Although the Indian Head Penny, which evolved from both the Large Penny and the Flying Eagle Penny, was only struck from 1859 until 1909 the iconic coin still ranks among the most desirable pennies with collectors. Most people believe the obverse portrait on the penny to be that of a stoic Indian Chief complete with headdress, but in truth the image was intended to be Lady Liberty with an Indian headdress! Look closely at the face and you’ll surely see Lady Liberty’s familiar profile adorned with a headdress, as was intended. Indian Head Pennies have a variety of values, with the earlier examples from the years leading to the Civil War among the highest. In 1864 the U.S. Mint changed the composition of the penny from copper/nickel to bronze and added the small L (to commemorate James Longacre, the designer and engraver of the coin), to the bottom of the headdress. This design remained the same until it was replaced in 1909 by the Lincoln penny. How valuable can an Indian Head Penny get? An 1877 MS66 Indian Head Cent sold for a staggering $149,500.00!
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