Difficulty in striking up the design fully was the probable reason for replacing the attractive Eagle Cent in 1859. Chief Engraver Longacre modified the same profile he’d used for several coins that decade by simply adding a Native American headdress. The stock wreath used for the previous cent type was replaced in 1860 by an oak wreath with shield and arrows. An alloy of French bronze was substituted for copper-nickel midway through 1864 and retained through the end of the series.
Extremely popular with date collectors, the Indian Cent series features two key dates: 1877 and 1909-S. Otherwise there are no major obstacles to completing a set in circulated grades and in the lower grades of mint state. Fully red gems are scarce for most dates before 1880.