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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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

Pennsylvania Library Discovers Time Capsule from 1901
Fine Books & Collections Magazine (blog), October 15th

The Carnegie Free Library staff in Connellsville, Pennsylvania made a startling discovery when they removed a large bush from library grounds and revealed a stone hiding a time capsule. Library officials knew that a time capsule had been placed when...Read more

Connellsville opens time capsule sealed in 1901
Tribune-Review, October 7th

However, one coin, a 1901 Indian head penny that fell out of the capsule as it was opened, suffered a scratch on one side, causing a drop in its value, according to Orszulak. Also found was a 50-cent paper note, something that began during the time of...Read more

October 2014 Archives
Fine Books & Collections Magazine (blog), October 1st

Welsh poet Dylan Thomas (1914-1953) is being fêted in his homeland and abroad on the eve of what would be his 100th birthday. Thomas' works include 'Do not go gentle into that good night' and 'The hunchback in the park.' The subject of much literary ...Read more