PCGS 2075 - Indian Head Cent, Bronze (1864-1909), RD

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Indian Head Cent, Bronze (1864-1909), RD

Navigate by PCGS number: Indian Head Cent, Bronze (1864-1909)



Beginning in 1862 cents began to be hoarded and a premium of up to 20% was asked in the Northern cities. Privately minted thin copper tokens began to be used in major cities to fill the void. It was noted by Mint Director James Pollock that the utility made them circulate, not the metal content. He recommended to Treasury Secretary salmon P. Chase that the cent should be changed to bronze. Patterns of bronze from the regular dies were made in 1863. Joseph Wharton had begun mining nickel in Lancaster Pennsylvania and was interested in obtaining a nickel contract with the United States. He forced a delay in Congress until April 1864. Wharton issued a pamphlet in April 15, 1864: Project For Reorganizing The Small Coinage Of The United States Of America. It was too late for the cent, as the law authorizing the bronze cent was signed into law on April 22.


James Barton Longacre 1844-1869

Dies used for copper-nickel cents were also used for bronze cents. There are called the "No L" design because it does not carry the "L" initial found on all later issues. Although Longacre was instructed not to change the design, he updated it by sharpening the design, notably on the bust point and adding his initial below the last feather. This design conitiued to be used until the end of the series with a minor modification by Charles Barber in 1886.


The reverse remained unchanged from the copper-nickel issues. The Shallow N design was changed by William Barber in 1870 to a Bold N design. Coins using both designs were struck in 1870, 1871 and 1872. All 1877 business strike issues used a single Shallow N die. The Bold N design was used until the end of the series in 1909.


Indian Head Cent, Bronze (1864-1909), Mintage


  • Weight: 3.11 grams
  • Diameter: 19 millimeters
  • Composition: Copper - 95% - Tin and Zinc - 5%
  • Edge: Plain

Catalog reference

Prices realized from past auction lots. (PCGS Holder)

PCGS Price Guide [1]


  • Breen, Walter H., Walter Breen's Complete Encyclopedia of U. S. and Colonial Coins, New York: Doubleday, 1987.
  • Snow, Richard E., Flying Eagle and Indian Cents, Tucson, AZ: Eagle Eye Rare Coins, 1992.
  • Snow, Richard E., The Flying Eagle and Indian Cent Attribution Guide, 2nd. edition. 1859-1869, Tucson, AZ: Eagle Eye Rare Coins, 2003.
  • Snow, Richard E., A Guide Book of Flying Eagle and Indian Head Cents, Atlanta, GA: Whitman Publishing, 2007.
  • Yeoman, R. S., and Kenneth Bressett (ed.), A Guide Book of United States Coins, 59th Ed., Atlanta, GA: Whitman Publishing, 2005.
  • U.S. Mint