Indian Cents (Proof)
Proof Indian cents were made throughout the duration of the series, which was designed by James B. Longacre and struck from 1859 through 1909. Proof coins, which are struck by specially prepared dies on polished planchets, have been popular with coin collectors since the 19th century. Unlike most proof coins made in the United States since the late 1960s, proof Indian Head cents were made at the Philadelphia Mint, not the San Francisco Mint -- in fact, the first "S" mint Indian cents were not made until the last two years of the series, which were 1908 and 1909.
Most Indian cent proof issues were minted in quantities ranging from about 1,000 to 3,000, with some dates seeing fewer or more pieces depending on demand and other factors. Generally speaking proof Indian cents are scarce across the board with true gem specimens featuring cameo devices considered especially rare. Certified proof Indian cents in the PR63 level or higher are most popular among proofs. The 1864 bronze "With L" proof Indian cent and 1877 proof Indian cent are the scarcest in terms of rarest proof issues. Given that many proof Indian Head "pennies" were saved by collectors, certain dates are actually more common in proof than in similarly well-preserved mint state specimens.
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