Why this Flying Eagle pattern cent is different
- Published: Apr 4, 2017, 9 AM
One of the more focused collections to come to market in recent memory was Steve Brewer’s group of Flying Eagle cent patterns, which sold at Kagin’s March 9 to 10 auctions.
The collector was attracted to the series because of the relative value of the various patterns, especially when compared to the popular (and expensive) 1856 Flying Eagle cent pattern that is regularly collected as part of the regular issue series (the piece cataloged as Judd 180).
He said of the much rarer but less expensive Judd 184 variety, “I’m no math genius but how can something with a population of around 2,000 pieces cost twice as much as one with a population of 12 or so?”
Here is one of three pattern cents we profile in this week’s Market Analysis that showcase the diverse collecting opportunities in this field.
1855 Flying Eagle large cent pattern, Judd 169, Proof 60
Part of the challenge of the Flying Eagle cent patterns is that so many different varieties are dated 1854 to 1858. The eagle on this Judd 169 1855 Flying Eagle pattern for a large cent has a more pronounced muscularity and curved neck when compared to James B. Longacre’s adopted design for the Flying Eagle cent.
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This example, graded Proof 60 by Professional Coin Grading Service, was described by Kagin’s as potentially unique as struck on an oroide (copper-tin) planchet.
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The die pair used for Judd 169 was used to strike patterns in various compositions, including numerous alloys of copper-nickel, pure copper and bronze (Judd 167 to 171a). The catalog entry suggests that the golden hue to the surfaces indicates it is oroide, with no nickel and slightly more tin than a bronze striking.
Keep Reading About Brewer’s collection of Flying Eagle pattern cents:
One of the coolest pieces from Steve Brewer’s pattern cent collection doesn’t have a date: Brewer offered some lessons for collectors: look for unusual things that make a coin unique, seek out the finest known and look at true rarity, watch out for “gradeflation,” and don’t forget to have fun!
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