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Indian Head Cents

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Showing 1 - 24 of 313 products
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1859 Indian Head Cent XF Details Copper-Nickel SKU:I123501859 Indian Head Cent XF Details Copper-Nickel SKU:I12350
1861 Indian Head Cent VF/XF Copper-Nickel 1c SKU:I104221861 Indian Head Cent VF/XF Copper-Nickel 1c SKU:I10422
1863 Indian Head Cent CH AU Copper-Nickel 1c SKU:I106401863 Indian Head Cent CH AU Copper-Nickel 1c SKU:I10640

Indian Head Cents: A Brief History

Design

The reverse of the 1859 first-year Indian Head pennies featured the inscription one cent surrounded by a laurel wreath, which in 1860 was changed to an oak wreath topped by a small shield. A slightly sharper Indian portrait was created near the end of 1864 and included designer James B. Longacre’s initial L on the lower ribbon behind the neck. Indian Heads were struck in bronze through the end of the series in 1909.

Composition

From 1859-1864, Indian Head pennies were struck in an 88% copper and 12% nickel alloy, which gave them a pale appearance and the nickname “white cents.” Copper-nickel Indian Head pennies of 1859-1864 were hoarded during the Civil War and were replaced in circulation by privately-issued bronze tokens. So the composition of Indian Head pennies was changed to bronze during 1864 and the issuance of private tokens was made illegal.

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