Back when numismatics in the United States was building in momentum during the middle 19th century, those earlier coin collectors often turned to building sets of large cents. More than 150 years on, large cents remain among the most popular of all vintage U.S. coin types, and there are plenty of collectors who spend a lifetime amassing a set that consists of all dates and known die varieties.
The latter large cents, representing a type that faded away in 1857 in favor of the more economical small cent, may be some of the most common examples of these early American coppers. However, they're nonetheless rare in nice uncirculated grades. Such is the case with the 1855 Upright 55 Braided Hair large cent featured here.
This 1855 Upright 55 Braided Hair large cent was graded by Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) many years ago and still resides in its old green holder from yesteryear. Graded PCGS MS65RD, the coin has a population of 86 at that level, with only 35 higher. What often goes forgotten by some collectors who don't focus on large cents is just how elusive full Red large cents are, regardless of period.
The specimen seen here performed quite well, owing to strong bids from enthusiasts who appreciated the rarity and quality of this outstanding piece. This 1855 Upright 55 Braided Hair large cent graded PCGS MS65RD took a whopping $4,080 when it crossed the block at a Heritage Auctions event in June 2021.
*Images are courtesy of Heritage Auctions, www.HA.com.