Half-Cents and Cents : Indian Cent : Type 2, Copper-Nickel

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Obverse of 1861 Indian Head Cent Reverse of 1861 Indian Head Cent

Ron Guth: The Copper-Nickel Indian Head Cents of 1860-1864 share the same obverse design as the 1859, but the reverse features a fuller, more ornate wreath, a shield at the top, and fuller letters in ONE CENT.  These were struck when the dark clouds of the Civil War covered America, yet the Philadelphia Mint cranked them out to the tune of 10 million to nearly 50 million per year.  Known as "White Cents" because of their pale color, these thick chunks of metal competed with privately issued, thinner, copper pieces known as Civil War Tokens.

All dates in this short-lived series are common, though high-grade, spot-free pieces are eagerly sought-after and highly prized.  Proof examples can be had for all years.