DESCRIPTION Impressive Choice Proof 1856 Flying Eagle Cent1856 Flying Eagle Cent. Snow-3. Repunched 5, High Leaves. Proof-63 (PCGS). CAC.
This is a gorgeous example of this iconic key-date, boasting an incredibly sharp strike and silky luster. The golden-tan surfaces reveal glimmers of powder-blue and peach irridescence under a light source. Approval by CAC confirms the superior quality.
The 1856 Flying Eagle cent was first prepared as a pattern in late 1856 and early 1857 to illustrate the new small size cent in copper-nickel composition. These coins were envisioned as replacements for the large copper cents first struck in 1793 that were increasingly expensive to produce. Later in 1857, and continuing through at least early 1860, the Mint struck additional examples. The later strikings were initially meant for distribution to Congressional leaders, Mint personnel and others in government posts, but by 1859, Mint Director Colonel James Ross Snowden was striking 1856 Flying Eagle cents expressly for distribution to contemporary collectors.
According to Rick Snow (A Guide Book of Flying Eagle and Indian Head Cents, 2006), the 1856 Flying Eagle cent had become so popular during the late 1850s that prices soon reached $2 per coin, sparking the nation's first coin collecting boom. Most of the coins that Snowden began selling to collectors were struck in Proof format and the number extant suggests a mintage on the order of 1,500 pieces. Interestingly, this newly created supply flooded the market and caused prices to plummet, eventually reaching a low of 25 cents per coin. Prices remained below $2 per coin well into the 1870s (again per Snow). Today, however, the popularity of the 1856 Flying Eagle cent is very strong and this lovely Choice Proof would serve as a highlight in any cabinet.PCGS# 2037
.NGC ID: 227A