1803 Draped Bust Cent, Lg Date & Sm Fraction

There are six major varieties of the 1803 Draped Bust Cent, but the Large Date, Small Fraction issue is by far the rarest and most significant.

The Mint reported a total of 3,131,691 cents struck in 1803,(1) but there are no records indicating how many of each variety were struck. The number of Large Date, Small fraction examples released was assuredly minuscule. The extant population today is as few as 75, counting all grades.(2)

Prices have consistently moved higher since 1990, but there has been a leveling off in grades F-12 or better. Interestingly, these were the same coins that exploded in value from 1950-1990, far above their lower grade counterparts.

Without question, the 1803 Draped Bust cent of the Large Date and Small Fraction variety is one of the most important and desired acquisitions among the universe of early date United States cents.

Estimated survivors in all grades: 75
? The survivor estimate from PCGS represents an average of one or more experts' opinions as to how many examples survive of a particular coin in all grades. Survival estimates include coins that are raw, certified by PCGS, and certified by other grading services.
Learn more at PCGS.
PCGS Rarity Scale: 8.2
? The 'PCGS CoinFacts Rarity Scale' assesses the relative rarity of all U.S. coins, based on estimated surviving examples. The scale runs from 1.0 to 10.0. The higher the number, the rarer the coin.
Learn more at PCGS.
Click HERE to check for availability on eBay**

Preview of eBay selection:

alternatetext alternatetext
Trendline Avg = 16.21 GOOD
Last updated 1-10-24
Shop Now ebay button
Return to Key Date Coin List
Compare to Common Date Coin of Same Type
Download Charts to Your Computer


1. Yeoman, R.S., Garrett, Jeff, et al.  A Guide Book of United States Coin, 75th ed.  Pelham, AL: Whitman Publishing, 2021.

2. PCGS,  1803 1C Large Date, Small Fraction, BN (Regular Strike).

**Many very fine coin dealers sell on eBay. At any point in time, there may be over one million search results for United States coins. This includes quite a few of the recommendations on our Key Date Coin List.

If you’re thinking about purchasing a rare coin, eBay is certainly worth a look. For your convenience, the links from this site to eBay are coded to bring up only coins certified by PCGS and NGC.

As is always, always the case, never buy a valuable coin from a seller whose trustworthiness cannot be verified. Learn more about this at our chapter Best Places to Buy Coins, which also has a section on doing business on eBay.

In the interest of full disclosure, Rare Coins 101 receives a small commission anytime someone connects to eBay from this site and purchases something.

Coin images by Stack's Bowers Galleries.