The Indian Head Cent was issued as the second design for the small cent. The coin was designed by James B. Longacre and features an image of Liberty in a Native American headdress on the obverse, which lends itself to the series name. The reverse of the coin first featured a laurel wreath, which was replaced with an oak wreath and shield after only one year.
The series was produced from 1859 to 1909 with a few design modifications. The composition of the Indian Head Cent began as 88% copper and 12% nickel. This proved difficult to strike and the composition was changed to 95% copper and 5% tin and zinc during 1864. For this year, pieces were struck in both the copper nickel and bronze.