walking liberty's Blog

01 Feb 2021

the ring cent, a US coin that was never released

Coins | walking liberty

The ring cent was various pattern coins released because of the rising copper price. the dates are 1850 through 1851 then skipped to 1884 and 1885. they were made of billon (an alloy), aluminum, copper, cupronickel, nickel silver, silver, and white metal. in the late 1840s copper had gone so high up that it cost more to make the cent so in response a bill was drafted in 1849 by Congressman Sam F. Vinton to reduce the size of the cent. The US mint began to find ways to make the cents cheaper. one of the ways was to put a hole in the middle creating a ring-like style. they started making them in various different alloys but they ran into some problems. one was it was difficult to eject from the mint presses and two it was too expensive to recover the silver that was in them. patterns were made till 1857 then they stopped, and it was replaced by the flying eagle cent.According to numismatic historian Walter Breen, another factor in the rejection of the ring cent was that it reminded many of the Chinese cash coin, which had minimal purchasing value. the ring cent was briefly made again In 1884by Eastman Johnson. His design was somewhat cruder and the holes look like they were hand-cut. A more refined version was made but still did not make it. 196 ring cent patterns are known to exist. The picture belongs to eagle eye rare coins. thanks for reading WL



Level 2

Nice looking example. Thanks for the description


Level 5

Nice work! This is a great blog. I can tell you did a lot of research on it. Very neat coin, thanks for sharing!


Level 4

That's a fun one to see thanks! I believe there were also nickel patterns which actually had octagonal holes! :-)


Level 3

Huh! Never heard of these before, that's really interesting! I would never even know about this if I were not for this. Very interesting story, kind of like the 74' aluminum cents. Most pattern coins always have very interesting backstories. Very well researched blog, good job! Sincerely, CoinsInHK

Long Beard

Level 5

Nice to read a blog about patterns. I have the book by Judd-Kossof and reference it from time to time when I see them up for sale. I have yet to win a bid though, some day.

It's Mokie

Level 6

Unlike most collectors, I am not a big fan of pattern coins, usually the designs are mundane and their issuance during the 19th century was particularly problematic. However, I do appreciate your research.

I. R. Bama

Level 5

I enjoyed your blog and learned a lot about these. Good sourcing on the image. Where did the info come from? Please source that Thanks


Level 5

Never seen one of these before. Experimental coins are out there, but I don't know much about them. Very interesting piece to have. I would imagine they are rather uncommon. Thanks for posting such an interesting item.


Level 7

Interesting coin


Level 4

Interesting coin. I have heard of that coin. Nice blog.


Level 6

Interesting subject. Thanks for your research. ; )


Level 6

Nasty looking pattern. Reminds me of the holed India and China coins too. I bet it goes for a lot of bucks now. Thanks.


Level 5

Wow, good stuff! I have to say, I have never heard of these! Thanks so much!

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