In 1908, the production of cents began at the San Francisco Mint. This represented the first time in history that a minor coin of the United States had been struck outside of Philadelphia. This had become possible due to a change in law, which allowed non-silver or non-gold coins to be produced at branch mints. The San Francisco’s “S” mint mark appears on the reverse of the coin, beneath the base of the wreath.
The 1908-S Indian Head Cent had a mintage of more than one million pieces. Production was significantly lower in the following year, when the San Francisco Mint struck only 309,000 cents with the Indian Head design. This was actually the lowest mintage of the series, although the coins are less scarce than the 1877.