From the NGC Archives: 1908-S Indian Head Cent

Posted on 8/17/2009

This month, NGC features a beautiful, elusive coin of great historic significance.

The so-called Indian is actually the goddess Liberty adorned in a fanciful native headdress. This was a favorite theme of designer James Barton Longacre, who created this coin type in pattern form in 1858. The first pieces for circulation were struck the following year.

Historically, only the Philadelphia Mint had produced minor coins. Legislation was passed in 1906 that provided the branch mints with the necessary appropriations for striking such pieces. This was implemented first at the San Francisco Mint, which coined 1,115,000 cents beginning November 27, 1908. Surprisingly few were preserved, and gems such as this fabulous cent are extremely elusive. This fiery red beauty is remarkably pristine. Though it reveals some characteristic weak spots, its dazzling luster and full red color impart superb aesthetic value.

Are you interested in Indian Head Cents? Click here to visit the NGC Coin Encyclopedia and read more.