EARLY AMERICAN LARGE CENTS AND HALF CENTS IN THE NATIONAL NUMISMATIC COLLECTION
THIS SITE IS CURRENTLY UNDER CONSTRUCTION. CHECK BACK FREQUENTLY AND FEEL FREE TO FOLLOW ANY ACTIVE LINKS. IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS, PLEASE EMAIL ME.
Currently, I have finished adding the historical data to each date page and the "quick view" section for seeing the nicest coppers in the national numismatic collection. I plan to add articles (links) next, then do the diagnostics, grades, and descriptions for those coins not currently completed after that. Check back to see what I have done.
The National Numismatic Collection, America's coin collection, is housed in the National Museum of American History at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. The collection includes more than 1,600,000 items, including coins, medals, paper money, and tax stamps from countries around the world. There are a number of unique and rare items in our national coin collection, including the only known 1849 $20 gold double eagle coin and two of the three known 1822 $5 gold coins.
First United States Mint
This web site focuses on one portion of this collection, the early American large cents and half cents. These coins were the work horses of the early United States economy, seeing heavy use. The large cent was about the size of a current half dollar and roughly equaled an English half penny in value. The half cent was just a little smaller than a quarter and was used mainly when converting English and Spanish coin values. Some items, however, were priced at half a cent.
The idea to photograph and catalog the early American coppers in the National Numismatic Collection began when Jim Hughes, Museum Specialist at the Smithsonian, and I talked about it at the American Numismatic Association Summer Seminar in 2001. Through persistence on both of our parts, this project finally became a reality in January 2004. Although an image is not as nice as actually seeing a coin, I hope you enjoy viewing these images of the early American copper coins in the National Numismatic Collection.
Many of the nicest coins in the collection are from the United States Mint (see The Mint Collection). Other significant donations came from coin dealers, like Harvey Stack and Catherine Bullowa, and museums, most notably the Chase Manhattan Money Museum. But most of these coins were donated by average collectors, with Howard Finn, J.G. Bruff, and Nagel donating the most. Many others, each identified with the coin, have donated half cents and large cents to our national collection. President Dwight D. Eisenhower even gave two large cents from his collection
There are more than 1,100 half and large cents in the National Numismatic Collection. These coins are photographed and described on this web site.
Click here to view the coins
Last updated 09/16/2006
If you have any questions or comments on this site, please contact me. The easiest, obviously, is by email, but feel free to write. Be sure to use the word "copper" in the subject line of your emails. That way, I will be sure to see it.
Professor, Automotive Technology
Johnson County Community College
12345 College Blvd.
Overland Park, KS 66210
I would never have been able to do this project without the support of my employer, Johnson County Community College, Overland Park, KS. The school granted me a sabbatical leave to pursue this project. They were also very generous in providing expertise in web design and the use of a lap top computer in Washington. Johnson County Community College is also hosting this web site.
I would also like to thank Lucas and Purvee Kempf for providing me a place to live while in Washington. You opened your home to me and accepted me into your family. You helped with my needs and listened to my stories. It was neat to have a "home" in Washington, DC. Thank you so much.