Draped Bust Facts & History:

The Draped Bust Large Cent Coin was minted from 1797-1807 and with several varieties: 1796 LIHERTY, 1798/9 over date, 1801 1/1000 incorrect fraction, only one stem, and IINITED, 1807/6 over date, and a 'gripped' (incuse segments on the edge) and 'plain' edge varieties. The links to the far right show many varieties that is not listed here.

One must be aware of the 1804 counterfeits as this is a very rare key date. This date is also the subject of many private restrikes when old, rusted and mismatched dies were used by private citizens to "re-create" this rare date. It's believed these private restrikes were created in the 1860's through the 80's. The condition of a restrike makes it easy to identify. See image below.

Scot's Draped Bust coin design used a drawing by artist Gilbert Stuart as inspiration. It depicts Liberty with flowing hair, a ribbon behind her head and drapery at her neckline. The inscription LIBERTY is above the bust and the date below. There are three varieties of reverses; each varies the leaves and berries on the wreath. They are known as the "Type of 1794," "Type of 1795" or "Type of 1797." All three types were used on the reverse of 1796 cents, with the latter two types on the 1797. The last reverse remained constant on the dates through 1807.

"Over sixteen million Draped Bust large Cent coins were made between 1796 and 1807. Although replete with many scarce varieties, the series has one particularly rare date, 1799. Although the mintage was relatively high, they are elusive in all grades. One story relating to their short supply opines that thousands of 1799 dated cents destined for tribal chiefs in exchange for slaves were lost at sea while being shipped to Africa by a Salem, Massachusetts company." CoinFacts.com


Designer: Robert Scot

Diameter: 28 millimeters

Metal content: Copper - 100%

Weight: 168 grains (10.9 grams)

Edge: Plain, except for two varieties that have a "Gripped" Edge

Mint marks: None (all 1797 Large Cents were struck at the Philadelphia Mint)

Related links: Draped Bust Mintages and Values, PhotoGrading Draped Bust Large Cents, One Cent Patterns

1804 Large Cent Restrike Image
1798 Draped Bust Large Cent Image