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.
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Scott Molloy: Priceless gifts from Mom and DadThe Providence Journal, December 15th
At different points in my delivery tenure, I occasionally found an old coin in my payment: an Indian-head penny, a buffalo-head nickel, or a version of Lady Liberty on antiquated silver coinage. Like many other kids in that era, I started to collect...Read more
The View From Planet Kerth: A letter to a boy who collected more than stamps ...Naples Daily News, December 15th
You even have one penny that doesn't fit because it's too old — that 1907 Indian head penny. Your favorites are there — the silvery steel pennies minted in 1943, when every bit of copper was sent to the war effort. They stand out like proud soldiers...Read more
Key Date Indian Head CentsCoin 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
Dollars And CentsPolkio.com, November 12th
John Brown holds an Indian head penny, part of his collection that includes coins and tokens from all over the world. Some are valuable; some are sentimental. Photo by Emily Mentzer. By Emily Mentzer · As of Wednesday, November 12, 2014 · Sign in to ...Read more
Treasure Hunting for the Transitional Pattern 1859 Indian Head CentCoin 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
Understanding the true tale of Linda Jacobs and what was found in her kitchen.Monterey County Weekly, October 30th
Francesca “Linda” Jacobs sat on her living room sofa, her head resting on a cushion and her feet almost reaching the floor. The front door to her second-story apartment near Dennis the Menace Park was cracked open just wide enough to let Reynoldo, a...Read more
1872 Indian Head cent shines in MS-65Numismatic 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 TimeNumisMaster.com, August 31st
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 instead of an Indian. A headdress, usually reserved for select males, atop the ...Read more