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

TEENS: Treasure in pocket change
The Times (subscription), January 30th

Commonly referred to as the Indian head cent for the Native American head displayed on the obverse of the coin and minted from 1859 to 1909, these elusive pennies are near impossible to find, yet can be located from time to time. In average condition...Read more

School Bank Day Turns Up An Unusual Find
CapeNews.net, January 23rd

North Falmouth School 1st grader Grady O'Dea had this Indian Head penny in his collection of coins for his weekly bank deposit. Class volunteer Kristin Shearer spotted the penny, had it appraised and returned it to Grady to keep. Posted: Friday...Read more

This Week In Photos - January 23, 2015
CapeNews.net, January 22nd

Indian Head Penny. North Falmouth School 1st grader Grady O'Dea had this Indian Head penny in his collection of coins for his weekly bank deposit. Class volunteer Kristin Shearer spotted the penny, had it appraised and returned it to Grady to keep...Read more

Preview of Heritage Long Beach Expo US Coins Signature Auction
Coin Update News, January 22nd

Lot 3019 is the sole 1905 Indian Head Cent known to be struck on a gold planchet that was intended for the quarter eagle denomination. In the series there are a total of five such pieces confirmed to exist; three are dated 1900 and one each dated 1905...Read more

Classic US Coins for less than $500 each, part 12: Copper-Nickel Indian Cents
CoinWeek, January 21st

1859 Indian Head Cent As 1859 Indian cents are not very expensive, there is not a need to have a long debate as to whether one is needed for a type set: of all classic U.S. coin series, of cents, of 19th century coins, or of U.S. coins that contain...Read more

FUN starts year right
NumisMaster.com, January 15th

Flying Eagle and Indian Head cent specialist Rick Snow of Eagle Eye Rare Coins of Tucson, Ariz., said a problem is arising because of high demand for quality coins. “Grading services are vastly overgrading a lot of Indian cents, especially the key date...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