Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Eagle Flies Again


It is always exciting to find a coin on a dig because they usually have dates on them. Today, Tom and I cataloged a Flying Eagle Cent from 1858. These coins were designed and struck first in 1856 as a new type of cent coin; previous cent coins had a larger diameter. This new size set the standard for penny coins today.

Flying Eagle Cents are 88% copper and 12% nickel, attributed to the fact that the designer was in communication with nickel mine owner Joseph Wharton. The eagle was taken from the Gobrecht Silver Dollar of 1836 to 1839. The wreath on the reverse was from the Gold Dollar and 3 Dollar Coin. All of the Flying Eagle Cents were minted in Philadelphia, Pa, but bear no mint-mark. Collectors like the Flying Eagle series because there are a number of small differences between coins, even within the same year.

The run of the Flying Eagle Cents lasted only until 1858 when it was replaced by the Indian Head Penny.


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