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

Freemasons open 100-year-old time capsule in downtown Dallas
Dallas Morning News, March 29th

to a table in the lobby of Jason Babb's law practice was a button cover, a Masonic lapel pin, a rusty pocket knife, tattered record books — one with worms living between the pages — and at least nine worn-down coins, including one Indian head penny...Read more

Albany Coin Club seeks and finds buried treasures
The Albany Herald, March 29th

“Not just a quarter or a nickle, but a standing liberty quarter, a buffalo nickle or an Indian head penny — something like that. We talked about the coins, and it wasn't spending money. It was savings money, and I've been collecting as long as I can...Read more

Answer Man: Do all caterpillars turn into butterflies or moths?
Belleville News Democrat, March 25th

When I think of the Indian-head penny, I have two images in mind, one around the turn of the 20th century and another several years later. When did the images of the Indian change? -- Bernard Stelzer of Collinsville. You certainly have a keen eye, but...Read more