Taking A Look At Indian Head Cents

Many collectors are especially fond of Indian Cents. Introduced to the general public in 1859 it is most often referred to as the Indian Head Penny. There is so much historical value and significance that is connected to this coin and we will examine some of that here.

One of the first historical significant factors stems from the fact that there were two different designs that were put into use for this series reverse side. On the first one in the laurel wreath was inscribed the words “One Cent”. That version was issued in 1859 but just one year later the wreath shown was revised to show olive and oak branches instead. In addition above the wreath appeared a Federal Shield close to the top and at the base a knot of ribbon. In the year 1870 Chief Engraver William Barber did make a few minor modifications but basically until 1909 when it was discontinued this is the design that stuck.

Between the years 1859 and 1864 the Indian Head Cents minted were made up of 12% nickel and 88% copper. This was contrasting to prior designs that used copper as the primary ingredient. for the previous 60 years of what was known as the large copper cent. The final years of the series saw the composition change to 95% copper and 5% tin and zinc, which continued in use for the duration.

Through the years these coins have continued to grow in popularity due mainly to their historical significance and value. Collecting the series can be both a joy and challenge for the beginning or experienced numismatist.


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