Bronze 1856 Flying Eagle Cent, Judd-182
1856 P1C Flying Eagle Cent, Judd-182, Pollock-213, PR62 Brown
PCGS. Snow-5b, Low R.8. The famous 1856 Flying Eagle cent,
except struck in bronze with a plain edge, instead of the usual
copper-nickel alloy. A point from the U in UNITED and a second
point from the left wreath stem confirm the rare Snow-5 die pair.
Andrew Pollock's Reverse B with a fully closed E in ONE.
Extremely Rare Snow-5b, PR62 Brown
For all 1856 Flying Eagle cent die pairs combined, Judd-182 is Low R.7, but nearly all known examples are Snow-4, distinguished by a Low Leaves Reverse. Rick Snow (2001) lists Snow-5b as Rarity-8 with just two known examples, a PCGS PR64 Red and Brown and a silver-plated ANACS VF specimen. Overall, Snow-5 is Rarity-6, but virtually all pieces are struck in copper-nickel. The Snow-5b Judd-182 is extremely rare and of great importance to the advanced Flying Eagle cent specialist.
This is a fully struck specimen with complete vein detail on the cotton leaves and intricate delineation on the eagle's plumage. The upper obverse displays a wire rim that further attests to the crispness of the strike. Rotation beneath a light reveals deep plum-mauve and aquamarine hues. The luster is satiny, although the fields display modest reflectivity. A few faint thin lines outline the wreath with another inconspicuous thin mark behind the back wing. The obverse rim has a couple of tiny ticks at 2 o'clock and 9:30. Minute mint-made strike-throughs beneath the A in STATES serve as identifiers.
Any 1856 Flying Eagle cent is desirable, due to its scarcity and significance as the introductory issue of the small cent. Since the vast majority of the issue consists of Snow-9 and Snow-3 copper-nickel examples, a Snow-5b merits a sizeable premium and may not appear again at auction for many years. (NGC ID# 29AZ, PCGS# 11799)
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