The one cent denomination continued its evolution during the early days of American coinage. Within the space of five years, there would be four different designs created, which culminated with the Draped Bust design introduced in 1796. Finally, there would be a measure of satisfaction with this design, which continued in use until 1807, experiencing high mintages during the course of its run.
The design was created by Robert Scot and is believed to have been based on a painting originally created by Gilbert Stuart. A rendition of Liberty is portrayed with her hair slightly flowing and bound back with a ribbon. Her bust is visible, partially draped, accounting for the modern appellation of the series. On the reverse is the open wreath motif, which had been introduced in the previous series, with an indication of the denomination.
Production would take place at the early Philadelphia Mint with mintages reaching well into the millions for some issues. This was quite a feat for the early Mint and a testament to the demand for the coins within commerce.
For the Draped Bust Cent series:
- The highest mintage occurred in 1802 at 3,435,100 pieces.
- The lowest reported mintage occurred for 1804 at 96,500 pieces, although the 1799 is believed to have a significantly lower figure which is unknown.
- Across all issues, there were 16,069,270 coins struck, yielding an average of 1,460,843 coins per date.
Draped Bust Cent Mintages