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Denver Coins --> United States Coins --> United State Cent - The Flying Eagle cent

Denver Gold and Silver
5475 Leetsdale Dr Suite 210
Denver, Colorado 80246

Open Monday - Friday from 9 am to 5 pm
Friday 9 am to 5 pm and Sunday from 10 am to 2 pm
Call anytime - leave a message: Main Number: 303-333-1411

-- The Flying Eagle cent

The Flying Eagle cent is a United States coin that was minted from 1856 to 1858. The coin was designed by James B. Longacre. The Flying Eagle was the first small-sized cent coin minted in the US, replacing the earlier large cent. The obverse of the coin depicts an eagle in flight, a unique subject for the obverse of American coins. The reverse of the coin has the words ONE CENT surrounded by a wreath, similar to the reverse on the later Indian Head cent and Wheat cent minted until 1958. The United States Mint in Philadelphia struck about 700 Flying Eagle cents in 1856 as pattern pieces, a way to show influential congressmen and senators what these coins would look like. The coins became popular and were soon selling for $2.00 in auctions. The Mint began restriking them in 1858 and selling them to the public. Probably another 1,500 pieces were struck in Proof format and sold to new collectors. Auction prices dropped to 25. Today they sell for $6,000 or more.

In 1858, there was a "large letter" and "small letter" variety produced. An easy way to tell the difference between large-letter and small-letter varieties is to look at the word 'America'. In the large letter variety, the letters A and M are joined, whereas in the small letter they are not. The small letter variety is a low relief design. The eagle is shallower in the die and the letters are smaller than those used in 1857 and on the 1858 large letter variety.

Both the Flying Eagle Cent and Indian Head cents minted from 1859 to 1864 were struck in an alloy of 88% copper and 12% nickel, giving the coins a much whiter sheen than contemporary one-cent pieces. The nickel five-cent coin would not begin production until 1866, and so these nickel-alloy one-cent pieces were slangily known as "nickels".

The design didn't last long due to the obverse design opposing the reverse design. The eagle's head and tail were opposite the wreath. The presses had to strike the coins harder to get the design up fully. This caused dies to fail more often. The design was replaced by the Indian Cent in 1859.is a United States coin that was minted from 1856 to 1858. The coin was designed by James B. Longacre. The Flying Eagle was the first small-sized cent coin minted in the US, replacing the earlier large cent. The obverse of the coin depicts an eagle in flight, a unique subject for the obverse of American coins. The reverse of the coin has the words ONE CENT surrounded by a wreath, similar to the reverse on the later Indian Head cent and Wheat cent minted until 1958. The United States Mint in Philadelphia struck about 700 Flying Eagle cents in 1856 as pattern pieces, a way to show influential congressmen and senators what these coins would look like. The coins became popular and were soon selling for $2.00 in auctions. The Mint began restriking them in 1858 and selling them to the public. Probably another 1,500 pieces were struck in Proof format and sold to new collectors. Auction prices dropped to 25. Today they sell for $6,000 or more.

In 1858, there was a "large letter" and "small letter" variety produced. An easy way to tell the difference between large-letter and small-letter varieties is to look at the word 'America'. In the large letter variety, the letters A and M are joined, whereas in the small letter they are not. The small letter variety is a low relief design. The eagle is shallower in the die and the letters are smaller than those used in 1857 and on the 1858 large letter variety.

Both the Flying Eagle Cent and Indian Head cents minted from 1859 to 1864 were struck in an alloy of 88% copper and 12% nickel, giving the coins a much whiter sheen than contemporary one-cent pieces. The nickel five-cent coin would not begin production until 1866, and so these nickel-alloy one-cent pieces were slangily known as "nickels".

The design didn't last long due to the obverse design opposing the reverse design. The eagle's head and tail were opposite the wreath. The presses had to strike the coins harder to get the design up fully. This caused dies to fail more often. The design was replaced by the Indian Cent in 1859. cent is a United States coin that was minted from 1856 to 1858. The coin was designed by James B. Longacre. The Flying Eagle was the first small-sized cent coin minted in the US, replacing the earlier large cent. The obverse of the coin depicts an eagle in flight, a unique subject for the obverse of American coins. The reverse of the coin has the words ONE CENT surrounded by a wreath, similar to the reverse on the later Indian Head cent and Wheat cent minted until 1958. The United States Mint in Philadelphia struck about 700 Flying Eagle cents in 1856 as pattern pieces, a way to show influential congressmen and senators what these coins would look like. The coins became popular and were soon selling for $2.00 in auctions. The Mint began restriking them in 1858 and selling them to the public. Probably another 1,500 pieces were struck in Proof format and sold to new collectors. Auction prices dropped to 25. Today they sell for $6,000 or more.

In 1858, there was a "large letter" and "small letter" variety produced. An easy way to tell the difference between large-letter and small-letter varieties is to look at the word 'America'. In the large letter variety, the letters A and M are joined, whereas in the small letter they are not. The small letter variety is a low relief design. The eagle is shallower in the die and the letters are smaller than those used in 1857 and on the 1858 large letter variety.

Both the Flying Eagle Cent and Indian Head cents minted from 1859 to 1864 were struck in an alloy of 88% copper and 12% nickel, giving the coins a much whiter sheen than contemporary one-cent pieces. The nickel five-cent coin would not begin production until 1866, and so these nickel-alloy one-cent pieces were slangily known as "nickels".

The design didn't last long due to the obverse design opposing the reverse design. The eagle's head and tail were opposite the wreath. The presses had to strike the coins harder to get the design up fully. This caused dies to fail more often. The design was replaced by the Indian Cent in 1859.

 

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