1896 Indian penny

Started by gpimper, August 28, 2019, 08:06:08 PM

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


Another new addition :-)  Pictures could be better but I'm getting used to this new compression software.  This replaces my other...much better condition.
The Chief...aka Greg


I like this design. It reflects another strand in European culture, one that is closely connected to early US history, the figure of the noble savage. It is an important concept, having strong traces today among the political left, regarding immigrants.

In the early days of colonisation, the sedentary colonists and the roaming Indians had their moments of co-operation*, but as the colonists got pushy and land-hungry, the Indians started pushing back. Therefore, they became the enemy, the savage, man-like animals that could be hunted down and would be wrong wherever they attacked.

As the colonists had a more sophisticated technology (in particular firearms), the Indians were subdued rather quickly in an uneven struggle, where they could still win from particularly stupid white leaders (Little Big Horn), but, in a series of moves, they were relegated to reservations, where they posed no more danger. From that position, they could be admired for their skills, romanticised and made into a noble savage. This coin shows one with a classical Greek profile. Ain't it fun?

I remember a tale told by my former boss, an American. At some time, the bison had made a spectacular come-back. The herds needed to be culled. A group of romantics argued that the job should be given to local Indians. When that was done, the romantics saw, to their utter disgust, that the Indians went out to do the job not bare chested, on ponies, armed with bow and arrows, but in fake fatigues, in four wheel drives, armed with automatic guns. :D


*a good example is the "sale" of Manhattan. Among mobile people, there is no concept of ownership of the land. From their own point of view, the sellers got good stuff as a gift. The colonists couldn't even occupy what they had bought. Everyone was happy.
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.


A nice clean example, Greg. D you have a large collection of these?

Before I sold my US collection years ago, I had a few really nice pieces, and a bunch of typically circulated examples. Nothing special, but nice clean ones like yours.

One notable piece I remember with an interesting story attached to it was a 1906 red unc...or so I thought. When I sent it in to be graded at a TPG, it was body bagged as "questionable color." Since I bought it from Dave Bowers I was certain it was a legitimate red. In any case, I contacted him and explained what happened. He asked me if I would return it to him so he could take a look at it. I did so and he later called me and told me that he and two other well known numismatists who worked for him agreed that it was a legitimate full red. As a bonus, they also thought it should grade a MS-66.

He made me an offer. I could be refunded what I had paid for a 65 coin, but he would give me 66 money for it. That's how confident he was about the grade and color. I was satisfied with his explanation so decided to keep it. A little later I decided to send it in to another, more highly rated TPG. You guessed it...it came back graded a 66 red.

Though I always had a great deal of respect for Dave Bowers, this exchange confirmed his status as an honest and special member of the numismatic fraternity. A very respected dealer and researcher.

Always Faithful


Not a series I ever collected very much but i do like it. It is a nice design.
If i could afford uncirculated examples i would buy full  brown and avoid the reds but that is a personal preference.

Now I will get a circulated example (as long as no damage) if the mood strikes me and the opportunity arises but I have very few.
Would be a fun project.



Not a huge collection but it is a work in progress 😎
The Chief...aka Greg


That's the fun of it, Greg...trying to complete a set.

Always Faithful