We are pleased to offer for sale this 1885 Indian Head Cent Variety 3 Bronze G-4 or Better Indian Penny. The Indian Head Cent is circulated and will grade G-4 (Good Four) or better. This Indian Head will have no major marks or visible problems (just honest wear) making it a great value and an ideal choice for filling the holes in any circulated set.
Information on the Indian Head Cent Series:
In 1859, Chief Mint Engraver James B. Longacre's Indian Head Small Cent design replaced the Flying Eagle cent. The obverse of the Indian Head Small Cent depicts the bust of Lady Liberty wearing an Indian headdress. Within the band of the headdress is the inscription 'LIBERTY'. She is surrounded by the legend 'UNITED STATES OF AMERICA' and the date appears below. In the 1700's, Indian women were commonly used as symbols for America. The reverse of the 1859 Indian Head Small Cent featured the words 'ONE CENT' wrapped within a laurel wreath. From 1860 to 1909, the reverse of the coin featured the words ONE CENT wrapped within a wreath of oak and olive, tied at the base with a ribbon, with a Federal shield above.
With the exception of minor design changes in 1860 and 1886 there are no major varieties of the Indian Head Cent.
After only one year in production, Mint Director James Snowden replaced the previous laurel wreath reverse design with an oak wreath and shield design. It is suspected that the change was a result of growing tension between the Northern States and the Southern states, which were threatening secession from the Union. The placement of the Union shield may have been meant to remind the rebellious states that they were part of the Union. This new type is known as the Indian Head, Copper Nickel, Oak Wreath with Shield Small Cent.
During the Civil War, copper, nickel small cents, gold and silver virtually disappeared from circulation. The void left by the missing cents was filled by the creation of thousands of privately issued Civil War tokens. In 1864 the federal government intervened by banning the issuance of private merchant tokens. In that same year, the Indian Head, Copper Nickel, Oak Wreath with Shield was replaced by the Indian Head, Bronze.
The 1885 Indian Head Cent Variety 3 Bronze G-4 or Better Indian Penny is comprised of .950 copper and .050 tin and zinc, with a diameter of 19mm and a mass of 3.11 grams. There were 11,761,594 of the 1885 Indian Head Cent minted. It is a great value and perfect for any Indian Head Cent collection.