Flying Eagle Cent 1857 Fine

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  • Product ID: 20654
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  • Description:

    The Flying Eagle Cent of 1857 holds a special place in the annals of American numismatics. This coin, characterized by its distinct design and historical significance, represents a pivotal moment in the evolution of United States coinage. Examining its history, design, minting process, denomination, and condition provides insight into its enduring appeal.

    The history of the Flying Eagle Cent can be traced back to the mid-19th century when large cent coins were in circulation. These hefty copper coins were cumbersome and costly to produce. Recognizing the need for a more practical one-cent coin, the United States Mint initiated efforts to downsize the denomination. The result was the introduction of the Flying Eagle Cent in 1857.

    The design of the Flying Eagle Cent is a testament to its aesthetic allure. On the obverse, a graceful bald eagle is portrayed in flight, its wings outstretched in a majestic display. Clutched in the eagle's talons are a bundle of arrows, symbolizing the nation's preparedness for defense. Encircling the eagle, the coin bears the inscription "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA," emphasizing its national identity. Turning to the reverse, the coin features a wreath made of laurel leaves that encircles a central shield. The laurel wreath is an emblem of victory and honor, while the shield represents the strength and unity of the nation. Inside the wreath, the denomination "ONE CENT" is prominently displayed, making it clear that this coin represents a fraction of a dollar.

    The 1857 Flying Eagle Cent came in two distinct varieties: the Large Letters and the Small Letters. The Large Letters variety features more substantial and bolder lettering in the coin's inscription compared to its Small Letters counterpart. The Large Letters variety is rarer and, as a result, more coveted by collectors.

    The minting process for the Flying Eagle Cent marked an important advancement in coin production. These coins were struck using a "narrow collar" technique, which involved placing the blank planchet within a collar before striking it with the dies. This innovation ensured that the coins produced had consistent dimensions and improved production efficiency.

    In terms of mintage, the 1857 Flying Eagle Cent was struck at the Philadelphia Mint and had a total mintage of approximately 17,450,000 pieces. While this may seem like a substantial number, it's worth noting that many of these coins have not survived in high grades, making well-preserved examples more sought after by collectors.

    As for denomination, the Flying Eagle Cent has a face value of one cent. In the mid-19th century, one cent had more purchasing power than it does today, making these coins essential for everyday transactions and trade.

    Now, considering the condition of the coin, a "Fine" grade suggests that it has seen significant wear from circulation. While the coin may have lost some of its original detail and luster, it remains in relatively decent condition for a coin that has been in circulation. The term "Fine" signifies that the coin has not suffered from excessive damage, corrosion, or significant flaws, preserving its historical significance.

    In conclusion, the 1857 Flying Eagle Cent in Fine condition is a captivating relic of American numismatic history. Its historical context, compelling design, innovative minting process, mintage figures, denomination, and condition all contribute to its enduring appeal among collectors and enthusiasts who seek to own a piece of the nation's coinage evolution.

  • Details:
    • Denomination: N/A
    • Year: 1857
    • Diameter: N/A
    • Mint Mark: N/A
    • Thickness: N/A
    • Grade: N/A

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