I attended the Meadville Coin Club last Thursday and at our auction, I picked up a few great coins. The purchase that I like the most is this 1858 Flying Eagle Cent. This is one of the shortest-lived series of United States coins, having been produced for circulation for just two years, 1857 and 1858, however, there were about 1,000 1856 Flying Eagle Cents struck without official authorization. Therefore, from a legal standpoint, all 1856 Flying Eagle Cents may be considered to have been illegally struck and issued. These coins are very rare and quite expensive.
There are two popular major varieties of the 1858 Flying Eagle Cent often collected alongside the 1856 and 1857 coins to complete a set. The two major varieties, Large Letters and Small Letters, are reasonably easy to identify. The difference in the lettering in the AM of AMERICA is obvious. On the Large Letters variety, the letters A and M of AMERICA touch each other, whereas, on the Small Letters variety, they are clearly separated. I have the Large Letters variety.