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Question on sizes of later date Large Cents

Hello all,

I'm looking for some assistance with diameters on large cents from 1839 to 1857. While they are listed as 27.5mm both in the Red Book and on Coinfacts, a couple of examples I have on hand measure closer to 28mm. This is a critical matter as I assemble homemade albums for collectors.

Can a few fellow forumites help me with the measurements?

Thanks!

Custom album maker and numismatic photographer, see my portfolio here: (http://www.donahuenumismatics.com/).

Comments

  • Steven59Steven59 Posts: 8,163 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 28, 2024 2:41PM

    I have a whitman large cent album and noticed some coins fit tight and others drop right in with space to spare. Actually had to use a small piece of black foam to stick between the coin and the edge of the hole to keep some of them from moving around.

    EDIT: So it seems that the Large Cents may indeed have slightly different diameters

  • CaptHenwayCaptHenway Posts: 31,437 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The diameter tolerance on Lincoln cents in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s was about 0.15 mm, so I would not be surprised if the tolerance on large cents was slightly larger.

    Numismatist. 50 year member ANA. Winner of four ANA Heath Literary Awards; three Wayte and Olga Raymond Literary Awards; Numismatist of the Year Award 2009, and Lifetime Achievement Award 2020. Winner numerous NLG Literary Awards.
  • CaptHenwayCaptHenway Posts: 31,437 ✭✭✭✭✭

    FWIW, Roger B. sent me a copy of an 1832 letter from the Mint to their American planchet supplier complaining that a recent batch had been too large for the Mint's collar. Either the Mint re-upset the planchets to reduce their diameter, or they took a collar and filed out the inside of the hole to make it a bit bigger and used it for that batch of planchets.

    Since I have never heard of a vending machine that took large cents, the precise diameter of the coins was probably not too important.

    TD

    Numismatist. 50 year member ANA. Winner of four ANA Heath Literary Awards; three Wayte and Olga Raymond Literary Awards; Numismatist of the Year Award 2009, and Lifetime Achievement Award 2020. Winner numerous NLG Literary Awards.
  • The_Dinosaur_ManThe_Dinosaur_Man Posts: 821 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @CaptHenway that is intriguing information, particularly in your second comment. This would appear to make the tolerance for the series a minimum of 0.5mm.

    Custom album maker and numismatic photographer, see my portfolio here: (http://www.donahuenumismatics.com/).

  • jesbrokenjesbroken Posts: 9,033 ✭✭✭✭✭

    For what it is worth, 1839 Coronet Head Cents were 28mm and the 1839 Braided Hair Cents were 27.5mm. I have never been affluent enough to own many Uncirculated Large Cents, but have had hundreds of Large Cents all dates and some, while circulated, were very different in sizes. Have had most every album for these coins, some were tight, some were just right and some were loose. Always just attributed it to wear, but who knows. I have purchased an album from TDM and can tell you he makes quality merchandise.
    Jim


    When a man who is honestly mistaken hears the truth, he will either quit being mistaken or cease to be honest....Abraham Lincoln

    Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.....Mark Twain
  • CaptHenwayCaptHenway Posts: 31,437 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @CaptHenway said:
    The diameter tolerance on Lincoln cents in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s was about 0.15 mm, so I would not be surprised if the tolerance on large cents was slightly larger.

    @The_DInosaur_Man You made me look back at what I wrote and I was wrong. The tolerance RANGE on Lincoln cents was about 0.15 mm between smallest and largest. They drilled new cent collars out at 0.747 inch, 0.003 mm less than the 0.750 inch standard, and let them erode from use out to 0.753 mm before retiring them.

    THus the tolerance on the Lincoln cents was 0.003 inch, or about 0.075 mm. Sorry about that.

    Numismatist. 50 year member ANA. Winner of four ANA Heath Literary Awards; three Wayte and Olga Raymond Literary Awards; Numismatist of the Year Award 2009, and Lifetime Achievement Award 2020. Winner numerous NLG Literary Awards.

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