Large Cents along with Half Cents were the first coins struck under the authority of the United States Government. The first official mintage of the Large Cent was in 1793. Production continued until 1857, when it was officially replaced by the modern sized one cent coin, now referred to as the “penny.”
Matron Head Design (1816-1839) Chief Engraver Robert Scot created the large cent with the “Matron Head” design in 1816. This design enlarged the portrait of Lady Liberty giving her a more mature look (hence the “Matron Head” reference), and surrounded the portrait with stars along the outer edge.
Braided Hair Design (1839-1857) Chief Engraver Christian Gobrecht re-created the large cent with the Braided Hair Design in 1839. This updated design gave Lady Liberty a slimmer, more youthful appearance. Minor adjustments to the design continued through 1843, after which no additional changes were made to the design through the end of mintage.