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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Recent News: Indian Head Cents

Source: Google News

Finding treasures under the track
Kenosha News, July 18th

BY JON BRINES. jbrines@kenoshanews.com. Dirt fishing at the Velodrome on one day found a jack set from the 1940\'s, an Indian head penny and other coins as well as a bicycle part that needs more research. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY JON BRINES )...Read more

Inspiration Point: What are you collecting?
Pamplin Media Group, July 15th

Ernie said, “Have you ever seen an Indian head penny?” He retrieved coin after coin from his pockets. With each appearance, he told their story. The coins were precious to Ernie. Price tags were still affixed to the cardboard packaging. When the coin...Read more

Art Beat: Put Alaska civil rights hero Elizabeth Peratrovich on the $10 bill
Alaska 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 Show
BloodHorse.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

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
NumisMaster.com, 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