Indian Head Cents share their history with the end of the Wild West. As Cowboy Money, many collectors enjoy the history surrounding this coins travels throughout the Civil War years, Reconstruction and end of the Wild West. In fact, the last two years, 1908 and 1909 were also minted in San Francisco. That tells you how much progress was made settling the frontier while this coin circulated.
The Act of February 21, 1857 provided for the coinage of the new smaller cents we are familiar with today. It ended the reign of the large size cents and half cents that were produced up through 1857. Designer James B. Longacre created the "Indian Head" Cent series that was coined from 1859 through 1909. In truth, the design was of Liberty wearing a headdress, not an actual native american figure. This is particularly valuable information when quizzing your buddies at the bar about who was the earliest native american on a coin.
There are a number of ways to collect this series aside from completing the date and mint-mark full set.
Type collecting is a particularly fun and rewarding way to collect coins. Because you are not necessarily collecting rare date and mint mark combinations, you can use your budget to purchase high grade coins, or those certified by PCGS and NGC. The Indian Head Cent series has three distinct "types."
1. The 1859 cent is a one year type. The reverse features a laurel wreath without a shield. The coin is made from a thicker copper-nickel planchet.
2. In 1860, the reverse was changed to an oak wreath with a shield at the top. The composition of the planchet was the same.
3. In 1864, the composition was changed to bronze and the planchet was substantially thinner, fairly consisted with modern pennies. 1864 is a particularling good year to collect as there are three varieties of Indian Head Cent, the copper-nickel, the bronze and the rare 1864 "L" cent, which has Mr. Longacre's initial hidden in the hair of the Indian Head Cent below the ribbon.
However you like to collect Indian Head Cents, we are always here as your rare coin dealer to offer you the best selection of rare coins.