Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Three Faces of Lady Liberty: The Matron

Our foundation unit artifacts continue to produce. This is a Coronet Matron Head Cent, which was circulated between 1816 and 1839. Engraved by Robert Scot, it has the head of Liberty wearing a crown surrounded by six-pointed stars. The coin we have has the usual 13 stars, but a mistake in 1817 gave some of these coins 15. This Liberty is rather more robust than others and scholars in the 1950's commented that she “resembled the head of an obese ward boss instead of a lady”, and that it is “probably the ugliest head of Ms. Liberty ever to appear on a U.S. coin.” Most Matron coins also have the regular dentilled rim, but some 1834 coins have a beaded rim. Our coin, however, is so worn that both the date and any definition on the rim is gone. (top image)

The Matron Cent can be Brown, Red-Brown, or Red. The latter being the most rare and most expensive.

Have a great Thanksgiving Weekend!


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