Indian Head Cents:
The Flying Eagle Cent was difficult to strike up, so the US Mint needed to produce a solution. James B. Longacre designed a solution to that problem. Longacre created the Indian Head design. It struck up better than any other design requiring the least amount of pressure. His design displayed a bust of Miss Liberty, facing left, towards the West, wearing an Indian headdress, with “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” around the periphery and the date below her. The reverse had the words “ONE CENT” on two lines inside a wreath of oak leaves.
Due to the talk of secession and a possible civil war, the oak wreath was abandoned after just one year and it was replaced by an oak wreath with a patriotic shield atop it. A year later the Civil War commenced and suddenly all small coins were being hoarded. The war led to a nickel shortage, so the composition of the coins was again changed, now to 95% copper.
After the War ended coins were struck in abundance and with the exception for the year 1877, millions of these coins were struck each year. Now all of these coins were struck at the Philadelphia Mint until 1908 and 1909 when these coins were struck in Philadelphia and in San Francisco. The 1877, 1908-s and 1909-S are the key dates for this series. Collecting Indian Head Cents returns us to the Civil War era and the set is affordable.