Birch Cent, United States, Pattern, 1792

United States Mint, Philadelphia. Obverse: Head of Liberty with flowing hair facing right, date below. Reverse: Denomination in wreath, fraction (1/100) below. This design has been traditionally ascribed to a British artist named William Russell Birch. Patterns with these designs were struck towards the end of 1792. By the time the cent entered formal production, however, its weight and size had been reduced, and another artist was brought in to design the coin.
[reference no. Judd 4]
Object Name
date made
U.S. Mint
Physical Description
copper (overall material)
overall: 25 mm x 32.5 mm; 31/32 in x 1 9/32 in
place made
United States
Associated Place
United States
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Coins, Currency and Medals
See more items in
Armed Forces History: National Numismatic Collection
Stories on Money
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of Stack's
Publication title
Glossary of Coins and Currency Terms
Publication URL
Additional Media

Visitor Comments

1/13/2015 8:56:53 PM
Omar deeb
Thank you for this opportunity to ask questions. This 1792 birch penny was made in Phila. Penn. How many were made and where would they likely go when they went into circulation? Thanks again
7/2/2015 9:36:36 AM
Thank you for your question. Unfortunately, the number of Birch Cents minted and specifically where they circulated is unknown. There are only eleven of these coins known to remain today. If you are interested in Birch Cents and other early American coins, a good resource for more information is “America’s Money, America’s Story: A Chronicle of American Numismatic History” by Richard Doty.
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