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FLYING EAGLE PENNIES, FLYING EAGLE VALUES, HISTORY AND MORE 1856-1858

Updated on August 27, 2013

Flying Eagle Cent Coins

Flying Eagle cent coins are extremely rare and the 1856 Flying Eagle cent is worth thousands.
Flying Eagle cent coins are extremely rare and the 1856 Flying Eagle cent is worth thousands.

Flying Eagle Cent


The Flying Eagle cent is very popular and some Flying Eagle cents are very valuable. When it comes to highly collected coins, the Flying Eagle series is very popular among collectors of all sorts. The Flying Eagle series was only produced from 1856 to 1858, one of the shortest produced coin series in American history. The Flying Eagle cent was designed by James B. Longacre. Mr. Longacre was the Mint Chief Engraver during this period.

The Flying Eagle cent design was inspired by gold coins designed by Christian Gobrecht. The front of the Flying Eagle cent portrays a flying eagle. The top rim on the obverse of the Flying Eagle cent contains "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA." The date on the Flying Eagle cent is centered on the bottom front of the coin. The reverse of the Flying Eagle cent portrays "ONE CENT" centered on the back of the coin. A wreathe is seen surrounding the "ONE CENT" stamp.

The Flying Eagle cent is made out of 88% copper and 12% nickel. The Flying Eagle cent has a weight of 4.67 grams. It is very important to have the proper weight because rare coins such as these are often counterfeited. The Flying Eagle cent has a 19mm diameter with a plain edge. If you are worried that your Flying Eagle cent is not real, you can use these measurements to find out. This is a great tool to use anytime that you are buying coins.

FLYING EAGLE PRODUCTION

DATE
PRODUCED
 
1856
LESS THEN 2,000
 
1857
17,450,000
 
1858
24,600,000
 

LARGE CENT

The large cent was replaced by the Flying Eagle cent in 1857. The large cent above is known as the Coronet Head large cent.
The large cent was replaced by the Flying Eagle cent in 1857. The large cent above is known as the Coronet Head large cent.

The Large Cent


The Flying Eagle cent holds a special place in Mint history for a variety of different reasons. Most noticeably, the Flying Eagle cent was the first small cent coin produced by the United States Mint. Before the Flying Eagle cent was produced, the large cent was the only one cent coin produced. The large cent was first produced in 1793, which was the first one cent coin series ever produced. The large cent coins made out of pure copper.

As copper prices began to climb, the United States Mint came to the conclusion that making the large cent was no longer profitable. In fact, the Mint was actually losing money because of the higher price of copper. The large cent was nearly the same size as a fifty cent coin. The large cent was also unpopular to the general public. Due to this, Congress passed the Coinage Act of February 21, 1857. The new law ended the reign of the large cent and the Flying Eagle cent was produced. The large cent was produced from 1793-1857. 1815 was the only year that the large cent was not produced due too a shortage in copper.

1856 FLYING EAGLE CENT

The 1856 Flying Eagle cent is highly collectible and valued. The 1856 Flying Eagle cent above is in great condition and possibly worth $100,000 or more.
The 1856 Flying Eagle cent is highly collectible and valued. The 1856 Flying Eagle cent above is in great condition and possibly worth $100,000 or more.

1856 Flying Eagle Cent


The 1856 Flying Eagle cent is the most prized coin in this series. Less then 2,000 1856 Flying Eagle cents are known to exist. The 1856 Flying Eagle cent is very rare and highly valued. The 1856 Flying Eagle cent was not mass produced nor given to the general public. They were only given to members of the United States Government and other important figures. Prime examples of the 1856 Flying Eagle cent have sold for over $100,000.

1858 FLYING EAGLE CENT

This is a great example of a worn 1858 Flying Eagle cent. This is very close to what most Flying Eagle cents look like due to their high circulation.
This is a great example of a worn 1858 Flying Eagle cent. This is very close to what most Flying Eagle cents look like due to their high circulation.

Flying Eagle Cent Values


Flying Eagle cent values are upwards of thousands of dollars. The 1856 Flying Eagle cent is very valuable. As you now know, the 1856 Flying Eagle cent has the most value in this short series. However, the 1857 and 1858 Flying Eagle cent hold value as well. Most Flying Eagle cent coins were heavily circulated and many examples are very worn. Even in worn condition, the 1857 Flying Eagle cent is worth nearly $18. The 1858 Flying Eagle cent is worth a little less in worn condition at $16. The 1856 Flying Eagle cent is worth over $4,000 in worn condition or G-4 grade.

The value of your Flying Eagle cent depends on the condition of your coin. The better your coin looks, the more it is worth. The 1857 Flying Eagle cent is worth $300 in uncirculated condition and the 1858 is worth nearly $290. However, it is always best to have your coin checked or appraised by a coin professional and someone you trust.

The Flying Eagle series had a lot of issues with production. Die and striking issues were the cause of the United States Mint choosing too halt production in 1858. However, some special Flying Eagle cents were created due to these issues. There are three well known error coins in the Flying Eagle cent series. The 1858/7 Flying Eagle is the most valuable of the three coins. 1858 Flying Eagle cents were copied over coins that were dated for 1857. Make sure you pay close attention to the "8" in the date and see if you can see a "7." In worn condition, this Flying Eagle cent is worth nearly $80. In uncirculated condition, this Flying Eagle cent can be worth $1,000 or more.

There are two examples of the 1858 Flying Eagle known as the large letter cent and the small letter cent. You need too pay attention to the word "AMERICA" on the reverse of the coin. The large letter type has the "A" and "M" joined together. The small letter type has a separated "A" and "M" in the word "AMERICA." Both of these coins are worth nearly $30 in worn condition and worth hundreds if uncirculated.



Comments

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    • thelyricwriter profile image
      Author

      Richard Ricky Hale 4 years ago from West Virginia

      Romeos, thanks for the comment. I've been crazy myself collecting coins, I'm just a history geek I guess. I've been looking for the 1856 Flying Eagle cent for many years, hoping to find one with my metal detector. I'd love to find some more older coins. I had the 1826 Large Cent once, but sold it when hard times hit, as usual. Thanks and take care.

    • Romeos Quill profile image

      Romeos Quill 4 years ago from Lincolnshire, England

      Great informative article you've written here and the designs look pretty cool....have a sis who used to be crazy about collecting ancient coins ( as well her husband's lol! ), and had quite a collection; found some a few years back from the era of Napoleon III,( same era as your Flying Eagle Cent), and still on the look-out for that rare 1933 English penny which is worth a King's ransom.

      Best Wishes for a great week ahead,

      R.Q.

    • thelyricwriter profile image
      Author

      Richard Ricky Hale 5 years ago from West Virginia

      The Flying Eagle is close to the normal size of a modern day penny. However, the Flying Eagle is much thicker. I don't know the exact weights but the Flying Eagle penny weighs more.

    • profile image

      lovedoctor926 5 years ago

      The 1856 Flying Eagle has a very cool design. I can see why it's a prized possession for many coin collectors. What a cool and interesting hub. thanks for sharing

    • tammyswallow profile image

      Tammy 5 years ago from North Carolina

      Very cool! I write a lot of articles for a client about valuable coins. The more I learn, the more I want to start collecting them. These look very interesting. Great hub!

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 5 years ago from Shelton

      Hey thelyric writer old friend... just want to wish you and your family a Happy New Years!!!

    • Rosemay50 profile image

      Rosemary Sadler 5 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

      An interesting hub Ricky, fascinating that even the mints make errors which add value to coins.

      I didn't realise that 'cents' were produced this long ago, I always thought that the USA would start out with pennies and shillings like the UK, would be an interesting hub to follow the production and change of currency.

      I will take this opportunity to wish you and your family a wonderful Christmas my friend and all the best for 2013

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 5 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Approximately how big are these coins? Are they indistinguishable in size from a regular penny or bigger. Either way, they've never crossed my path. Voting this Up and Interesting.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      I am going to have to check my coin collection for this. Great information and interesting history of the coins.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I collect old coins. I would love to see a flying eagle. Thank you for the info...

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      When I collected coins, I had the commonest Flying Eagle, and one Large Cent coin. Thanks for the reminder about these great coins.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 5 years ago from Shelton

      what a share I actually never seen even in photos a flying eagle cent thanks for the info bro :)

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I've never seen one; could be I've never heard of one. :) Very interesting hub my friend; thanks for the education.

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 5 years ago from Upstate, New York

      This was a very interesting article for me personally as my Mother collects rare coins. I have heard of this collection but have never actually seen one in person.

      Great write. voting up.

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