Can a collector specialize in Flying Eagle cents? Minted for circulation only two years?
Yes. This is one interesting series for a dedicated numismatist who loves history.
The Flying Eagle cent was the first small-sized cent, minted for circulation in 1857 and 1858. The 1858 comes in large letters and small letters varieties. In the large letters coin, the letters A and M in America are joined; in the small letters, they are separated. There is also a 1858/7 overdate that is listed in the Red Book. There are other varieties, for both years.
1856 Flying Eagle cents were minted to the tune of 2000 pieces, a large number for what is technically a pattern. There were more, in proof. This coin has always been a favorite with collectors. One dealer used to lead off his auctions with a 1856 Flying Eagle cent, for good luck.
Pattern lovers have a treasure trove of Flying Eagle issues to look for. They come in large and small sizes, with the familiar eagle and one with more angular wings, different metals, and different years.
Today is National Bird Day. Celebrate by considering the Flying Eagle cent.