Small cents were minted from 1857 to present. Roughly 1,500 Flying Eagle cents were minted in 1856 as presentation pieces to show Congress what the coin would look like. Some of the coins snuck into circulation and the “pattern” coin is very sought after. There are five major types:
- Flying Eagle 1857 to 1858
- Indian Head Copper-Nickel, Laurel Wreath Reverse 1859
- Indian Head Copper-Nickel, Oak Wreath 1860 to 1864
- Indian Head Bronze 1864 to 1909
- Lincoln Cent Wheat Back 1909 to 1958
- Lincoln Cent Memorial Back 1958 to Present
Personal Note: Like most collectors, I will always have a particular fondness for the Lincoln Cent. They are the first coins I collected. The finest small cent I have owned was a gorgeous 1877 PCGS MS64 RB. It pained me to have to sell that one!