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Indian Head Penny History

 indian-head-penny-obverse.pngindian-head-penny-reverse.png

The Indian Head Penny the replacement of the Flying Eagle Penny, which was replaced due to design issues. The design of the Indian Head Cent consists of a female figure wearing a native American Indian headdress on the obverse which many believed this female figure was the daughter of the designer James B. Longacre. Later he did indicate that the female was not his daughter, but was based on the crouching venus statue. On the reverse of the coin were the words”ONE CENT”, which is accompanied by a laurel wreath. That was later modified to have a shield intersecting the top of the wreath.

The Indian Head Cent was minted from 1859-1909, It was minted in Philadelphia and San Francisco. The Indian Head Cent is mostly popular for being so old and that the Indian Head Cent began being minted only a few years prior to the civil war. This makes collectors want to be able to cradle something that represents such important part in American history.

The Indian Head Cent was composed of 88% copper and 12% nickel. It had a diameter of 19mm and weighed 4.67 grams. However, after 1864 the composition was changed to 95% copper and 5% tin. The weight of the coin was also reduced to only 3.11 grams. 

Most Indian Head Pennies are relatively affordable with most dates and mint marks in circulated condition running $20 or less per coin. However, as with any series there are key dates. Some of the most notable key dates are:

  • 1869 9/9 (Doubled "9") 
  • 1873 Double Liberty ("LIBERTY" is doubled on the headdress)
  • 1877
  • 1888 8/7 ( "7" is underneath the last "8" in the date)
  • 1909 S

Indian Head Penny Mintages and Values

Date Mintage Good Very Fine Extremely Fine Uncirculated
1859 Indian Head Penny 36,400,000 $15.00 $55.00 $110.00 $285.00
1860 Indian Head Penny 20,566,000 $10.00 $35.00 $70.00 $185.00
1861 Indian Head Penny 10,100,000 $25.00 $60.00 $110.00 $225.00
1862 Indian Head Penny 28,075,000 $10.00 $30.00 $50.00 $110.00
1863 Indian Head Penny 49,840,000 $10.00 $30.00 $50.00 $110.00
1864 Indian Head Penny 13,740,000 $20.00 $55.00 $100.00 $200.00
1865 Indian Head Penny 35,429,286 $15.00 $45.00 $45.00 $90.00
1866 Indian Head Penny 9,826,500 $50.00 $190.00 $190.00 $275.00
1867 Indian Head Penny 9,821,000 $50.00 $230.00 $230.00 $300.00
1868 Indian Head Penny 10,266,500 $40.00 $170.00 $170.00 $250.00
1869 Indian Head Penny 6,420,000 $85.00 $335.00 $445.00 $600.00
1870 Indian Head Penny 5,275,000 $55.00 $280.00 $375.00 $500.00
1871 Indian Head Penny 3,929,500 $70.00 $350.00 $475.00 $550.00
1872 Indian Head Penny 4,042,000 $90.00 $500.00 $500.00 $785.00
1873 Indian Head Penny 11,676,500 $25.00 $185.00 $185.00 $235.00
1874 Indian Head Penny 14,187,500 $20.00 $65.00 $100.00 $225.00
1875 Indian Head Penny 13,528,000 $20.00 $75.00 $120.00 $235.00
1876 Indian Head Penny 7,944,000 $35.00 $135.00 $225.00 $300.00
1877 Indian Head Penny 852,500 $900.00 $2,000.00 $2,500.00 $3,800.00
1878 Indian Head Penny 5,797,500 $35.00 $110.00 $200.00 $325.00
1879 Indian Head Penny 16,228,000 $8.00 $40.00 $70.00 $90.00
1880 Indian Head Penny 38,961,000 $5.00 $12.00 $30.00 $80.00
1881 Indian Head Penny 39,208,000 $5.00 $10.00 $25.00 $60.00
1882 Indian Head Penny 38,578,000 $5.00 $10.00 $25.00 $60.00
1883 Indian Head Penny 45,591,500 $5.00 $10.00 $25.00 $60.00
1884 Indian Head Penny 23,257,800 $5.00 $14.00 $27.00 $75.00
1885 Indian Head Penny 11,761,594 $8.00 $30.00 $65.00 $110.00
1886 Indian Head Penny 17,650,000 $6.00 $50.00 $140.00 $175.00
1887 Indian Head Penny 54,223,523 $3.00 $8.00 $18.00 $55.00
1888 Indian Head Penny 37,489,832 $3.00 $8.00 $22.00 $65.00
1889 Indian Head Penny 48,866,025 $3.00 $7.00 $18.00 $60.00
1890 Indian Head Penny 27,180,114 $3.00 $7.00 $16.00 $60.00
1891 Indian Head Penny 47,070,000 $3.00 $7.00 $15.00 $60.00
1892 Indian Head Penny 37,647,087 $3.00 $8.00 $20.00 $60.00
1893 Indian Head Penny 46,640,000 $3.00 $8.00 $20.00 $60.00
1894 Indian Head Penny 16,749,500 $5.00 $20.00 $50.00 $85.00
1895 Indian Head Penny 38,341,574 $3.00 $8.00 $15.00 $45.00
1896 Indian Head Penny 39,055,431 $3.00 $8.00 $15.00 $45.00
1897 Indian Head Penny 50,464,392 $3.00 $8.00 $15.00 $45.00
1898 Indian Head Penny 49,821,284 $3.00 $8.00 $15.00 $45.00
1899 Indian Head Penny 53,598,000 $3.00 $8.00 $15.00 $45.00
1900 Indian Head Penny 66,831,502 $2.00 $6.00 $10.00 $40.00
1901 Indian Head Penny 79,609,158 $2.00 $6.00 $10.00 $40.00
1902 Indian Head Penny 87,374,704 $2.00 $6.00 $10.00 $40.00
1903 Indian Head Penny 85,092,703 $2.00 $6.00 $10.00 $40.00
1904 Indian Head Penny 61,326,198 $2.00 $6.00 $10.00 $40.00
1905 Indian Head Penny 80,717,011 $2.00 $6.00 $10.00 $40.00
1906 Indian Head Penny 96,020,530 $2.00 $6.00 $10.00 $40.00
1907 Indian Head Penny 108,137,143 $2.00 $6.00 $10.00 $40.00
1908 Indian Head Penny 32,326,367 $2.00 $6.00 $10.00 $40.00
1908-S Indian Head Penny 1,115,000 $90.00 $145.00 $175.00 $290.00
1909 Indian Head Penny 14,368,470 $12.00 $20.00 $25.00 $45.00
1909-S Indian Head Penny 309,000 $300.00 $475.00 $600.00 $1,000.00

*Source 2020 Red Book