Disecting Canadian large cents 1858 - 1901 (Obverse only)

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by snaz, Mar 12, 2010.

  1. snaz

    snaz Registry fever

    Canadian large cents started in 1858, There was a limited amount of them minted, thus creating the first key date of the series. There has been an extensive amount of research done on the series and with all the books written on Vicky (Queen Victoria) Large cents it is possible to narrow your 1858 right down to the exact die pair used to strike your coin, and also to know what % of 1858's were struck with that die pair.
    There were 421,000 1858's minted.
    I have heard of 50+ 1858 varietys and just under 20 9/8 varietys.


    Then we go on to 1859, 1859 is rich with recut letters, digits over digits and repunched numbers.
    Here are a few of the more common repunched dates:


    The mint then skipped several years, as between 1858 and 59 they produced 10 million Large cents and the provinces were overwhelmed with coins. The need to start producing cents again started in 1876.
    The obverse design was changed to include a Diadem on Queen Victoria, and the next 3 years (1876, 1881, and 1882) were struck in the Heaton mint.


    1881 is when different varieties of the obverse design were introduced including the Obverse C1, and the Obverse C1a.
    The difference at this point with obverse designs is minuscule, but to the advanced collector are very crucial to completing the set.
    Some of the only differences you'll find will be pointed bust and rounded bust, and the distance between the beads and the bust will be slightly different.
    In 1882 Obverse 2 was introduced, and is easily distinguishable until 1890 because it was the only Obverse Die used with a doubled chin, and where the bust came extremely close to the beads.


    In 1890 they introduced Obverse 3. Also a very easily distinguished by a thin upper lip, a very prominent double chin, and one thick strand of hair between the crown and the brow.
    Some of those details can be a little difficult to spot on a worn out coin, so a good default marker is the doubling of her upper eye lid.


    1891 was a very awesome year for varieties on spacing, digits, and Obverse Varietys. They are usually on the want list of even the newest collectors want list for this series. There are two Obverse Dies used, and the spacing and size changes on the date are too many to count.
    1892 the last Obverse variety was introduced and is called Obverse 4, and it was used until the end of the Vicky large cents in 1901.

    Keep in mind that for every one of these dates, there are hundreds of varietys, too many for one collector to ever collect in his lifetime, but just enough to drive you nuts trying to get them all.
    The next Charlton guide will be coming out this year and the back 100 pages or so will be covering strictly this series and it's varietys. I'd encourage everyone to get a copy, as it seems Large cents are one of those things every one has some, but no one knows what they have.

    Canadian Large cents is a division of Canadian Numismatics that has been exploding the last 2 years or so, and there have, and will be, many books published on this series.

    All photos courtesy of Heritage, and here.
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  3. Art

    Art Numismatist?

    Very interesting. Nice post and terrific info. It's a super series to collect.
  4. Bill in Burl

    Bill in Burl Collector

    Nice little recap, Snaz and I can assure you that more work is currently being done to increase the amount of available reference material. I will beg to differ, a little, on the minimal differences in the 1881's. To me, the '81's are second only to the '59's in number and variety .. and they also have some of the most spectacular offset repunches of any date of any country. Just to get a full set (who knows how many) of the different types of repunched or blundered N's in Cananda and Regina would take considerable time and effort. The 1881's are a variety collector's bonanza!
  5. bqcoins

    bqcoins Olympic Figure Skating Scoring System Expert

    I am a fan of the large canadian cents. I actually have what would be a very nice 59/8 except for the fact that it was a hole drilled through it. :( Otherwise, a very nice piece Snaz
  6. Collect89

    Collect89 Coin Collector

    Thank you for the informative post

    Thank you for the informative post. I learned much from your post including that a "Diadem" is a jeweled headband.
  7. mark_h

    mark_h Somewhere over the rainbow

    Very good post Shawn. Thanks!
  8. snaz

    snaz Registry fever

    Hey Bill, I agree with what you pointed out. But I was only referring to the minuscule change in the obverse design change between Ob1, Ob1a, Ob2, Ob3, and Ob4.

    Anything you want to add to this topic Bill? You certainly have a nice head start on the knowledge of the series.

    Thanks bq, that's a shame to hear about your holed 59. I was lucky to find a 59/8 at the last shop I was at, but it was harshly cleaned. I bought it anyway, but I am still on the look out for a problem free one.

    Thanks Mark, you'll be able to compare with the large cent in the mail. ;)
  9. acanthite

    acanthite ALIIS DIVES

    Great informative post, Snaz. Thanks!
  10. gbroke

    gbroke Naturally Toned

    Excellent post! Now I have to check all of mine.
  11. snaz

    snaz Registry fever

    Hey thanks for the bump, Let me know what you find! :D
  12. yakpoo

    yakpoo Member

    Thanks alot Snaz! I've managed to put together a Canadian Large Cent collection quite by accident (many bored late nights on eBay) and only lack a nice 1858. I had no idea about the varieties, though. You've inspired me to take my Canadian coins more seriously. :thumb:
  13. fishaddicit

    fishaddicit Senior Member

    Excellent read Shawn. More great information for the aspiring collectors.
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