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About Flying Eagle Cents

Minted for only two years, Flying Eagle cents were early progenitors of our modern copper penny. Before the Flying Eagle, one-cent coins were roughly the size of a half dollar. Their size and cost to mint had made them unpopular by the mid-1800s. The U.S. Mint turned to Mint Chief Engraver James B. Longacre to design a new, smaller, and less expensive coin. The Flying Eagle resulted and it saw production from 1857 to 1858. This small coin was composed of 88 percent copper and 12 percent nickel with a flying eagle on one side and the words "One Cent" surrounded by a wreath on the opposing side. Sadly, the design did not strike well and sometimes produced poor-looking coins. The U.S. Mint also struck too many of these one cent coins lowering their value for the public, on top of the fact that they were not considered legal tender. By 1859, Flying Eagle cents were replaced with the iconic Indian Head penny. You can find sets of these early coins in the vast inventory on eBay. Just keep an eye out for the flying eagle.

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