Value of Indian Head Pennies

Value of Indian Head Pennies

For most of us, the Lincoln Penny is all we’ve known. Probably because it’s been 103 years since the last Indian Head Penny was minted. Due to their age and rarity, these One Cent Coins are very valuable and highly collected. If you've never seen one of these pennies in person, don't feel left out. The vast majority of these coins are tucked tightly away in collections or in huge hoardings. You'd think that with billions upon billions of produced pennies that some might still remain in circulation, but the truth of the matter is that they've been stripped long ago from circulation. Luckily, we have grandparents or an elderly person in our lives that might just have a couple sitting around. Continue reading to discover the history and value of Indian Head Pennies.

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Value of Indian Head Pennies. Shown above is a common 1903 Indian Head Penny.
Value of Indian Head Pennies. Shown above is a common 1903 Indian Head Penny.

History of the Indian Head Penny:

  • As a replacement for the Flying Eagle Cent, the Indian Head Penn began production for circulation in 1859. The Wreath with no shield is shown as the reverse and is unique to Indian Head Pennies minted in 1859. Starting in 1860, a shield of the Union was added to the reverse and remained for the rest of the mintage years.
  • The Indian Head Penny was designed by James B. Longrace. His initials did not initially appear on the minted pennies, but was later added in 1865. Contrary to the name, the portrait on the Indian Head Penny is not even an Indian. It really is a depiction of Lady Liberty wearing a Native headdress.
  • From 1859-1864, the Penny was minted using a Copper/Nickel clad, until the composition was changed to bronze in 1865.

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Reverse of Indian Head Cent.
Reverse of Indian Head Cent.

Compositions:

1859-1864

  • Weight – 4.67 Grams
  • Metal Composition – 88% Copper, 12% Nickel

1865-1909

  • Weight – 3.11 Grams
  • Metal Composition – 95% Copper, 5% Tin and Zinc

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Value of Indian Head Cents:

If you’re lucky enough to have some Indian Head Pennies laying around, you’ll be happy to hear that they’re at least worth 200% of their face value. That’s right, even non-key date Indian Head Pennies in rough condition are worth at least $2. I won’t cover the value of every Indian Head, but I will cover key dates and high value pennies from the Indian Head mintage.

Extremely Rare 1877 Indian Head Penny. Photo Courtesy Coinpage.com
Extremely Rare 1877 Indian Head Penny. Photo Courtesy Coinpage.com

Key Date Indian Head Pennies:

  • 1877 – Valued at $650-4,000+
  • 1909S – Valued at $300-1,000+
  • 1908S – Valued at $75-400+

Semi Key Dates:

  • 1866 – Valued at $60-375
  • 1867 – Valued at $70-400
  • 1868 – Valued at $50-300
  • 1869 – Valued at $70-500+
  • 1870 – Valued at $60-500+
  • 1871 – Valued at $70-500+
  • 1872 – Valued at $90-900+
  • 1876 – Valued at $40-300+
  • 1878 – Valued at $40-300

Valuable Error Indian Head Pennies:

  • 1869 – 9 over 9 Error. Valued at $150-800+
  • 1873 – Doubled LIBERTY. Valued at $300-10,000+
  • 1888 – 8 over 7 Error. Valued at $1,000-25,000+
  • 1894 – Doubled Date. Valued at $40-100+

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1870 Double Die Reverse
1870 Double Die Reverse

That pretty much sums up my article on the Value of Indian Head Pennies. I appreciate you stopping by to read. I should just say on a final note, that most Indian Head Pennies are worth much more than their face value. If you do have some Indian Head Pennies and they're not on the list of valuable ones, don't get rid of them. They're probably still worth something! If you're still interested in more American Coin Denominations, please feel free to read through my other coin articles posted below. Thanks again and happy collecting!

Please leave me suggestions or tips to making my articles even better. More so, tell me about your own collection!

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Comments 9 comments

galleryofgrace profile image

galleryofgrace 5 years ago from Virginia

Thanks for the info. I have several of these but apparently no key dates. I have 1863,1880,1890,96,98 and 1900,01,02- two 05's and four 06's.


Joe Macho profile image

Joe Macho 5 years ago from Colorado Author

That's a lot more Indian Cents than I have! The most valuable coin that you're sitting on is the 1863. Depending on the condition, you're looking anywhere from $10-150. Not a bad value at all.


bfun 4 years ago

ihave a 1890 ex. con what's that worth and who can I sell it to?


Joe Macho profile image

Joe Macho 4 years ago from Colorado Author

In a high grade mint state condition, you could probably reel in close to $100 for your 1890 Indian Head cent. As far as selling it, you might try to locate a reputable local coin dealer or listing it on eBay. Good luck to you and thanks for reading.


Hjklji 4 years ago

Great info!


HAPPY! 3 years ago

I JUST NOW FOUND A 1859 PENNY IN XF CONDITION IN MY CHANGE!!!!!!!


melissa 2 years ago

How much is worth a 1903 penny


Tayme Mcanally 19 months ago

I have an extensive coin collection, including Indian Head pennies, wheat pennies, rare coins and would like to sell, currently I don't have time to get them graded or do the eBay

Im so busy with 2 very sick parents. I know several are very valuable, any suggestions?


Joe Macho profile image

Joe Macho 19 months ago from Colorado Author

Tayme Mcanally - If you're looking to liquidate your coin collection, I would recommend taking the whole lot to a local coin dealer. They should be able to purchase all of them from you. I'm sorry to hear about your parents. Best wishes to you and your family.

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