Flying Eagle Cents

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The Flying Eagle Cent holds a special place in the hearts of coin collectors and history enthusiasts alike. Minted for a brief period between 1856 and 1858, this coin was the first small-sized cent produced by the United States Mint, marking a significant transition in American coinage. The Flying Eagle Cent represents an era of innovation and change, making it a prized possession for any numismatic collection. Continue reading to learn about flying eagle cents value.

Flying Eagle Cents Design and Heritage

Designed by James Barton Longacre, the Chief Engraver at the U.S. Mint, the obverse of the coin features a majestic eagle in flight, symbolizing freedom and the American spirit. This design not only captured the imagination of the nation but also set a new standard for the artistry of American coins. The reverse showcases a wreath of corn, wheat, cotton, and tobacco, representing the agricultural wealth of the United States during that period.

Composition and Specifications:

The Flying Eagle Cent is composed of 88% copper and 12% nickel, giving it a distinctive appearance and feel. With a diameter of 19mm and a weight of 4.67 grams, its introduction was part of an effort to reduce the size and weight of the penny, making it more practical for everyday transactions.

Flying Eagle Cents Collectibility and Value

Due to its limited minting period and historical significance, the Flying Eagle Cent is highly sought after by collectors. The 1856 issue, in particular, is considered a rarity, as it was primarily minted as a pattern coin and distributed to members of Congress to approve the new design. Coins from 1857 and 1858 are more accessible but still command attention due to their age, design, and the story they tell of America's past.

Perfect for Collectors and Historians: Whether you're a seasoned numismatist or a history buff, the Flying Eagle Cent is a must-have. It not only adds a piece of pre-Civil War history to your collection but also serves as a tangible connection to the innovation and growth of the United States. Each coin is a snapshot of a time when America was expanding westward, embracing new technologies, and evolving its identity.

Acquire Your Piece of History: Owning a Flying Eagle Cent is like holding a piece of American history in your hands. Its brief minting period and the transition it represents in the U.S. Mint's approach to coinage make it a fascinating and valuable addition to any collection. Explore our selection of Flying Eagle Cents and find the perfect piece to enhance your numismatic journey or to gift to a fellow collector or history enthusiast.

The Flying Eagle Cent was a coin with one of the shortest mintage periods. It was only minted from 1856-1858. It was the penny that came after the large cent, and it was created because there was a desire to have a smaller one-cent piece. The Flying Eagle Penny's design consisted of an eagle soaring through the sky, and its reverse showed the value of the coin. It was designed by James B. Longacre. 

Types of Flying Eagle Cents

There were not many types of Flying Eagle Cents. This coin was composed of 88% copper and 12% nickel. Today, this coin only has appeal to collectors, as it is a coin that is more on the rare side, it’s current value is much higher than its face value of one cent. The years later than 1856 can be purchased at prices between $25 and $500. These prices are for off from the value of the 1856b Flying Eagle Cent. This is because there were only two thousand 1856 coins minted! This version of the coin can have a price range of $7,750 to $15,000. The condition of the coin in question will help determine the value.

Where to Buy Flying Eagle Cents

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Why was the Flying Eagle Cent series discontinued after such a short period?

The Flying Eagle Cent series was discontinued after a brief period primarily due to production difficulties and public dissatisfaction with the design. The high relief of the coin's design led to issues with striking, causing many coins to be poorly minted with incomplete details. This problem was exacerbated by the hardness of the nickel-copper alloy, which also caused excessive die wear. Additionally, there was some public discontent with the depiction of the eagle, which many felt did not adequately capture the majesty of the bird. These factors, combined with the Mint's desire to improve the design and functionality of the one-cent piece, led to the introduction of the Indian Head Cent in 1859, which featured a lower relief and was easier to produce with consistent quality.

How do the 1856 pattern coins differ from the regular issues of 1857 and 1858?

The 1856 Flying Eagle Cents are considered pattern coins and were primarily used for distribution to members of Congress to showcase the new design. These pattern coins are distinguished from the regular issues of 1857 and 1858 by their rarity and the circumstances of their distribution rather than by design differences. The 1856 coins were not intended for public circulation, making them significantly rarer and more valuable to collectors. In terms of physical characteristics, the 1856, 1857, and 1858 Flying Eagle Cents share the same design and composition. However, the 1856 coins may exhibit slightly sharper details due to their status as presentation pieces, although this can vary from coin to coin.

Are there any known errors or variations within the Flying Eagle Cent series that collectors should be aware of?

Within the Flying Eagle Cent series, there are a few known errors and variations that collectors prize for their rarity and uniqueness. One notable variation is the 1858 Large Letters and Small Letters varieties. These varieties refer to the size of the letters in "AMERICA" on the reverse of the coin. The Large Letters variety shows the "A" and "M" in "AMERICA" almost touching, while the Small Letters variety has a noticeable gap between these two letters. While not an error per se, these varieties stem from the use of different reverse dies and are sought after by collectors. Additionally, there are a few error coins known in the series, such as those struck off-center or with clipped planchets, though these are relatively rare. As with all numismatic collecting, the condition and rarity of these variations and errors significantly influence their value.


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 Flying Eagle Coins FAQs

The first small cent issued in the USA.
The eagle on the obverse (front) did not strike well in production.
James B Longacre.
4.67 games of 88% copper and 12% nickel.
1856. This is a proof only year.
A proof coin is a coin produced for collectors, using specially polished dies and planchets.