– Flying Eagle Cent (1856 - 1858)

The Flying Eagle Cent, minted from 1856 to 1858, represents a pivotal moment in American coinage history as it marked the transition from the large cent to the smaller-sized cent that continues to be used today.  

Designed by James B. Longacre, the Flying Eagle Cent introduced a bold and innovative design that captured the imagination of the American public. 

The obverse of the Flying Eagle Cent features a soaring eagle in flight, hence the name "Flying Eagle," with its wings spread wide and its talons clutching arrows and an olive branch. The eagle is surrounded by the inscription "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" and the denomination "ONE CENT."  

On the reverse of the coin, the inscription "ONE CENT" is encircled by a laurel wreath, symbolizing victory and honor. The design is simple yet elegant, with a focus on the central motif of the eagle in flight. 

The Flying Eagle Cent was minted using a new alloy composed of 88% copper and 12% nickel, which gave the coin a lighter color and improved durability compared to previous issues.  

This new composition was a significant technological advancement and paved the way for the adoption of the smaller-sized cent in subsequent years. 

Despite its relatively short mintage period, the Flying Eagle Cent remains a popular and highly collectible coin among numismatists and enthusiasts of American history. 

Its bold design, innovative composition, and historical significance make it a prized addition to any coin collection. 

Today, surviving specimens of the Flying Eagle Cent are sought after for their rarity and artistic beauty. These coins serve as tangible artifacts of America's numismatic heritage, bearing witness to the nation's ongoing quest for innovation and progress. 

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