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.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Indianheads.org

Indianheads.org

The combined efforts of a knowledgeable group makes this an authoritative site for both beginning and seasoned coll… [read review or visit site]

Legendary Coins and Currency

Legendary Coins and Currency

This online exhibition from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History is a great way to get an overview… [read review or visit site]

Society of U.S. Pattern Collectors

Society of U.S. Pattern Collectors

Home to the Society of U.S. Pattern collectors, this well-organized site provides in-depth information on pattern c… [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Original Obw Wheat Penny Rolls Gem Bu Red S-mint Indian Head "boa Sf"Original Obw Wheat Penny Roll 1877 & 1870 Indian Head "frb Denver"Original Obw Wheat Penny Rolls Gem Bu 1909 & S-mint Indian Head "boa Sf"Original Obw Wheat Penny Rolls Gem Bu Red 1909s & S-mint Indian Head "boa Sf"Original Obw Wheat Penny Rolls Gem Bu Red 1909 Indian Head "boa San Francisco"Original Obw Wheat Penny Roll Bu Red 1866 & 1868 Indian Head "frb Denver"Original Obw Wheat Penny Roll Gem Bu Double Reverse Indian Head "frb Denver"Original Obw Wheat Penny Roll Gem Bu Red Indian Head Reverse "frb Denver"Original Obw Wheat Penny Roll Au/unc 1865 & 1857 Flying Eagle "frb Denver"Original Obw Wheat Penny Roll Gem Bu C/n Indian Head Reverse "frb Denver"Penny Roll #5 { 1955 Double Die Lincoln Wheat Cent & 1933-d Wheat Cent }1877 Indian Head Cent 1¢- Rare Key Date- High Grade- XfUnited States 1909-s Indian Head Cent 1c Good Details / Cleaned1909-s High Grade Indian Head Cent No Reserve Auction!1909-s Indian Head Penny, Challenging Choice Au++/unc Rare Key Date! ** Free S/hIndian Head Cent Collection From Old Timer – With 1877 - 40 Different DatesPenny Roll #4 { 1877 Indian Head Cent & 1911-s Lincoln Wheat Cent }1877 Indian Cent--nice Looking Good +/-Full Album Library Of Coins Flying Eagle And Indian Head Cents 1856-19091877 Indian Head Cent **bold Date** No Reserve!!!1877 Key Date Indian Head Cent G1909-s Indian Head Penny // (vg) Very Good // Key Date! // (i823)1864-l 1c Pcgs Ms64rb Rpd Fs-2302 S-3 (fs-006.71) Indian Penny1890 Indian Head Penny, Beautiful Better Date Red Solid Gem Copper Piece! 1871 Indian Head Cent }} Xf+ {{ ** Private Collection **Indian Head Cent/penny 1869/69 Rpd Collector Favorite Partial Liberty1909 S Indian Head Cent, Pcgs Vf 35 1909-s Indian Head Cent : F / Vf With Natural Brown Color1876-l Indian Head Cent - Xf, Better Date Vintage 1c Penny Coin (191912l)1869 Indian Head Cent High Xf Plus Repunched Date Fnd-004 Original Beauty1872 Indian Head Penny Cent - Xf -1081877 Indian Head Penny // Pcgs Ag03 // Key Date // (c99)1863 Indian Head Penny, Beautiful Red Gem, ** Free Shipping!1909-s 1c Indian Cent Bn1882 Indian Head Penny ** Free Shipping!1867/67 Indian Head Cent Au Condition~toned~fs-301 Neat Over DateWheat Cent Roll With Indian Heads Silver & More: 1/2 Dime & Civil War Token Ends1897 Indian Head Penny, Pq Gem Color! ** Great Eye Appeal!1871 Indian Head Cent Pcgs G 6. ***.95 Cent Sale***Penny Roll #6 { 1876 Indian Head Cent & 1928-s Lincoln Wheat Cent }1869 Indian Head Cent: Fully Struck Lt Brown Surfaces-some Luster & 4 Diamonds!1872 Indian Head Cent Pcgs Xf-40 No Reserve Extra Fine1882 Indian Head Penny, Beautiful Red Brown Gem++ Scarce Date! ** Free Shipping!1877 ~ Indian Cent ~ G+1857-1909 Flying Eagle & Indian Head Cent Album 54 Piece Set 1c 1909 Vdb Lincoln Cent Pcgs Ms 65 Rd ***95 Cent Sale***1876 Indian Head Penny, Scarce Choice Gem Brown Copper Piece, ** Free Shipping!1861 1c Indian Cent1874 Indian Head Cent Pcgs And Cac!! Pr-65 Brown Very Tough Coin!! Scarce!!!Indian Head Penny 1877 Key Date ...................27531866 Indian Cent Bu (great Example)1901 Pan American Buffalo Exposition Indian Head Penny Encased In Pan Skillet"s" Tail Indian//1874 Indian Old Window Wrapped Roll Wheat/indian Cents #40001869 Indian Head Penny, Tough Key Date In Series, ** Free Shipping!Civil War Token/1897 Indian Head Old Window Wrapped Roll Wheat/indian Cent #40011908 Indian Head Penny, Great Color! ** Pq Gem!1905 Indian Cent Gem Bu Red Pq+++++++++1872 Indian Head Cent G Details1908-s Or 1909-s Indian Head Penny Showing On Unsearched Shotgun Roll~ Wow1877 Indian Head Penny

Recent News: Indian Head Cents

Source: Google News

Whenever You Dig a Hole
Washington Post, April 16th

I could not find a doubloon or even an Indian-head penny. Not a dinosaur bone nor soldier's button. Wait, is that a piece of old glass? Yes! My finger is bleeding. When I moved to DC, it was a different story. Holes here yield clay also, but of a...Read more

Despite her blindness, Janet Roberts digs up forgotten treasure
The Register-Guard, April 12th

An 1898 Indian Head penny. A pinback button from the Loyal Legion of Loggers and Lumbermen, circa 1917. A student's 1987-88 Churchill High School ID card. A still-full nitrous oxide tank. Those are just some of the hundreds, maybe thousands, of things ...Read more

Coin shop retiree's pastime
The Daily Advocate, April 2nd

His favorite coin is the Indian head penny. “Those are what I started out on,” Murphy said. “Whenever I was in school at Ludy, I took care of the flower fund and exchanged my pennies for the Indian head pennies that I was given.” The regular silver...Read more

It Happened In Crawford County: Auctioneer focus
Bucyrus Telegraph Forum, April 2nd

Lyle sold old coin collections; gold, silver, including 1928 silver dollars, 1877 Indian head penny; proof and mint sets. Postcard dealer Howard Clapper from Mt. Gilead owned “The Pumpkin Patch” and Gebhardt sold his collection of around 30,000 cards...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