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

Affording Indian Head gold eagle coins
Coin World, September 29th

In recent weeks I've gone behind the scenes with the Indian Head gold $10 eagle design created by Augustus Saint-Gaudens and widely circulated beginning in the autumn of 1907. At that time the motifs of American coins included the Indian Head cent, the ...Read more

Yogi Berra Knew How to Catch and Even Better How to Deliver
Daily Beast, September 23rd

It continually reminds us of what once was, like an Indian-head penny in a handful of new coins.” Baseball's—and America's—most constant constant over the past 70 years was Yogi Berra, who died Tuesday at age 90, about a year and a half after losing...Read more

Archaeological dig at Warwick's Shingle House may support legend
The Warwick Advertiser, September 10th

So far they have discovered numerous artifacts including a 1753 British half-penny, an 1818 US cent and an 1864 Indian Head penny along with beverage and medicine bottles (some that contained opium), buttons, pottery and dish shards, glass, clay pipes, ...Read more

Collector discovers new variety for 1896 Indian Head cents
Coin World, June 4th

Collector Douglas Hill discovered a new example of 1896 Indian Head cent some have dubbed the "Flying 9" variety because of the horn-shaped raised metal protruding from the top right of the 9 in the date. Experts, however, have reached no broad ...Read more

You bought it: 'Absolutely beautiful' 1868 Indian Head cent
Coin World, January 26th

The most interesting piece that I purchased was a raw 1868 Indian Head Cent. It came from an album and has beautiful original album toning. It is ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL!!! This coin could possibly grade MS66 or higher with PCGS. The finest 1868 Indian ...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

1859 Indian Head cent obverse die cap
Coin World, April 2nd

A striking error on an 1859 Indian Head cent is a "striking" coin in the other sense of the word, both in appearance and in price. The coin brought $23,500 in Heritage Auctions' March 21 and 23, 2014, sale in San Francisco. The coin is a form of error...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