1903 Indian Head in Very Good to Very Fine Condition

Great Indian Head investment

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(October 27 2016 09:03 AM CDT)
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Item Description

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Ron Guth: Indian Head Cents replaced the Flying Eagle Cent in 1859. {when, due to striking problems, the Mint replaced the original Flying Eagle design with a new one depicting a female clad in a feathered Indian headdress. This “Indian Head” portrait, not a native American profile but apparently modeled after the Greco-Roman statue Venus Accroupie)  In 1860, the wreath was altered and a small shield was added to the top of the reverse.  From 1859-1864, the cents were made of a mixture of copper-nickel.  The planchets were thick and the color was much lighter than the dark copper of Large Cents.  In 1864, partly in response to the privately issued Civil War tokens, the weight of the Indian cent was reduced and the metal composition reverted to bronze, a nearly pure copper alloy.

When grading Indian Head cents, the first places to show wear on the obverse will be the hair above the ear and the curl to the right of the ribbon; on the reverse, check the bow knot. 


Ron Guth: Mid-1864, the composition of the Indian Cent was changed from Copper-Nickel to Bronze and the thickness of the coin was reduced substantially.  Why the change?  Mostly in response to the plethora of Civil War Tokens that entered the market beginning in 1861,  most of which were light-weight copper pieces that mimicked the Indian Cent, but contained either advertisements or patriotic themes.  Although the Civil War Tokens were private issues, they circulated widely and proved that a coin did not necessarily have to contain its full value in metal.  This was a bit of a revelation and allowed the Mint to produce coins and make a decent profit while doing so.

As far as dates and mint marks go, the only key dates are the 1877 and the 1909-S, although several of the earliest dates in this series are scarce and valuable even in Good condition.  In Mint State and Proof condition, some dates are scarce to rare.  Because of the popularity of this series, coins in the finest grades often set record prices when they appear on the market.

This series is rich in varieties, both major and minor.  Standouts include the 1864-L in Proof, the 1873 Doubled LIBERTY in any grade, the 1888/7 overdate, and the 1894 Doubled Date. 

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Seller Location: Ohio, United States

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Return Policy:
Item must be returned within: 7 days - Buyer pays return shipping costs.
Refund will be given as: Money back

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