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Where to Find Clash Marks on your 1854 and 1855 Large Flying Eagle Cent Patterns

RKKayRKKay Posts: 3,015 ✭✭✭

If you collect Large Flyers, you might notice clash marks them. Most commonly, you will find them on the obverse and reverse of the Four-Leaf Flyers (J-167 through J-171A). Here is an image of the four leaves beneath the E in "States."

However, you might also find clashes on the reverse of the Two-Leaf Flyers (J-163, J-164 and J-172 and J-173. Here is an image of two leaves under the E.

The Four-Leaf clashes only occur on 1855 LFEs (as, to my knowledge, there were no Four-Leaf reverses in 1854). They were caused by the obverse and reverse dies coming together when no planchet was present and the below images are clash marks you may see.

Obverse: at 11 o'clock touching the wing; behind where the wing and tail come together; and underneath the eagle's abdomen.

Reverse: at 12 o'clock, above the N in "One"; between the E in "One" and the wreath; and [hard to see] between the O in "One" and the C in "Cent."

Here is an overlay of how the clash marks were made.

The Two-Leaf clash marks only appear on the reverse. However, they occur on both 1854 and 1855 Two-Leaf Flyers, as well as 1854 Coronet-Types. They were caused by the obverse and reverse of the J-160 and J-161 dies coming together. The same reverse die for those was used on both 1854 and 1855 Two-Leaf Flyers. The following two clash marks were created as I just mentioned. Northwest of O in "One," attached to wreath; and in the center of the reverse

A third clash mark (or marks) are a series of carets (^) attached to a half-oval North-Northeast of the E in "One." I'm not sure what caused that one. Interestingly, I have a fake 1854 with the clash marks intact.

Here is an overlay of how these clash marks were likely made.


  • jesbrokenjesbroken Posts: 9,249 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Nice informative post. Thank you.

    When a man who is honestly mistaken hears the truth, he will either quit being mistaken or cease to be honest....Abraham Lincoln

    Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.....Mark Twain
  • That was very informing, I never realized that they were clash marks, I assumed they were doubling. Thanks

  • RKKayRKKay Posts: 3,015 ✭✭✭

    Also worth mentioning that often on the 1855s the obverse has a barely noticeable triangular die chip in the denticles below the 1 in the date...

    ...and on the reverse of many Four-Leaf 1855s, there is a diagonal chip between the N and I in "United." It actually goes into the N, but most specimens don't show that.

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