buffalo78 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you Conder 101. That is good background info. I know that most publications report 10.89 as the standard weight, but I have seen a tremendous amount of variation to that.
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