Lot #19. 1856 Flying Eagle Cent. Snow-3. MS-62 (PCGS).
The September 2008 Beverly Hills Rarities Sale - 9/13/2008
View all lots in this auction
A highly significant die marriage, Snow-3 comprises approximately 20% of 1856 Flying Eagle Cents known to exist. Writing in the 2001 book The Flying Eagle & Indian Cent Attribution Guide, 2nd Edition, Volume 1, specialist Rick Snow estimates the original mintage from this die pair at 700 pieces. Using that estimate, as well as the fact that Snow-3 was prepared in business strike format, he further opines that these coins represent the initial batch of 1856 Flying Eagle Cents that the Mint distributed to Congressional leaders during the debates surrounding authorization of the new small-size Cent.
Prooflike in finish, this pieces does reveal modest hints of brightness in the fields as the surfaces dip into a light. The dominant appearance is one of soft pale-tan color, although we do note intermingled blushes of pinkish-rose tinting that are largely confined to the protected areas around the devices. Scattered ticks and other blemishes confirm the MS-62 grade, although the more noteworthy distraction is an uneven strike that leaves the peripheral definition quite soft in several areas on both sides. We stress, however, that business strike 1856 Flying Eagle Cents are often characterized by below-average definition. Indeed, this characteristic is often the only appreciable difference between proofs and business strikes of the issue. An important coin that would serve with distinction in an advanced numismatic holding.