1864 Indian Head Small Cent L on Ribbon
Indian Head Facts:
The Indian Cent (designed by James Longacre) was first minted in 1859 with a copper-nickel metal content, but no shield on the reverse. The metal content remained the same as the 1859 from 1860-1864, but a shield was added to the reverse of the coin.

The metal content was changed to 95% copper and 5% Zinc from 1864-1909, and the design remained unchanged. The lone exception is the 1864 Bronze (95% copper and 5% zinc/tin) and this date has a variety known as 1864 L, with the L representing the designer's initials. All coins where minted at the Philadelphia Mint and have no mint mark except for the 1908-S and 1909-S, which are the only dates struck in the San Francisco Mint.





Cherry Picker's List:

Key Dates-Varieties and Semi-Key Dates:

1860 Broad Bust T 2
1860 Narrow Bust
1864 Initial L
1867/7 Picture
1869/9
1866                                   
1867                   
1868                                                                  
1869
1870                                                                 
1871                                                                 
1872
1873 Closed 3
1873 Doubled liberty die 1 bold
1873 Open 3
1876                  
1877    
1878
1886 Feather between I and C
1886 Feather between C and A
1887/7
1888/7
1894/94
1908-S
1909-S
 
The Indian Cent varieties are numerous and the above list should not be considered complete. One should always look for doubling of design features, repunched dates, over dates, die clashes, misplaced dates, etc. of which may signal a "variety" find.
Indian Head Cent Types 1859-1909
1861 Indian Head Small Cent Image
1859 Indian Head Small Cent Image No Shield Reverse
1864 Indian Head Small Cent Image
Variety 1 Copper-Nickel Laurel Wreath Reverse (1859)
SPECIFICATIONS:
Designer: James B. Longacre
Weight: 4.67 grams
Composition: .880 copper, .120 nickel
Diameter: 19 mm
Plain edge, no mint mark and struck at the Philadelphia Mint.
Variety 2 Oak Wreath Reverse (1860-1864)
SPECIFICATIONS:
Designer: James B. Longacre
Weight: 4.67 grams
Composition: .880 copper, .120 nickel
Diameter: 19 mm
Plain edge, no mint mark and struck at the Philadelphia Mint.
Variety 3 Bronze (1864-1909)
SPECIFICATIONS:
Designer: James B. Longacre
Diameter: 19 millimeters
Metal content: Copper - 95%, Tin and Zinc - 5%
Weight: 3.11 grams
Edge: Plain
1864 "L" On The Ribbon Type (Identified by a more pointed neck end)
Broad Bust Type 2
Shield Reverse
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Roll Facts:

Indian Head Cents came in rolls of 50 and it's very difficult to find an original roll of solid dates, but they do still come to market sometimes. You're more likely to see mixed date rolls of circulated coins.

Variety Facts:

Key Date Facts:

Pattern Facts:

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