Copper cents were first issued in 1793 as a result of the Mint Act of April 2, 1792. After three initial designs of large cents were struck from 1793 to 1796, the Liberty Capped Large Cent was replaced by Mint Engraver Robert Scot's Draped Bust design. The design's motif was based on a sketch of a woman by artist Gilbert Stuart. The obverse features the image of Lady Liberty with her hair in a ribbon. The word LIBERTY is written above her head and the year appears below her. The reverse is the same as the previous large cents: displaying a wreath and the denomination with the legend UNITED STATES OF AMERICA around the border.
Due to the fact that large quantities were minted, many varieties of the Draped Bust Large Cent exist, including different reverses, hairstyles, overdates, and misspellings. The Draped Bust design proved very durable, lasting until 1808 when it was replaced by the Classic Head design of Mint Engraver John Reich.