Indian Head Cent, No Shield (1859 only)

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On November 4, 1858, James Ross Snowden recommended to Howell Cobb, secretary of the Treasury, the adoption of a new Indian head design, by Chief Engraver James B. Longacre, to take effect on January 1, 1859. It was believed that the balancing of relief parts, the obverse center with the Indian head and the reverse with a thin wreath around the edge, would result in a better metal flow. Previously, a number of pattern variations, including a flying eagle redesigned to be much smaller and more delicate in size (so-called "skinny" eagle), were struck in an attempt to remedy the problem.

Production continued apace, and by year's end 36,400,000 frosty, golden-colored cents had been produced for circulation. In addition, hundreds of Proofs were struck for collectors; just how many Proofs is not known, but the Guide Book of U.S. Coins estimates 800.

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