Origin: Large cents were minted by the United States from 1793 to 1857. They were among the first coins ever authorized by the U.S. Congress under the newly ratified Constitution, and were initially made of pure copper. The large cent underwent several design changes during its lifespan, with the early designs featuring a portrait of Lady Liberty on the obverse and a wreath on the reverse. These specific large cents include a mix of Coronet cents and braided hair cents. These designs are nearly identical aside from minor differences, with the former beginning production in 1816 and the latter in 1839.
Despite its popularity and longevity, the large cent was eventually replaced by the smaller, more convenient Flying Eagle cent in 1857. The large cent was simply too large and heavy to be practical for everyday use, and its size made it difficult to carry and store in large quantities. The Flying Eagle cent, which was made of a copper-nickel alloy, was much easier to handle and store, and it quickly became the preferred coin of commerce. U.S. pennies have not changed significantly in size since large cents were phased out.
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