PCGS grade. Ex Loye L. Lauder, William Doyle Galleries 12/15/83:433.
Among 1840 Large Cents, collectors can find either Small Dates or Large Dates. The difference between the two is dramatic and centers, as might be expected, on the size of the date. The two dates could not be more different, so it is easy to tell them apart. The 1,8, and 4 are different in size and shape; the 0 differs only in size. The following are the characteristics of each:
Long serif at the top of the 1
Block 8, with circles or ovals inside the loops
Normally-shaped 4; scalene triangle inside 4 (no equal sides, no equal angles)
Small 0, the same size as the other digits
Short serif at the top of 1
Cursive 8, with odd-shaped ellipses inside the loops
Oddly-shaped 4; isoscelese triangle inside 4 (two equal sides, two equal angles)
Large 0, the same size as the other digits
The 1840 Large Date Cent is not particularly rare, and it can be found in nice condition -- for a price. The PCGS Condition Census for Brown exampes included coins from MS65 to MS66+. Red-Brown examples are very scarce and full Red examples are very rare.
Stack's 1/2002:823 - Chris McCawley, sold privately in 3/2004 - Dan Holmes Collection - Goldbergs 1/2011:14, $4,025
Heritage 4/2015:3134, $4,700