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1815 U.S. Large Cent that is not supposed to exist. Comments please.

In US Coins > Large Cents > Show & Tell.
US Coins958 of 9841865-S $20 Gold Double Eagle from the S.S. Brother Jonathan Shipwreck1843 $5 Gold Half Eagle from the S.S. New York Shipwreck
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Posted 8 years ago

(1 item)

I found this wrapped in a paper towel in the bottom of an old purse that my grandmother saved wheat pennies and old nickels in. I researched this item and everyone says that it does not exist. It does not appear to have been an 1813 because it has 13 continuous stars around the lady's head and I have stared at it for over two hours under 15x magnifying glass and I do not see where it even could have been a 1813. The 1816 has the same star pattern and I see no markings that would show it was changed from a 1816. I am very perplexed and kinda excited about this find so please can everyone give me their opinion.

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  1. AC_Dwyer AC_Dwyer, 8 years ago
    What you have is an altered date coin. If you look closely, you'll see that it looks like it was originally an 1845 Braided Hair Large Cent. It's not the 5 that was altered, but the 4 into a 1. You can see the crude tool marks just to the left of the 1. Also, take a look at the curls under the neck truncation. They end just above the 8. This is a feature of the "mature head" braided hair produced from 1843 until the large cent ended in 1857. Another telling feature is the protruding eyebrow, earlier dated large cents didn't have this.

    During the 19th century, people didn't know that the 1815 didn't exist. They just thought it was rare since they had never seen one. When the large cent ended in 1857, the number of people collecting them mushroomed. I'm guessing that sometime after that, someone probably created this coin to sell to an unsuspecting collector.
  2. AC_Dwyer AC_Dwyer, 8 years ago
    One more thing, also look at the positioning of stars 5 and 6 in relation to the tip of Liberty's tiara. This positioning is also only found on the "mature head" braided hair large cents from 1843 until 1857.
  3. joshark69, 8 years ago
    Thank you for the input, I appreciate it greatly. Does this coin have any value other than the 20.00ish the 45's go for because of it's being altered or is it worse of because of it?
  4. AC_Dwyer AC_Dwyer, 8 years ago
    That's a good question. Although I'm not sure what the legality is of owning an altered coin, I can say that replica's (with "copy" stamped on them) of the 1845 altered date sell for $2. So there must still be a market to fill that hole for 1815 with something.

    Occasionally altered 1813 and 1845 coins appear on eBay so you might set up a search for "1815 Large Date" where it emails you automatically when one appears. Then see how much it goes for. But again, I don't know what the legal issues are about owning an altered coin.
  5. sam, 8 years ago
    hi i have 1878 one dollar i want to know how much is worth it
  6. John Rignani, 7 years ago
    Where can I send a picture of the 1815 Large Cent that I have in my possession? I can't see any tool marks on the 1 and the condition of the coin is better than the one discussed above.
  7. VikingFan82 VikingFan82, 7 years ago
    John, post it here.
  8. Mainedigger34, 2 years ago
    My wifes father had one he found in the foundation of a house that was built in 1815 . I am takeing it to a that said it could of been a defect from the mint. It still happens to this day. I will fill you guys in when i find out

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