The 1856 Flying Eagle Penny is an iconic coin in American numismatics. It was the first official one-cent piece issued by the United States Mint and replaced the unpopular large cent coins.
These small, relatively thin coins were minted from 1856 to 1858 and are highly sought after by collectors due to their rarity and historical significance.
This article explores the history of the 1856 Flying Eagle Penny, its design features, mintage figures, varieties, grading criteria, market values, availability on the secondary market, and other useful information for those interested in this special type of penny.
History Of The 1856 Flying Eagle Penny
The 1856 Flying Eagle penny is an iconic example of United States currency. It was the first small cent released by the U.S., replacing the large cents that had been produced for more than a century prior.
The design features a flying eagle on one side and a wreath surrounding the words “ONE CENT” on its reverse. These coins were minted from 1856 to 1858, with millions being made each year during those three years.
Struck in 88 percent copper and 12 percent nickel, these coins are highly collectible due to their age as well as rarity of certain dates or mint marks. Many different varieties exist, such as proof strikes, die breaks, repunched letters and even mis-strikes which may be found among surviving specimens.
As numismatists know all too well, some examples have survived in better condition than others over the last 160+ years since they left the original mintage presses at Philadelphia Mint or other branch locations throughout North America.
The popularity of this coin has grown steadily over time; it’s now widely sought after by collectors worldwide who appreciate its historical significance as part of American culture and heritage. With so many different types available today, there’s sure to be something out there for everyone – whether you’re just starting your collection or looking for an addition to add value to an existing set.
The 1856 Flying Eagle penny is more than just a piece of history; it’s an intricate work of art.
The obverse side features a majestic eagle with its wings spread, soaring through the sky as if frozen in time. Its talons grasp an olive branch and arrows, symbols of peace and war.
As you turn this coin over to look at the reverse face, you can easily make out the denomination: one cent. On either side of this number are wreaths that wrap around the edges like ribbons fluttering in the wind.
These design elements were meticulously crafted by James B. Longacre, who was appointed Chief Engraver of the United States Mint in 1844. He brought his unique sense of artistic expression to the minting process, creating coins that not only commemorated key moments in American history but also showcased his creative eye for detail.
His skillful engravings on these coins have been appreciated by numismatists ever since their introduction in 1856.
The rarity and beauty of this early-American currency continues to draw collectors from all walks of life, making them some of the most sought after items among coin enthusiasts today.
With its historical significance and stunning artwork, it’s no wonder why so many people still value this type of penny despite its age – an appreciation that will surely continue for generations to come.
The Flying Eagle penny, which was minted from 1856 to 1858, is a beloved coin among numismatists and collectors alike. Its unique design makes it an intriguing collectible with relatively low mintage figures that make it all the more desirable.
Minting of the Flying Eagle penny began in 1856 when 20 million coins were struck at Philadelphia. In comparison, only 870 thousand pieces were produced by the New Orleans Mint during this same year.
The following year saw a dramatic increase in production; 34 million coins were made at Philadelphia while 1.5 million came out of New Orleans — these are considered to be some of the lowest mintage numbers for any U.S. cent series issued for circulation.
The final year of issue featured 14 million coins made in Philadelphia and 933 thousand coming from San Francisco’s branch mint as well as 454 thousand pieces composed at both Charlotte and Dahlonega respectively.
With such limited quantities having been manufactured over its three-year run, the Flying Eagle penny has become one of the most sought after issues in American numismatics due to its rarity on the market today and interesting designs featuring an eagle soaring above two clasped hands within a wreath below with UNITED STATES OF AMERICA arching around along with E PLURIBUS UNUM found beneath it all.
Varieties And Grading Criteria
Have you ever wondered what makes a flying eagle penny so special? As a numismatist, I can tell you that it’s all about the variety and grade of these coins.
When determining value, experts consider many different characteristics of the coin including its design, luster, and eye appeal.
Here are four key criteria they examine:
- Date of minting: The year in which the coin was struck is important to collectors as it affects how rare or common it may be.
- Condition: Grading standards categorize coins on a scale from 1 (poor) to 70 (perfect).
- Strike type: Different types of strikes such as proof or business strike will affect the price significantly.
- Design features: Special design features like die varieties or overstrikes add uniqueness to a coin’s value.
These elements help determine whether a particular flying eagle penny is worth more than just face value!
Experienced numismatists understand how to combine these factors together when appraising coins for their collections – making them some of the most valuable pieces around.
Market Values And Availability
The flying eagle penny has become a highly sought-after coin among numismatists and collectors, due to its historic significance. Its value depends on the condition of the coin itself. It’s important for any collector to understand how the values are determined in order to accurately assess their own coins.
|Grade||Average Value||Rare Coin Values Index (RCVI) Rating|
|Poor/Fair||$20–$50 USD||58 – 67|
|Good+/Very Fine+||$100–$400 USD||75 – 82|
|Extremely Fine+/Uncirculated*||$500+ USD||88 – 95|
The grade of a flying eagle penny is based on four factors: surface preservation, strike quality, luster, and wear. Poor or Fair graded coins will have evidence of heavy wear, with most details worn away or significantly smoothed down. Coins graded as Good Plus or Very Fine Plus may show some slight wear but still maintain much detail and full rims. Those rated at Extremely Fine Plus or Uncirculated tend to retain all original detail from when they were first struck and minted; however these grades can be more difficult to find in higher quantities than lower grades.
These values provide only a basic overview of what one could expect for an average price given certain conditions; rarer specimens can fetch even higher prices depending upon demand. When pursuing flying eagle pennies it’s essential that knowledgeable numismatists carefully inspect each specimen individually before making an investment decision.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Rare Is The 1856 Flying Eagle Penny?
Have you ever wondered how rare the 1856 flying eagle penny is?
As a numismatist, I can tell you that it is quite extraordinary.
The Flying Eagle was only issued from 1857 to 1858 and around 20 million were minted in total during those two years which makes them fairly hard to come by.
There are fewer than 2,000 known surviving examples of these coins making them incredibly valuable for collectors and an excellent investment piece for any coin enthusiast.
What Is The Estimated Value Of A 1856 Flying Eagle Penny?
The estimated value of a flying eagle penny can vary depending on its condition and grade. For example, an uncirculated specimen may be worth many times more than one that’s well-worn.
Generally speaking, it’s not uncommon for these coins to bring as much as $2,000 or more at auction. Of course, examples in lower grades are less valuable but still sought after by numismatists.
Is There A Difference Between The 1856 Flying Eagle Penny And The 1856 Indian Head Penny?
Irony aside, it might come as a surprise to many numismatists that the 1856 flying eagle penny and the 1856 Indian head penny are two distinct coins.
While both were minted in the same year, they differ significantly in terms of composition and design.
The former is composed primarily of copper-nickel alloy and features an eagle motif on its obverse side; while the latter is made up mostly of bronze and has a Native American warrior figure depicted on it.
It’s also worth noting that their respective values can vary greatly depending upon condition.
How Can I Tell If My 1856 Flying Eagle Penny Is Genuine?
As a numismatist, it is important to know the difference between genuine and counterfeit coins.
It can be difficult to tell if an 1856 flying eagle penny is authentic or not on first inspection, but there are several methods that may help in determining its authenticity.
For example, you should examine the edges of the coin for any signs of irregularities such as additional layers or missing details.
Also, compare your specimen with images from reliable sources like auction houses and grading services to see if anything stands out.
If there are features which don’t match up, then chances are your coin might be fake.
Where Can I Find More Information About The 1856 Flying Eagle Penny?
Knowledge is power, and that rings especially true when it comes to numismatics.
If you are looking for more information on the 1856 Flying Eagle Penny, there are several excellent sources available.
Visit your local library or coin shop for books specifically written about this type of penny.
Additionally, online resources such as Coin World can provide comprehensive background information on its origin and value.
For an even deeper dive into the history of coins like these, search out government documents from the time period in which they were minted.
As a numismatist, it is an absolute joy to study the 1856 Flying Eagle Penny.
This rare US penny has been highly sought after for its unique design and rarity.
It carries with it not only financial value but also historical significance which makes it all the more special.
I urge any coin collector looking to add this piece of American history to their collection to do their due diligence in determining if the penny they are assessing is genuine or not, as counterfeits abound.
The 1856 Flying Eagle Penny can be a great addition to anyone’s collection and should be handled with care and respect!