Olevian Numismatic Rarities
U.S. Flying Eagle Cent (1857-1858) // Icons of American Coinage Series // Deluxe Display Box
The Flying Eagle Cent is a vintage American coin minted from 1856 to 1858. Today, they are seldom seen in circulation but are cherished by coin collectors and enthusiasts of American history alike.
In the first half of the 18th century, one cent coins were large, clunky copper pieces nearly the size of a modern half dollar. By 1856, the cost of producing these copper coins rose so high that the U.S. mint was forced to significantly reduce the size of the one cent coin. On May 25th, 1857 the mint debuted a new small diameter cent, the Flying Eagle cent, which was the same size as our modern-day Lincoln cent.
The obverse of an eagle in flight is based on that of the Gobrecht dollar, struck in small quantities from 1836 to 1839. Although Gobrecht's model is not known with certainty, some sources state that the bird in flight was based on “Peter the Eagle,” a tame American Bald Eagle kept by Philadelphia Mint workers from 1830-1836. Peter stayed in the Mint building during the day and was let out to fly around the city at night. His wing was eventually caught up in machinery and he was accidentally killed. The revered bird was stuffed and is still displayed at the Philadelphia Mint today.
The reverse of the coin features a wreath of corn, cotton, wheat, and tobacco—agricultural products of both the North and South. Unfortunately, due to difficulties in production and issues with strike quality, this new cent was quickly abandoned and replaced by the Indian Head cent, which was minted through 1909. Longacre’s famous eagle design has been long admired by collectors who seek to complete this short, but difficult 3-year series.
Offered here is a pleasant example hand-selected by professional numismatists after screening thousands of coins for quality and eye-appeal. Each coin is housed in an airtight capsule and presented in a plush-lined box with display easel, magnetic lid, and certificate of authenticity. The coin is unconditionally guaranteed to be genuine, dated 1857 or 1858, and will match the quality of the one shown.
3"L x 3"W x 1"H
- OriginUnited States
— Type: Flying Eagle Cent (1856-1858)
— Designer: James Barton Longacre
— Weight: 4.7 grams
— Diameter: 19.0 mm
— Composition: 88% Copper, 12% Nickel
— Obverse Design: Eagle in flight
— Obverse Inscription: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA / DATE
— Reverse Design: Wreath of cotton, corn, wheat, and tobacco.
— Reverse Inscription: ONE CENT
Please Note: The item(s) you receive will match the quality of the one shown, but may vary slightly due to the nature of original historical artifacts.
Shipping AvailabilityCanada, United States
Shipping PolicyStandard Ground Shipping
Ship In2-3 weeks ⓘ
Return PolicyFinal sale, not eligible for return or cancellation