The Flying Eagle Cent was the first small sized one cent coin issued by the United States Mint. Previously, the large cent had been issued which proved to be bulky in commerce and expensive to make. The designer of the Flying Eagle Cent was James B. Longacre. The obverse of the coin features an eagle in flight, moving towards the left. The reverse of the coin depicts an agricultural wreath with a mix of American items including corn, wheat, cotton, and tobacco.
The design was used for only two years before being replaced by the Indian Head Cent. The composition of the coins was 88% copper and 12% nickel with a weight of 4.67 grams. These specifications for the small cent would be adjusted in 1864.
Mintage information on the Flying Eagle Cent:
- Although it is often collected as part of the series, the 1856 Flying Eagle Cent was not issued for circulation. It was struck as a pattern to show Congress how the new cent would look, and later proof pieces were minted for collectors. Approximately 2,000 were produced.
- Only two issues of the Flying Eagle Cent were minted for circulation. The 1857 coin had a mintage of 17,450,00 and the 1858 coin had a mintage of 24,600,000.
Flying Eagle Cent Mintages