The Flying Eagle Cent lasted only a couple of
regular production. The coin's design element layout caused metal flow
problems while striking. Several attempts were made to remedy the
complication, but to no avail.
Curiously, the woman modeling the Indian wasn't
a Native American at
all. She was the daughter of James Longacre, the Mint Engraver who
created the Indian Head Cent design. Thus, the name "Indian Head" cent
is a bit of a misnomer.
In 1862 and 1863, uncertainty over the outcome
of the Civil War led to the hoarding of all coins, including the
copper-nickel cent. In their place, millions of cent-sized tokens
issued by private means helped the public to conduct everyday business
transactions. Most of the Civil War tokens were composed of bronze (95%
copper, 5% tin and zinc), and often featured patriotic or advertising
themes. The tokens were quickly absorbed into the fabric of American
commerce, despite the fact that the intrinsic value of the bronze metal
was a far less than one cent. What's more, the metallurgic properties
of bronze made it much easier to mint into coinage
than the copper-nickel material.
... Whilst people expect a full value in their gold and silver coins, they merely want the inferior money for convenience in making exact payments and not at all for the value of copper, tin, or nickel which may be present... even if its intrinsic should be only one-tenth of its nominal and legal value.
While This Coin Was Minted...
The world's first commercial oil
well was drilled in
Titusville, PA in 1859. Oil operator Edwin L. Drake (in top hat) poses
in front of his historic well in 1861. Drake's well was drilled to 69
feet and flowed 40 BOPD. This was actually the second derrick and
engine house - the originals burned down in 1859. Drake was a former
railroad conductor whose discovery gave birth to the oil industry.
introduced in Congress, and the
bronze cent became a reality with the Coinage Act of April 22,
1864. The thickness of the new small cent was considerably less than
its copper-nickel predecessor, while reducing the coin’s weight by
about a third. The new thickness and copper color resulted in a one
cent coin very similar in appearance to the penny we recognize today.
An example of the bronze cent is seen at bottom.
Key date Indian Head Cents are offered for sale below. The left hand side of each "Sales Box" is value trend data over a very long period of time for a coin of that date in Good-4 condition. The percent annual increase is computed for comparative purposes. The coin pictured for sale in the right hand side is not necessarily the same condition coin or same variety as that represented in the value trend analysis on left hand side. Click the "View All" link to see more selections.
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