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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Art Beat: Put Alaska civil rights hero Elizabeth Peratrovich on the $10 billAlaska Dispatch News, July 2nd
Not just any minority; she's a Native American, a group typically represented as a symbol -- like the guy on the buffalo nickel or the old Indian-head penny -- rather than as real people. (Though we must note that Pocohantas is on the 1869 $10 bill...Read more
E Dubai Filly Top Pick at MD Yearling ShowBloodHorse.com (press release) (registration) (blog), June 29th
ro.c., foaled 03/25/2014, Street Magician —Indian Head Penny, by Waquoit. Owned by Dr. and Mrs. Thomas Bowman, Chestertown, Md. Bred by Dr. and Mrs. Thomas Bowman and R. Larry Johnson;. —2. ETCHY SKETCHY, dk.b./br.c., foaled 04/01/2014, ...Read more
New-old cornerstone put in placeWorcester Telegram, June 18th
A box of coins from around the world, plus a couple of subway tokens - from the MBTA and one from Tokyo - were included, as well as a special coin, an Indian head penny found under the platform where the addition was built. Paper in the capsule was ...Read more
Ten-spot ladiesWaterbury Republican American (blog), June 18th
The Indian head penny and Buffalo nickel are beautiful coins, too; they honor America's native people without citing any specific individual. For my money, as it were, all of these coins were more beautiful as art than any of the current coins with...Read more
Peace, Love & Decorating Adds Love Tokens Unique and Exquisite Jewelry ...Virtual-Strategy Magazine (press release) (registration) (blog), June 9th
One of Love Tokens claim to fame is the “Bohemian rosary”. These ethnic pieces can be seen accenting a copper Indian head penny and a sterling silver cross. Elegant turquoise cabochons are featured in many of Love Tokens uniquely designed pieces and ...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
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
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