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My First Large Cents!

Posted by on October 12, 2013
1839 Large Cent

1839 Large Cent

The United States started minting one cent coins nationally in 1793. While some of the older ones are very rare and atop many a detectors’ bucket lists, later-year large cents aren’t all that uncommon. However, they were uncommon to me. In an area rich in colonial-era and early- to mid-1800s relics, I just couldn’t seem to find one. While better coins are out there, the large cent — ANY large cent — topped my bucket list.

As the summer of ’13 was winding down, I found myself detecting in solitude on an old property in Northern New Jersey. The ground was chock full of iron, making good sgnals difficult to hear. After recovering a bunch of rusty nails, I was starting to feel less than optimistic.  Minelab CTX 3030 started to get yet another iffy signal. This one sounded deep, but I wasn’t sure if it was anything good. But still I had to dig.

After digging rather deeply (about 8 inches) I pulled out another rusty nail. Sigh… but after re-scanning the hole there was another target still in there. So I dug a little more and out popped a round coin-like object. After being a little stunned (since I was expecting another nail) I knew exactly what I was looking at. A large cent!! I had done it! I got the coin I have been hunting for! The year was 1839!

1839 Large Cent

1839 Large Cent

The video below captures my excitement.

High on a good find, I continued to detect. Not long later I got a good signal and dug. No way! Another large cent!!! 1846!! Two! I couldn’t believe it!

As you can see from the photo below, large cents are called large for a reason! I believe at the time they were called “one cent” until 1857 when the Flying Eagle penny came out, which is the size of our modern penny.

1846 Large Cent next to a modern penny

1846 Large Cent next to a modern penny

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