Collecting Flying Eagle Cents For Their Monetary Value

June 16th, 2014  |  Published in Circulating Coins

The Flying Eagle Cent was only produced by the U.S. Mint for two years in the mid-19th Century and is an unusual design. Individuals who are collecting Flying Eagle Cents might have their hands on a fortune in pennies.

Its history begins with the design of a flying eagle adapted by James Longacre from a sculpture. This stands out because most U.S. coins depict an unmoving eagle. On the other side, ONE CENT is seen encircled by a wreath. The value of Flying Eagles soared almost as soon as the first pattern pieces were distributed. Unfortunately for contemporaries, later larger batches struck to meet huge demand brought down the value of these coins for a short while. In fact, Coin Resource writes that there were almost 50 million in reserve by the time the design gave way to the Indian Head, which was much easier to strike. The Flying Eagle design led to many weak stampings in 1857.

At the time of its conception, the director of the U.S. Mint, James Snowden, was trying to replace all Spanish money with American money. There were long line-ups of individuals eager to replace their Spanish coins with the American ones, known at the time as ‘nicks’.

Today’s collector could fetch thousands of dollars for a single penny, even though they are not especially rare. They have always been sought after, leading to hoarding and some examples of fraud, so collectors should have alleged discoveries checked out by experts before paying any money.

Comments are closed.