The Indian Head cent, or Indian Head Penny, was designed by James Barton Longacre and struck from 1859 until 1909. It was minted in both Philadelphia and San Francisco.

The coin featured the head of Lady Liberty, facing left and wearing a Native American headdress with "Liberty" written across the band. The words "United States of America" encircle her. Popular legend has it that Longacre used his young daughter as inspiration for the design, but no proof exists to confirm nor deny this rumor.

For the first year it was struck, the reverse of the Indian Head cent depicted the denomination – the words "one cent" – inside a laurel wreath. The following year, the laurel wreath became an oak wreath, thought to symbolize authority. Arrows were added to the bottom an a heraldic shield was added at the top.

The Indian Head penny was produced using the same material as the Flying Eagle cent – a mixture of copper and nickel – until 1864, when the nickel was removed, changing the coin’s color.

Although there are slight variations in design, the images remained virtually the same (excluding the obvious change on the reverse after the first year) until the coin ceased production in 1909.

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

The combined efforts of a knowledgeable group makes this an authoritative site for both beginning and seasoned coll… [read review or visit site]

Legendary Coins and Currency

Legendary Coins and Currency

This online exhibition from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History is a great way to get an overview… [read review or visit site]

Society of U.S. Pattern Collectors

Society of U.S. Pattern Collectors

Home to the Society of U.S. Pattern collectors, this well-organized site provides in-depth information on pattern c… [read review or visit site]

Clubs & Associations

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

1909 S Indian Head One Cent In All Most Uncirculated Condition.1859 1c Indian Head Penny Ogh Pcgs Ms62 **old Green Rattler Holder**Ngc Ms 64 1861 Indian Head Cent 1909-s Us Indian Head Small Cent1909 S Indian Head Penny1909-s Indian Head Cent Ngc Vf35 Bn1909 S Indian Head Cent A Very Good Coin1906 1c Indian Head Cent Pcgs Ms 64 Rb (red Brown) - No Reserve!1887 Indian Head Penny, Solid Gem Red Brown Proof, Low Pf Mintage! ** Free S.h!1878 Indian/1908 Indian Head Old Window Wrapped Roll Wheat/indian Cent #41351872 Indian Head Cent (1516935)1877 Indian Head Penny (key Date)1870 Ngc Indian Head Penny Ngc Xf 45 * Better Date Copper Cent Piece, * Free S/h1877 Indian Head Penny1908-s Indian Head Cent Penny 1c **ch/bu** Toned Us Coin "rare Beauty" !!!!!1909-s Indian Head Cent1909-s Indian Head Penny // Key Date! // (i909)1908-s Indian Head Cent 1c ( Circulated ) Semi-key1877 1c Indian Head Cent Key To The Series Vf Very Fine Details Rare!1871 Indian Head Penny Cent ☆ Semi Key Date ☆ - A0524Flying Eagle / Indian Head Cents Complete Set In Dansco Album1908 S Indian Head Cent Ngc Ms64 Bn1866 Indian/1857 Fl Eagle Cent Old Window Wrapped Roll Wheat/indian Cent #41441892 Indian Head Cent--- "proof"---graded Pr64rb By Pcgs And Cac Approved.1905 1c Indian Head Cent Pcgs Pr64rd Red Proof Penny1869 Indian Head Cent Au Details1859 1c Indian Head Cent Ngc Au58 - Looks Brilliant Unc - Great Detail!"s" Tail Indian//1888 Indian Old Window Wrapped Roll Wheat/indian Cents #41381877 Indian Head Cent Penny - About Good Obv / Good Reverse - 21su-21908 S Indian Head Cent Au Details1909 S Indian Head Cent Nicely Detailed!Pcgs Ms 63 1864 Copper Nickel Indian Head Cent 1896 Indian Head Cent Pcgs Ms 64 Red/brown1872 Indian Head Penny, Scarce Xf++ Key Date, Avidly Pursued, ** Free Shipping!1892 Indian/1908 Indian Head Old Window Wrapped Roll Wheat/indian Cent #4148 1871 Indian Head Penny Coin1909 Indian Head Cent Proof Ngc Pf66bn Top Pop In Bn Wow!!1867 Indian Head Penny, Tougher Solid Gem Proof, Just 625+ Pf's Made! * Free S/h1857-1909 Indian Head Cent Set~ 57/59 Coins ~ Nice Set!1924-d Wheat/1891 Indian Head Old Window Wrapped Roll Wheat/indian Cent #41421869 F Usa Copper Indian Head One Cent1869 Indian Head Cent A Good Coin1877 Indian Head One Cent Penny - Key Date - 1c - No Reserve!1886 Indian Cent Type-2 Outstanding Uncirculated Red Rare In Brilliant Unc!!1868 Indian Head Penny, Better Date Bu+ Copper Piece, ** Free Shipping!1906 1c Indian Head Cent Pcgs Ms 64 Rb (red Brown) - No Reserve!50pc Roll Of Indian Head Cents { Copper-nickel Indian Head & 1908-s Or 1909-s Ih1864-l Indian Head Cent~circulated Condition~lightly Toned~better Date1901 Indian Head Penny, Beautifully Toned Lustrous Gem! ** Free Shipping!1906 1c Indian Head Cent Pcgs Ms 64 Rb (red Brown) - No Reserve!Over 2 Pounds Of Old Us & World Cull Coins 1800s, Early Us, Silver + Bonus Gold1872 Indian Head Cent1872 Indian Head Cent (has Full Liberty)1870 Indian Head Cent! No Reserve!1877 1c Cent Indian Head Penny Anacs G4Rare Pair 1908-s & 1909-s Indian Head Cents Authentic No ReservePenny Roll #10 { 1877 Indian Head Cent & 1928-d Lincoln Wheat Cent }Indian Head Penny Lot/165 Coins/liberties/partial Libs/few1800's/1908 S Full Lib1914-d Wheat/1864 Indian Head Old Window Wrapped Roll Wheat/indian Cent #4140Near Complete Indian Head Cent Set W/ 1908-s

Recent News: Indian Head Cents

Source: Google News

Illustrator Develops Line of Coin-Themed Greeting Cards
CoinWeek (blog), May 14th

He plans to soon introduce an Indian Head cent card at the same price and a Lincoln “Wheat” cent line at $2.45 per card. Chambers says that his company will also work with customers interested in custom photographs, artwork, or higher-end coins. The...Read more

Local lawman fulfills long time dream by finding a Civil War relic
Bluefield Daily Telegraph, May 11th

He found a federal Navy button cover near the Mercer County Courthouse, but his other finds have mostly been items like rings, Indian Head penny coins and an old penknife. On Sunday, two veteran relic hunters — Dr. Rodney Cox of the Salem VA Hospital ...Read more

Prize finds: Inaugural metal detecting hunting event held in Emporium
Bradford Era, May 3rd

During the first day of the hunt he came away with rings and several coins, like an Indian head penny. “The event was an amazing success. The event brought people from across areas of Pennsylvania and New Jersey and utilized area businesses for lodging ...Read more

Despite her blindness, Janet Roberts digs up forgotten treasure
The Register-Guard, April 12th

An 1898 Indian Head penny. A pinback button from the Loyal Legion of Loggers and Lumbermen, circa 1917. A student's 1987-88 Churchill High School ID card. A still-full nitrous oxide tank. Those are just some of the hundreds, maybe thousands, of things ...Read more

Key Date Indian Head Cents
Coin Update News, November 21st

After the Flying Eagle cent had briefly been struck for circulation in 1857 and 1858 (in addition to pattern pieces struck in 1856, often included with the two other dates), the Indian Head Cent was introduced in 1859. It would by struck for half a...Read more

Treasure Hunting for the Transitional Pattern 1859 Indian Head Cent
Coin Update News, October 31st

In 1859 an estimated 1,000 or more specimens were made of a so-called transitional pattern (Pollock-272, Judd-228) utilizing the standard 1859 Indian Head cent obverse in combination with the oak wreath and shield reverse (as regularly adopted in 1860)...Read more

1872 Indian Head cent shines in MS-65
Numismatic News, February 29th

The 1872 Indian Head cent is no longer a secret. It might be surprising to some, but for decades the 1872 Indian Head cent received very little attention as being an especially tough date. That was largely because Indian Head cents were like most other ...Read more

Indian Head Cent Stood Test of Time, August 31st

James Longacre must have been a better engraver than his critics thought. In designing the Indian Head cent, he managed to blend seemingly inconsistent design elements into a masterpiece that remained in production for half a century. A Caucasian ...Read more