10 Most Valuable Indian Head Penny: Complete Value Guide

Have you ever heard of Indian Head Pennies? These are pennies that were minted from 1859 to 1909 in the U.S. Just like other U.S coins, these coins can also be worth a lot of money when it is in pristine condition but most of them have been worn out due to their age and now can be found on the ground during cleaning or clearing of a yard by luck.

Being among the first US pennies ever produced, they have a unique history behind them. In this complete value you will get to see the 10 Most Valuable Indian Head Penny, you will also get to see a value guide that will show you what every single Indian Head Cent ever minted is worth.

The Indian Head Penny does not have a reasonable melt value just like Roosevelt Dimes that belong to the clad composition. This is because it comprises a high percentage of copper. Today, we’re going to take another look at the 10 Most Valuable Indian Head Pennies. If you didn’t know already, the Indian head penny is a United States coin with a portrait of a Native American on the front.

The History Of Indian Head Penny

Also referred to as the Indian Head Cent. These coins date back to the year 1859. The numerical value ($0.01). It was designed by the chief engraver at the Philadelphia mint, James Barton Longacre.

Unlike other famous coins like the Morgan Silver Dollar and Mercury Dimes that were produced at different mints. The Indian Head Penny was struck at the Philadelphia mint from 1859-1909, with the only exception being the 1909 S Indian Head Cent that was minted at San Francisco.

From 1793 to 1857, the cent was a copper coin somewhat larger than a half dollar. Then came the discovery of gold in California which caused a large increase in prices. As gold became more plentiful, the price of copper increased. The production of cent and half-cent coins was one of the only centers of profit for the Mint. By 1850, however, it began looking for alternative means to generate income.

The United States Mint modified the one-cent coin in 1857, reducing its size and changing its composition to 12% nickel and 88% copper and issuing a new design called the Flying eagle cent. In 1858, the Flying Eagle design was retired and replaced with the Indian head design.

10 Most Valuable Indian Head Penny Worth A Fortune

Which Indian Head pennies are worth money? The 10 Most Valuable Indian Head Pennies were sold in auctions between 2007 and 2021. Here’s a table that shows their grade and final price sold.

No.
Name
Year
Grade
Price Sold
1
1877 P Indian Head Cent
1877
MS66
$149,500
2
1864 Indian Head Cent : With L
1864
PR65
$111,625
3
1899 Indian Head Cent
1899
MS68
$108,000
4
1869 Indian Head Cent
1869
MS66+
$84,000
5
1888 Indian Head Cent : Last 8 Over 7
1888
MS63
$74,750
6
1873 Indian Head Cent : Double Liberty
1873
MS63
$74,750
7
1868 Indian Head Cent
1868
MS66
$49,200
8
1894 Indian Head Cent
1894
MS66+
$10,200
9
1893 Indian Head Cent
1893
MS67
$43,125
10
1871 Indian Head Cent
1871
MS66+
$38,400

1. 1877 P Indian Head Cent

Year: 1877

Grade: MS66

Price:  $149,500.00

1877 P Indian Head Cent

In the history of Indian Head Cents, the 1877 P Indian Head Cent is one of the highest to sell at auction. In the year 1877, a total number of 852,500 coins were struck at the Philadelphia mint. While this number seems huge, it was actually one of the lowest numbers of mintage ever recorded in the production of Indian Head Cents.

One of the hardest Indian Head pennies to find is the 1877 P Indian Head Cent. Finding this coin in pristine condition is even harder. Due to this rarity, the value of this edition of the Indian Head Cent is higher than most. There’s no minting error on the coin nor a special feature that makes it highly valued, its value simply comes from the fact that it is hard to find.

In average condition, the 1877 P Indian Head Cent is worth $1,226. In Uncirculated mint condition this Indian Head Cent is worth $4,333 to $5,126 and maybe more. In 2007, August 9th to be precise, one of the finest Indian Head Cent ever graded was sold for $149,500.

1877 1C MS66 Red PCGS Sold on Aug 9, 2007 for: $149,500.00

2. 1864 Indian Head Cent : With L

Year: 1864

Grade: PR65

 Price: $111,625.00

1864 Indian Head Cent With L

The year 1864 is yet another significant year for the India Head Pennies. Most coin collectors value this coin because of a note-worthy change that occurred in the year. Bronze, which is an alloy of copper and tin, replaced the heavier copper-nickel metal alloy that was used since the year 1859.

While most Indian Head cents from 1864 will have been made with bronze, the rarer versions are made of the older copper-nickel alloy. The year 1864 had different varieties of the coin, and one of the varieties worthy of note is the 1864 Indian Head Cent: With L. The Indian Head nickel came into existence in 1864 and featured an “L” behind the hair of the Indian’s neck.

The Average 1864 Indian Head Cent With L is worth $107. The value goes higher in better conditions, going for $481 to $657 in Uncirculated (MS+) Mint Condition. Proof coins are valued at more than $10,000.

1864 L On Ribbon Cent, PR65 Red and Brown Sold on Jan 7, 2015 for: $111,625.00

3. 1899 Indian Head Cent

Year: 1899

 Grade: MS68

 Price: $108,000.00

1899 Indian Head Cent

The 1899 Indian Head Cent is also one of the most valuable Indian Head Pennies known to collectors. It was minted at the Philadelphia mint and it has no mint mark. A total number of 53,598,000 Indian Head Cents were minted in the year 1899.

The 1899 Indian Head Cent is more than 100 years old and thus hard to find in pristine condition. It is no shocker that coin collectors are willing to pay a good sum for this Indian Head Penny. According to the USA Coinbook, the 1899 Indian Head Cent in average condition should cost $3.89. Uncirculated (MS+) Mint Condition ranges from $45 to $74, while proof coins go all the way up to $169 or more.

In the year 2019 on August 14th, an MS68 Red 1899 Indian Head Cent was sold for $108,000.00. Making it one of the most valuable Indian Head Pennies ever auctioned.

1899 1C MS68 Red PCGS Sold on Aug 14, 2019 for: $108,000.00

4. 1869 Indian Head Cent

Year: 1869

Grade: MS66+

Price:  $84,000.00

1869 Indian Head Cent

In the year 1869, a total number of 6,420,000 Indian Head Cents were minted at the Philadelphia mint with no mint mark on them. The 1869 Indian Head Penny is one of the rarest versions of this coin because very few of them survived. The value of an 1860 Indian Head Cent depends on the condition of the coin. However, in most cases, if the word “Liberty” can be easily made out, then your coin will definitely have more value regardless of its condition.

An Average 1869 Indian Head Cent is worth $143. An Uncirculated condition of this coin ranges from $657 to $784 or more. Proof coins are almost impossible to find, however, luck shines on you and you find one, it is valued at $418 or more according to the USA coin book.

1869 1C MS66+ Red PCGS Sold on Aug 14, 2019 for: $84,000.00

5. 1888 Indian Head Cent : Last 8 Over 7

Year: 1888

Grade: MS63

Price: $74,750.00

1888 Indian Head Cent Last 8 Over 7

In the Era of the Indian Head Cents The 1888 over 7 is a popular variety. In this coin, the 8 was punched over a 1887 date. In the date of this coin, you would see a portion of the previous 7 appearing just at the bottom left of the 8. This coin is very rare and highly valued.

An average 1888 Indian Head Cent : Last 8 Over 7 is worth $1,712 and higher conditions such as the Uncirculated (MS+) condition which is almost impossible to find are valued at $25,587 to $39,064. Due to the scarcity of this Indian Head Penny, lower grades have higher values. An 1888/7 1C MS63 Brown PCGS Indian Head Penny sold for $74,750 in an auction on the 9th of August 2007. A man named James Rudy discovered this rare coin almost 30 years ago.

1888/7 1C MS63 Brown PCGS Sold on Aug 9, 2007 for: $74,750.00

6. 1873 Indian Head Cent : Double Liberty

Year: 1873

Grade: MS63

Price:  $74,750.00

1873 Indian Head Cent Double Liberty

1873 was a significant date in the United States, it was the year that the Coinage Act Of The United States came into play. A good number of Indian Head Pennies were minted at the Philadelphia mint in the same year. About three variations of the 1873 were seen during this year; Closed 3, Double Liberty, and Open 3. For this number, we focus on the Double Liberty variation.

The 1873 Doubled Liberty Indian Head Cent is valued in the thousands of dollars because it is one of the rare doubled die errors. Finding this coin becomes almost impossible in higher conditions. The error can clearly be seen in the doubled “Liberty” word.

The 1873 Indian Head Cent Double Liberty is valued at $399 in average condition, its value appreciates to $8,510 to $15,118 in Uncirculated (MS+) Condition. Its melt value is pretty low at $0.0306.

1888/7 1C MS63 Brown PCGS Sold on Aug 9, 2007 for: $74,750.00

7. 1868 Indian Head Cent

Year: 1868

 Grade: MS66

 Price: : $49,200.00

1868 Indian Head Cent

Struck at the Philadelphia mint, the 1869 Indian Head Cent makes it to our list as one of the 10 Most Valuable Indian Head Pennies. The coin has no mint mark and even with a mintage totalling 10,266,500 it is not so easy to find this coin in amazing condition as it dates back to over 100 years ago.

If you can find the 1868 Indian Head Cent in great condition, the price would most definitely double. According to the USA coin book an average 1868 Indian Head Penny is worth $55. Uncirculated condition can be worth $285 to $410. Proof coins are almost impossible to find, however if you’re lucky to find one, it could be worth $427 or more.

On the 24th of April 2021, an 1868 Indian Head Cent in MS66 was sold in Heritage Auctions for $49,200.00. This simply tells you that the value of your coin is dependent on its pristine condition.

1868 1C MS66 Red PCGS Sold on Apr 24, 2021 for: $49,200.00

8. 1894 Indian Head Cent

Year: 1894

Grade: MS66+

Price:  $10,200.00

1894 Indian Head Cent

1894 Indian Head pennies are a rarity among United States coins, not found as often as other dates in the 1890s, and when in pristine condition they are recognized by collectors as a rare and valuable coin. Even with a total mintage of 16,749,500, you might still meet some dead ends looking for this coin.

Although rare, certain 1894 pennies managed to avoid entering circulation. Collectors and dealers at the time set some aside, and today collectors appreciate these high-condition examples. The 1894 Indian Head Cent is valued at $6.64 in average condition and $91 to $131 in Uncirculated condition. Proof coins have a higher value of $169 or more.

1894 1C MS66+ Red Sold on Apr 22, 2021 for: $10,200.00

9. 1893 Indian Head Cent

Year: 1893

Grade: MS67

Price:  $43,125.00

1893 Indian Head Cent

The 1893 Indian Head Cent is one of the most sought after coins for collectors. With a total mintage of over 45 million coins in the Philadelphia mint, It is not difficult to find this coin in average condition. However, the task becomes more challenging when in search of higher grades.

USA Coin Book estimates the value of the seldom-seen 1893 Indian Head penny at $3.89 in average condition. and at $67 to $91 or more in uncirculated (MS+) mint condition. Proof versions of this coin can be worth $169 or more.

On the 30th of April, 2009 an 1893 Indian Head Cent was sold in an auction for $43,125.00. However, the high price was due to its pristine MS67 condition and bold features due to almost perfect minting.

1893 1C MS67 Red Sold on Apr 30, 2009 for: $43,125.00

10. 1871 Indian Head Cent

Year: 1871

Grade: MS66+

Price:  $38,400.00

1871 Indian Head Cent

The 1871 Indian Head Cent is of two variations. One is the Bold N which had over 3 million coins struck at the Philadelphia mint and the other variation is the Shallow N. Taking a good look at the reverse of both variations you would clearly see that the letter “N” in “ONE” is Shallow on one coin and Bold on the other coin.

The Indian Cent, of 1871, has one of the lowest mintage issues of the popular Indian Head Penny series. In fact, from 1859 to 1876 the coin has the lowest mintage in the series. During the early 1870s, the Mint melted many previously issued cents, including 1871 cents. This made the coin scarce. According to USA Coin Book An average 1871 Indian Head Cent is worth $94 in average condition. Proof coins value go up to $371 or more. In Uncirculated condition the value is worth $607 to $909 or more.

1871 1C MS66+ Red Sold on Apr 24, 2021 for: $38,400.00

How Much Is An Indian Head Penny Worth?

A common question many people have is, “How much is my Indian Head penny worth?” Your coin could be valuable, not to mention historically important. There are a number of rare and unusual Indian Head pennies you may have. Have a look at our chart as it can help you determine the value of your Indian Head penny.

Indian Head Pennies can be divided into three groups;

  • Copper-Nickel Laurel Wreath Reverse
  • Copper-Nickel Oak Wreath With Shield
  • Bronze Composite Penny

Copper-Nickel Laurel Wreath Reverse (1859) Value & Chart

Time 1859
Metal Composition 88% Copper – 12% Nickel
Mass/Weight 4.67 grams
Diameter 19 mm
Estimated Average Value $23

Copper-Nickel Laurel Wreath Reverse (1859) Value & Chart

This coin has the Laurel Wreath Reverse Without Shield and it was only in the year 1859 that you would find this design with the wreath and without the shield.

Year
Mintage
MS60
MS63
PR63
1859
36,400,000
$314
$657
1,833

Copper-Nickel Oak Wreath With Shield (1860-1864) Value & Chart

Time 1860-1864
Metal Composition 88% Copper, 12% Nickel
Mass/Weight 4.67 grams
Diameter 19 mm
Estimated Average Value $18-$39

Copper-Nickel Oak Wreath With Shield (1860-1864) Value & Chart

Over 100 Million Indian Head Pennies were minted at the Philadelphia mint from 1860-1864. They are very hard to find in pristine condition, see the table below for an estimated value in different conditions according to the USA coin book.

No.
Year
Mintage
MS60
MS63
PR63
1
1860 P
20,566,000
$205
$285
$1,133
2
1860 P (Pointed Bust)
N/A
$343
$631
     –
3
1861 P
10,100,000
$256
$371
$1,712
4
1862 P
28,075,000
$121
$227
$1,027
5
1863 P
49,840,000
$121
$227
$1,027
6
1864 P
13,740,000
$227
$343
$1,027

Bronze Composite Penny (1864-1909) Value & Chart

Time 1864-1909
Metal Composition 95% Copper, 5% Tin and Zinc
Mass/Weight 3.11 grams
Diameter 19 mm
Estimated Average Value $3.30 – $1,712

Bronze Composite Penny (1864-1909) Value & Chart

This was the final composition of the famous Indian Head Penny series. It began in the year 1864 and ended in the year 1904. It was also in this year that minting moved from Philadelphia to San Francisco for the first time after 50 years. The 1909 Indian Head Penny bears the “S” mint mark.

No.
Year
Mintage
MS60
MS63
PR63
1
1864 P
39,233,714
2
1864 P
N/A
$131
$169
$558
3
1864 P
N/A
$481
$657
$10,109
4
1865 P
35,429,286
$102
$169
$507
5
1866 P
9,826,500
$329
$418
$454
6
1867 P
9,821,000
$343
$454
$454
7
1868 P
10,266,500
$285
$410
$427
8
1869 P
N/A
$1,108
$1,226
9
1869 P
6,420,000
$657
$784
$418
10
1870 P (Shallow N)
5,275,000
$607
$1,027
$481
11
1870 P (Bold N)
N/A
$558
$970
$371
12
1871 P (Shallow N)
3,929,500
$878
$1,082
$558
13
1871 P (Bold N)
N/A
$607
$909
$371
14
1872 P (Shallow N)
4,042,000
$1,082
$1,388
15
1872 P (Bold N)
N/A
$847
$121
$454
16
1873 P
11,676,500
17
1873 P (Closed 3)
N/A
$481
$607
$301
18
1873 P (Double Liberty)
N/A
$8,510
$15,118
19
1873 P (Open 3)
N/A
$285
$371
20
1874 P
14,187,500
$256
$285
$285
21
1875 P
13,528,000
$264
$293
$285
22
1876 P
7,944,000
$343
$418
$285
23
1877 P
852,500
$4,333
$5,126
$2,962
24
1878 P
5,799,850
$371
$418
$264
25
1879 P
16,228,000
$102
$160
$169
26
1880 P
38,961,000
$91
$148
$169
27
1881 P
39,208,000
$67
$102
$169
28
1882 P
38,578,000
$67
$102
$169
29
1883 P
45,591,500
$67
$102
$169
30
1884 P
23,257,800
$83
$135
$169
31
1885 P
11,761,594
$121
$227
$169
32
1886 P
17,650,000
33
1886 P (Type 1)
N/A
$227
$285
$169
34
1886 P (Type 2)
N/A
$371
$558
$399
35
1887 P
45,223,523
$63
$91
$169
36
1888 P
37,489,832
$74
$140
$169
37
1888 P (Last 8 Over 7)
N/A
$25,587
$39,064
38
1889 P
48,866,025
$67
$91
$169
39
1890 P
57,180,114
$67
$91
$169
40
1891 P
47,070,000
$67
$91
$169
41
1892 P
37,647,087
$67
$91
$169
42
1893 P
46,640,000
$67
$91
$169
43
1894 P
16,749,500
$91
$131
$169
44
1894 P (Double Date)
N/A
$631
$1,268
45
1895 P
38,341,574
$45
$74
$177
46
1896 P
39,055,431
$45
$74
$169
47
1897 P
50,464,392
$45
$74
$169
48
1898 P
49,821,284
$45
$74
$169
49
1899 P
53,598,000
$45
$74
$169
50
1900 P
66,831,502
$42
$63
$160
51
1901 P
79,609,158
$42
$63
$160
52
1902 P
87,374,704
$42
$63
$160
53
1903 P
85,092,703
$42
$63
$160
54
1904 P
61,326,198
$42
$63
$160
55
1905 P
80,717,011
$42
$63
$160
56
1906 P
96,020,530
$42
$63
$160
57
1907 P
108,137,143
$42
$63
$160
58
1908 P
32,326,367
$42
$63
$160
59
1908 S
1,115,000
$329
$454
60
1909 P
14,368,470
$51
$74
$160
61
1909 S
309,000
$1,134
$1,318

How To Spot A Fake Indian Head Penny

Have you ever spotted a good looking Indian Head Penny in circulation, but were worried about the authenticity? According to a recent article in Coin World , there are more than 12 million counterfeit coins in U.S. circulation. With that being said, it is important to know how to spot a fake Indian Head Penny so that you don’t lose money. The video tutorial goes in-depth to show you how to professionally spot a fake or real Indian Head Penny.

Last Words

That’s a wrap on the 10 Most Valuable Indian Head Penny. If you do decide to sell your old coins or wish to do a little research and find out just how much they are worth, then you need to know more about them first, this article is carefully compiled to let you know the value of all Indian Head Pennies while also making it fun by sharing the top 10!

The chances of a random person who isn’t a coin collector finding an Indian Head Penny these days is very slim “but not impossible.” Some of the ways you can find Indian Head pennies are: looking at the pavement, or the road while you are taking a walk, or probably look around in the yards. There’s still something called luck and you might just be the next person to stumble upon a fortune.

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