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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Today is Saturday, Aug. 2, the 214th day of 2014Youngstown Vindicator, August 1st
1909: The original Lincoln “wheat” penny first goes into circulation, replacing the “Indian Head” cent. 1923: The 29th president of the United States, Warren G. Harding, dies in San Francisco. 1943: During World War II, U.S. Navy boat PT-109, commanded...Read more
Today in History, Aug. 2Waterbury Republican American, August 1st
In 1909, the original Lincoln “wheat" penny first went into circulation, replacing the “Indian Head" cent. In 1923, the 29th president of the United States, Warren G. Harding, died in San Francisco; Vice President Calvin Coolidge became president. In...Read more
Looking back: Aug. 2Houston Chronicle, August 1st
1909: The original Lincoln "wheat" penny first went into circulation, replacing the "Indian Head" cent. 1943: During World War II, U.S. Navy boat PT-109, commanded by Lt. (jg) John F. Kennedy, sank after being rammed in the middle of the night by the ...Read more
Kickstarter Campaign for 3rd Edition Flying Eagle and Indian Cent Attribution ...CoinWeek, July 25th
Fans of the Flying Eagle and Indian Head cent series know Rick Snow as one of the leading experts in the field and are well-acquainted with his book A Guide Book of Flying Eagle and Indian Head Cents (2nd ed., 2009), part of Whitman's Official Red Book ...Read more
How to Clean Coins to Make Them More ValuableKIRO Seattle, July 19th
You're digging through a giant jar of pennies you've ignored for years, hoping to find something special. That's when it happens. You come across a rare Indian Head Cent from 1909, a coin that's generally worth over $400. Pretty good for one cent! But...Read more