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SERIES: Flying Eagle Cents 1856-1858
LEVEL: Year, MintMark, & Major Variety

1857 1C Flying Eagle (Regular Strike)

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PCGS MS66

PCGS MS66

PCGS MS66
PCGS #:
2016
Diameter:
19.00 millimeters
Designer:
James Barton Longacre
Weight:
4.70 grams
Edge:
Plain
Mintage:
17,450,000
Metal Content:
88% Copper, 12% Nickel
Auction Record:
$32,200 • PCGS MS66 • 1-5-2006 • Heritage
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Rarity and Survival Estimates (Explain)
Grades Survival
Estimate 
Numismatic
Rarity 
Relative Rarity
By Type 
Relative Rarity
By Series 
All Grades 12,000 R-2.9 5 / 5 5 / 5
60 or Better 4,000 R-4.2 5 / 5 5 / 5
65 or Better 300 R-6.4 5 / 5 5 / 5
Condition Census (Explain) Show more rows
Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 MS66 PCGS grade

Tom & Jean Fore Collection - Heritage 1/2016:5232, $18,800

1 MS66 PCGS grade  

Wright Collection

1 MS66 PCGS grade
1 MS66 PCGS grade
1 MS66 PCGS grade  
Condition Census (Explain) Show fewer rows
Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 MS66 PCGS grade

Tom & Jean Fore Collection - Heritage 1/2016:5232, $18,800

1 MS66 PCGS grade  

Wright Collection

1 MS66 PCGS grade
1 MS66 PCGS grade
1 MS66 PCGS grade  
1 MS66 PCGS grade  
1 MS66 PCGS grade  
1 MS66 PCGS grade  
1 MS66 PCGS grade  
1 MS66 PCGS grade  

Ron Guth: In 1857, the U.S. Mint produced two different Cents: the old-style Large Cent and a new, smaller cent with an eagle flying left across the obverse.  One of the motivating factors for the creation of the new "Small" Cent was the high price of copper.  Each new Small Cent required less than half the amount of copper than the Large Cent, yielding significant savings for the U.S. Treasury.

To introduce the new design, the Mint produced a then-record high 17,450,000 Flying Eagle Cents, making it the first Cent with a mintage over 10 million coins.  Because of public and collector interest, large quantities were saved, making it very easy to find an example today.  Mint State examples are quite common and are usually seen in MS-64 (and to a lesser degree in MS-63).  Gems are only slightly scarce, but in MS-66 the population drops precipitously.  As of July 2011, none have been graded finer then MS-66 by PCGS.