Provident Metals is proud to offer a wide array of historical Indian Head pennies struck from 1860 - 1909. These Civil War Era and Turn of the Century coins, sometimes called Indian Pennies, were struck by the United States Mint and proved extremely popular with the public for both their design and usefulness as a means of commerce. Those struck between 1859 through 1864 are composed of 88% copper and 12% nickel. Then, during the Civil War, intense hoarding of precious metal coins vexed the United States Treasury, and a redesign was proposed. Therefore, Indian Head Cents produced from 1865 to 1909 used a new bronze alloy that had proved very popular with private coin producers composed of 95% copper and 5% zinc and tin.
The Indian Head Penny received several design changes throughout its history. Originally designed by James Barton Longacre, Chief Engraver of the U.S. Mint in Philidelphia from 1844 - 1869, Longacre chose to feature an Indian head in profile in the classic Greek style of previous Liberty heads in the past, but he dressed Lady Liberty in a feathered headdress in the manner of Native American Chiefs of the day. Liberty faces the west, and her profile appears to be looking slightly skyward toward the heavens. The obverse (front) of the Indian Head penny also displays the words “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” as well as the coin’s date of issue. From its original issue in 1859 to 1864, the engraver’s initials did not appear on the coin. However, in 1864, Longacre sharpened the image on the obverse and added his initial of L on the ribbon at Liberty’s neck. Charles Barber modified the portrait only slightly in 1886 to make striking the coin more successful, as well. The reverse side received two design changes as well. In 1859, "ONE CENT" appeared within a wreath of olive or laurel. Then, beginning 1860 until its discontinuation, "ONE CENT" within a wreath of olive and oak tied at the base and with a Federal shield above. Please review our specific product descriptions for date of issue, condition, and availability.
The weight of the earlier coins was 72 grains, a common unit of measurement during this time period. Beginning in 1864 when its metal copper content increased, the coin’s weight was reduced to 48 grains. This weight continued for cent pieces in the United States until the introduction of the copper-plated zinc cent in 1982. We offer batches of these storied coins that are well worn and are not only valuable for their copper bullion content but for their numismatic value as well, to individual specimens in very good or better condition which are also valuable to collectors based on their date of issue and less worn condition. In short, we have purchasing options that will please the collector of earlier specimens to investors interested in purchasing these coins for their beauty. In addition, by purchasing these fine coins in bulk allows our precious metals investors the opportunity to save up to $0.20 cents per coin!
These storied and popular American coins are sure to please both investors and collectors, and by using our secure on-line ordering system, you’ll be enjoying your Indian Head Cents in only days.