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

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

Dollars And Cents
Polkio.com, November 12th

John Brown holds an Indian head penny, part of his collection that includes coins and tokens from all over the world. Some are valuable; some are sentimental. Photo by Emily Mentzer. By Emily Mentzer · As of Wednesday, November 12, 2014 · Sign in to ...Read more

Team names: Why take offense where none is intended?
Minneapolis Star Tribune, November 1st

American Indian imagery is not intended negatively, nor received that way, in our coinage, with its buffalo nickel's obverse side showing an Indian head that the Redskins logo has clearly copied, or the Indian Head penny that was in circulation for...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

Colon couple lives in former Lytle School
Sturgis Journal, October 25th

“Other than that, there wasn't any great discovery inside, though I did find an Indian head penny one day out in the yard and I once found a token of some sort.” As if on cue, while Gary Hughes was talking about the unattached shed in which the teacher...Read more

WV Book Team: Witchy Wanda flies in for Halloween
Charleston Gazette, October 18th

His parents question his actions, and Jackson feels he can't confide in them. The only supporter in his household is his grandfather, who forgets a lot. The grandfather gifts Jackson with a “lucky” Indian Head penny, making Jackson feel empowered...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

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 instead of an Indian. A headdress, usually reserved for select males, atop the ...Read more