From 1859 to 1909, the United States One Cent coin depicted an Indian princess on the obverse, and two wheatheads meeting up to a shield, encircling the words "ONE CENT" on the reverse. This design replaced the previous Flying Eagle Cent.
The majority of the Indian Head pennies minted during the Civil War were mainly used to pay Union soldiers. During this period, the pennies were composed of approximately 88% copper, and 12% nickel. This composition held until 1864, when the composition was changed to 95% copper and 5% zinc.
Indian Head Pennies were minted until 1909, when the design of the penny changed to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of President Abraham Lincoln. This penny is known as the 1909 VDB penny, and subsequent years became known as wheat pennies.
United States Coinage