Indian Head Cents


The Indian Head Cent series was launched in 1859 to replace the short lived Flying Eagle Cent series. The coin was designed by James B. Longacre and features a rendition of Liberty in an Indian headdress. The series continued until 1909 when it was replaced by the Lincoln Cent. The Indian Cent series remains popular and challenging for coin collectors.

Indian Head Cent

During the 50 year run, Indian Head Cents experienced an initial design change and a composition change. After the first year of production, the reverse which previously featured a laurel wreath, was redesigned with an oak wreath. The composition for the coin used from 1859 to 1864 was a copper-nickel composition comprised of 88% copper and 12% nickel. After this metal proved too hard and difficult to strike, the composition was changed to the familiar 95% copper and 5% tin and zinc.

Key Date Indian Head Cents


There are two key date coin usually associated with the series. The first is the 1877 Indian Head Cent. This coin had a mintage of 852,500, although it is sometimes said that much fewer coins were actually issued for circulation. This coin demands the highest prices for a regular issue, even though it does not have the lowest mintage.

The 1909-S Indian Head Cent has the lowest mintage of the series at only 309,000. Since many of the coins were saved as the final year of the series, these are relatively easier to acquire than the 1877, although choice examples remain challenging.

Completing Your Collection


On this site you will find further information about the Indian Head Cent, as well as a selection of PCGS & NGC certified coins available for sale. Browse the site with the menu at left, or use the search box to find exactly what you are looking for.