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The Act of February 21, 1857 provided for the coinage of the new smaller cents we are familiar with today. It ended the reign of the large size cents and half cents that were produced up through 1857. Designer James B. Longacre created the "Indian Head" Cent series that was coined from 1859 through 1909. In truth, the design was of Liberty wearing a headdress, not an actual native american figure. This is particularly valuable information when quizzing your buddies at the bar about who was the earliest native american on a coin. 

Indian Head Cents share their history with the end of the Wild West. As Cowboy Money, many collectors enjoy the history surrounding this coins travels throughout the Civil War years, Reconstruction and end of the Wild West. In fact, the last two years, 1908 and 1909 were also minted in San Francisco. That tells you how much progress was made settling the frontier while this coin circulated. 1864 is a particularling good year to collect as there are three varieties of Indian Head Cent, the copper nickel, the bronze and the rare 1864 "L" cent, which has Mr. Longacre's initial hidden in the hair of the Indian Head Cent below the ribbon.

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