Gordon Wrubel: Even when looking at the great photos above, the differences between the 1812 Small Date and Large Date cents may not be readily apparent. Yes the numerals in the Small Date are of a smaller size than the Large Date. But when you are looking at a lone, unattributed 1812 cent with no photos or comparison pieces at hand, there is a simple way to tell which one you have. Just look at the 8 in the date. The 8 punch used on the Small Date variety has an opening in the bottom loop that is about twice the size of the opening in the top loop. On the Large Date variety, the 8 punch used has large openings that are about the same size.