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‚ÄčThe Act of February 21, 1857 provided for the coinage of the new smaller cents we are familiar with today. It ended the reign of the large size cents and half cents that were produced up through 1857. Designer James B. Longacre created the Flying Eagle Cents minted from 1856 to 1858. Despite the short tenure of the coin, a complete set is difficult as the 1856 is extremely rare. Approximately 2,000 pieces were minted as a trial strike for members of congress and certain collectors. The difficulties of the Civil War were so extreme that many of these cents entered circulation and it is not unusual to see lower grade examples. Unfortunately the 1856 is a highly counterfeit coin and a casual collector should only purchase these in PCGS or NGC certified holders from rare coin dealers. 

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