Classic Head Cents

Mention the word “classic” and people think of works that are beautiful and enduring—Greek and Roman statues, Shakespearean sonnets, even luxury cars from a bygone era. The so-called “Classic Head” large cent produced by the United States Mint in the early 1800s is old enough to be thought of in that context, but it’s not exactly “classic” in terms of beauty. On the contrary, its portraiture is plain—some might even say homely. And yet, while it may be misnamed, it is viewed with great affection by many collectors.