Jewelry, the Gift of Love

Indian Head Cent Coin: Five Facts You Did Not Know About The American Penny

The last five generations of Americans have never seen or heard of the Indian Head penny. If you were to ask anyone under the age of fifty what types of pennies they have seen during their lifetimes, all of them will tell you that the penny with Abraham Lincoln's head on the front is the only one they know. However, the Indian Head cent coin served as America's penny for over fifty years before it was replaced with the Lincoln cent. Here are five other facts you may not have known about the Indian head cent, which you can share with a few current generations and all future generations.

1. The first American pennies, post-War of Independence, were the size of a silver dollar! Minting these large pennies produced too many challenges, and thus, the coin's size changed after sixty-four years to the size you recognize it as now.

The bigger one cent coin was produced in 1793 until a smaller coin took its place in 1857.

The Indian Head cent coin was the second penny minted with this size. Its predecessor, the Flying Eagle cent, was the first.

2. There have only been six small American pennies in the last two hundred+ years, although some of the reverse designs have changed much more often than the obverse designs. The Indian Head penny had two different reverse designs. The first was just a laurel wreath while the second was a laurel wreath that reached upwards to touch a stars-and-stripes shield.

3.  The Indian Head cent enjoyed the distinction of being the only penny least- and most-minted during its minting years. In 1877, the economy was so poor that very few pennies were minted. It just was not worth the energy to mint them because nothing cost enough to use the penny as payment. In 1900, the Indian head penny was minted 100 million times, making it the most minted penny in history up to that year.

4.  The Indian Head penny was the first penny in circulation when the U.S. Treasury began to encourage Americans to collect coins and sell coin collection books. In order for you to have a complete collection of Indian Head pennies, you would have to have at least one penny from every one of the sixty-four years it was minted, including two years in which the penny was almost not minted at all.

5.  The Indian Head cent also enjoyed the distinction of being the only penny made entirely of bronze for a very short time.

This penny underwent so many changes that it affects the overall value of each one you find. If you happen to come across an Indian Head penny from rare coin collectors such as Penny Pincher Coins & Jewelry, you can share all of the above facts with other coin collectors while having your coin appraised.