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Previous US one cent 1796 | Next US one cent 1798The 1797 U.S. Penny was composed of 100% copper and weighed 10.89 grams
"Draped Bust" was the name given to a design of United States coins. It appeared on much of the regular-issue copper and silver United States coinage from 1795-1808. It is possible that Anne Willing Bingham was the model for these coins, but that has not been proven.
In 1796, Congress responded to the almost universal dissatisfaction of the first coins (Flowing Hair dollars) and decreed a new design. As was the custom of the time, all denominations bore the same design or, in this case, the same obverse. By Congressional decree, certain features were required: The eagle, the word Liberty, stars and United States of America. It was not considered necessary to include the value of the coin since it could be discerned from its size based on the precious metal content. Thus, the half dime was the smallest silver coin (containing 1/20 of the amount of silver in a dollar) and each denomination was larger up to the silver dollar.

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