Composition and Specifications

The Draped Bust Cent represented the first series for the denomination which was struck on somewhat standardized planchets, although some variety may still be noted. With a composition of pure copper, the coins have a standard weight of 10.89 grams (168 grains) and diameter of approximately 29 mm. All have a plain edge and a rim surrounded by dentils, which had been introduced in 1794.

As with all early American coins, production quality varies greatly on these pieces, as does the survival rate of high-quality coins. It should not be forgotten that the purpose of these now historic coins was to circulate, with very few collectors present at the time to save pieces from circulation. Nonetheless, some issues are represented by exceptionally high-quality coins, which somehow escaped the fate of long and heavy circulation. Coins which did circulate are surprisingly plentiful, but often come with various problems like corrosion, cleaning, or damaged surfaces.