David Hall: The 1859 is the first year of issue for the very important Indian Head cent series. Because a shield was added to the reverse in1860, the 1859 is also a one-year-only type coin. I have always felt this issue doesn't get the respect it deserves. Gems are definitely rare. In 1973, I had a customer tell me to buy him every Gem Flying Eagle cent and 1859 Indian cent I could find. In a year, I was able to find 35 Gem Flying Eagles, but only 8 Gem 1859 Indian cents.
Most 1859 Indians are relatively well struck. Luster and color are typical for the 1859-1864 Copper-nickel composition Indian Head cents. There are many examples with subdued luster you could call mediocre. I have seen very few examples with what we would all call "blazing" luster, certainly less than I have seen of some of the other Copper-nickel dates.
Jaime Hernandez: This is a one year Type and also the first regular issue Indian Head and Wreath design. The fact that this was a first year design and it having a large mintage, many examples were saved and examples of this issue in circulated grades are easily obtainable.
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