Indian Head

The Indian Head Cent was issued as the second design for the small cent. The coin was designed by James B. Longacre and features an image of Liberty in a Native American headdress on the obverse, which lends itself to the series name. The reverse of the coin first featured a laurel wreath, which was replaced with an oak wreath and shield after only one year.
Indian_Cents1
The series was produced from 1859 to 1909 with a few design modifications. The composition of the Indian Head Cent began as 88% copper and 12% nickel. This proved difficult to strike and the composition was changed to 95% copper and 5% tin and zinc during 1864. For this year, pieces were struck in both the copper nickel and bronze.



For the Indian Head Cent series:

  • There were 54 regular issues for the series. This include the two compositions used during 1864 and the San Francisco Minted pieces for the final two years of the series.
  • The series had a duration of 50 years from 1859 to 1909. Coins were issued for every year inclusive at the Philadelphia Mint and for the final two years at the San Francisco Mint.
  • The highest reported mintage is for the 1907 Indian Head Cent with 108,138,618 pieces. This was also the only issue of the series with a mintage above 100 million.
  • The lowest reported mintage is for the 1909-S Indian Head Cent with 309,000 pieces reported struck. Along with the 1877, this is one of only two issues of the series with a mintage below 1 million.
  • The average mintage across all 54 regular issues of the series is 34,252,575.

Indian Head Cent Mintages

1859 36,400,000
1860 20,566,000
1861 10,100,000
1862 28,075,000
1863 49,840,000
1864 (Copper) 13,740,000
1864 (Bronze) 39,233,714
1865 35,429,286
1866 9,826,500
1867 9,821,000
1868 10,266,500
1869 6,420,000
1870 5,275,000
1871 3,929,500
1872 4,042,000
1873 11,676,500
1874 14,187,500
1875 13,528,000
1876 7,944,000
1877 852,500
1878 5,799,850
1879 16,231,200
1880 38,964,955
1881 39,211,575
1882 38,581,100
1883 45,589,109
1884 23,261,742
1885 11,765,384
1886 17,654,290
1887 45,226,483
1888 37,494,414
1889 48,869,361
1890 57,182,854
1891 47,072,350
1892 37,649,832
1893 46,642,195
1894 16,752,132
1895 38,343,636
1896 39,057,293
1897 50,466,330
1898 49,823,079
1899 53,600,031
1900 66,833,794
1901 79,611,143
1902 87,376,722
1903 85,094,493
1904 61,328,015
1905 80,719,163
1906 96,022,255
1907 108,138,618
1908 32,327,987
1908-S 1,115,000
1909 14,370,645
1909-S 309,000
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