This collection features three historic coins that are almost a century old – the last three Indian Head Pennies. They were struck by the U.S. Mint in 1907, 1908, and 1909.
The Indian Head Penny was first minted in 1859. It depicts Lady Liberty dressed as an Indian princess in a war bonnet and was one of the first U.S. coins to feature a Native American. The word “Liberty” is inscribed in the headband of the bonnet.
According to legend, designer James B. Longacre actually used a portrait of his daughter, Sarah, wearing an Indian headdress. A delegation of Indian Chiefs visited the U.S. Mint on a day when Sarah was visiting her father. When one of the Chiefs placed his headdress on Sarah’s head, Longacre made a quick sketch and used it as the basis for his Indian Head Penny design.
The Indian side of this coin is a symbol of America’s westward expansion, as well as a moving tribute to Native Americans in U.S. history.
The reverse depicts an oak wreath and the Union shield. The first coins were struck as America prepared for the Civil War, and both the oak and the Union shield were symbols that the U.S. Government wanted unity, not war. Oak represents strength and civic glory, and on this coin the wreath symbolizes the power of the people. The Union shield indicates the strength of the unified nation – “E Pluribus Unum” (“out of many, one”).
As a result, the reverse of this coin is a symbol of national unity in a time of divided loyalties.
Indian Head Pennies disappeared from circulation almost a century ago, and all coins are cherished today. Very few have survived for today’s collectors, and this set of the last three coins is especially prized. The last coin in any series is collector’s treasure, and the chance to own the last three coins in a collection like this represents a rare opportunity.