The name of a copper coin of the United States of North America, and equal to the one-hundredth part of the Dollar.
The word was first used on the so-called Washington Cent of 1783, but the reg- ular coinage of the Cent and half Cent was not authorized until 1792.
For an early use of the word in the history of the United States coinage see Am. Journal of Numismatics (xv. 77).
The Cents are classified according to their devices, e.g.. Fillet head, Turban head, Indian head, etc. They were first struck in 1793 and every year thereafter with the exception of 1815. In 1857 the size was reduced.
The half Cent was abolished in 1857; the two-Cent pieces were issued from 1864 to 1873; the nickel three-Cent pieces were issued from 1865 to 1889; the silver three- Cent pieces from 1851 to 1873; and the nickel five-cent pieces were authorized in 1866 and are still in use. For four years, 1875 to 1878, silver twenty-Cent pieces were coined.
The Cent as an equivalent of the one- hundredth part of the Dollar is also used in British North America, British Guiana, British Honduras, the Banish West Indies, Hawaii, Fiji, Liberia, Cuba, Guam, the Philippine Islands, Porto Rico, North Bor- neo, Hong Kong, China, the Chinese Treaty Ports, Labium, Sierra Leone, Sar- awak, and the Straits Settlements.
In Ceylon, Mauritius and Seychelles it is the one-hundredth part of a Rupee; and in the Netherlands and the Dutch Col- onies the one-hundredth part of the Florin or Gulden.
See Also: Cent
Source: Frey's Dictionary (American Journal of Numismatics, Vol. 50, 1916)