"Like the Large Cent, the Small Cent was not legal tender, so it should have come as no surprise that it, too, would be rejected by bankers and merchants." https://www.pcgs.com/coinfacts/category/flying-eagle-cent-1856-1858/664 On the wiki page, it says something similar: "The new cent was issued in exchange for the worn Spanish colonial silver coin that had circulated in the U.S. until then, as well as for its larger predecessor. So many cents were issued that they choked commercial channels, especially as they were not legal tender and no one had to take them." What's the story? I think this is first time I have heard it. Or at least the first time it has made me stop to think about it.