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Roxanne Goldberg
PO Box 0116
Wyncote, PA 19095
United States


Friends, I am the "copper cuckoo". Just so you know that you are dealing with a true aficianado of early US copper. I specialize in Large cents and half cents, collecting by die variety.

What else is there in life, besides early copper? I think of them as my "babies", because many of them were handmade. The early and middle dates are the most fun to collect. I also collect the strange stuff. I have a small "rim clip" collection. I also enjoy double struck coins, as well as off-center pieces. If it is strange, I like it. These are my favorite errors: planchet clips, off-centered, double struck, misaligned obverse, etc. These definitely "catch my eye". Many varieties are beyond the normal budget.

Please note that this is not an official EAC web page. Everything contained in these words, is mine! I am not a spokesperson for the EAC.

1794 makes for an interesting study of Large cents. There are lettered edge coins, with pole, without pole, coins with cute nicknames, etc. This is also a budget-killer year. A couple of these cute nicknames are: "apple cheeks" (S-24) and "amiable face" (S-30). There are many more among the 1794s with nicknames. I will not elaborate on them right now.

If you were to collect Large cents, I can recommend a few books: They are:

  1. Dr. William Sheldon's, PENNY WHIMSY
  2. Noyes' 2 books: US Large Cents 1793-1814 and US Large Cents 1816-1839
  3. John Wright's, THE CENT BOOK
  4. Howard Newcomb's Large Cents (This book is a bit out of date)
  5. Grellman & Reiver's Late Date Attributions 1840-1857

Here are a few hints to help attribute early and middle date Large cents...

  1. First, look at where certain diagnostics are on the obverse, Where is LIBERTY, in relation to a normal positioning?
  2. Does the date look kind of odd (pointy, wide, doubled ones, certain digits too low, odd spacing of digits, date into bust of Liberty, etc)?
  3. What is LIBERTY's position in relationship to correct curvature, near or far from the rim, recut letters, broken letters, etc?
  4. Are there recut stars, die breaks, cuds, etc?
  5. Look at Ms. Liberty's hair and Coronet, in relation to certain stars.
  6. Then, look at the reverse. Do any letters look low, small, large?
  7. Do any of the leaves have doubling?
  8. Is there a center dot in ONE CENT?
  9. Are there any die cracks or cuds?
  10. How about counting the berries on each side?
  11. Take a look at the positioning of the fraction, and look at the digits, to see if there is an error. There are more diagnostics to look for, but this is a start.

More to come later.....

Warning: cleaning coppers is irreversible!

Here is the method I used to clean MY Large cents. This was my method, and I would only recommend doing this AFTER consulting with an expert. I am only an enthusiast, not an expert! I used the following tools:

After I assembled all of these items, I made my kitchen a well-ventilated room, and began to clean over 50 cheap (and I mean unimportant) Large cents. I have done this process with half cents, too. I first applied the xylol with the long wooden q-tip (plastic ones will dissolve, and leave crud on the copper). Then, I let it dry about 2 minutes. I then applied the Blue Ribbon with a gloved finger, very gently, just a drop on each side, so I did not further circulate the coin. After a few moments, I used the soft camel's hair brush to gently massage in the Blue Ribbon, evenly, over the entire coin. I then put the coin in the cotton liner, and into the paper envelope. This will help dry off any excess remaining Blue Ribbon. After those looked properly handled, no disasters, I went on to my better material. When I examined the coin, and felt it looked right, I proceeded to the next coin. Do not clean coins with Mint Red on them, heavily corroded coins, or ones that you will worry if you ruin them. Also, do not clean Mint state coins, as this will destroy the natural luster. There are all kinds of things people do to coppers, that make me cringe. It scares me that they treat their coins with Vaseline, WD-40, baking soda, sweating on them, etc. Please note: Xylol is a solvent and can KILL YOU. Be careful to cap it, after dipping the wooden q-tip into the bottle.Do not use Xylol alone. It needs to be followed by a good lubricant, or the copper will corrode!

Remember, the object here is to remove dirt and grime, not damage the surface of the coin. If done right, this is a perfectly safe, non-damaging, form of cleaning, for early copper. Do not ruin your coins. Consult an expert, first! I do have 4 coins soaking in olive oil, but that is for coins that have matter on them that might need a long time to remove. olive oil treatment is for coins that have hard crud on them. This may take years to remove it. It is likely that the coin will have planchet voids, after the crud is removed.

Do you need a good magnifier? Rod Burress has the Vigor Large field 10x hastings triplet for $39

Do you want to join EAC? The membership fee is dependent on your age, and the speed of mail delivery that you want. To join, please contact:

Rod Burress, membership chairman
PO Box 15782
Cincinnati, OH  45215

He can also be reached in the evenings at: (513)771-0696

Do you want a copy of Copper Quotes by Robinson? This informative book is published periodically, and is full of needed information , for serious copper collectors.

To get a copy, please contact:

Jack Robinson
PO Box 9426
McLean, VA  22102

You can also call him at: (703)821-1854

some links...

EAC web page: For the early copper enthusiast!
Gallery Mint Museum: This is where those great coin reproductions are made!
Jack Beymer's Large cent price list:Jack has lots of varieties!