A rare and precious indian head penny

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Designed by James Barton Longacre, the Indian Head penny is one of the most popular pennies ever to be produced, particularly for collectors. It remained an American icon for generation, and circulated as late as 1950s.The penny features lady liberty wearing a feather headdress based upon the Native American culture.


Following years of dormancy, these coins have enjoyed renewed popularity in recent times. They are so popular not only because of the historical significance they hold, but for their rarity which can be explained by these three facts:


  1. Very low total mintage. From 1859 to 1909, a total of 1.75 millions of Indian head pennies were produced at Philadelphia mint. As a comparison for the sole year of 2015, 8.8 millions of pennies were produced


  1. The government recalled and melted many of these pennies in the civil war era for their copper content.


  1. Much less people were hoarding/collecting pennies at the time the Indian head pennies were minted. In fact, the hobby of collecting coin was popularized by the creation of collecting album in the 1930’s.

It is easy to see reasons why people go head over for these pieces. With greater demand for Indian Head pennies comes a higher value, which is steadily increasing over the years.




Generally, the price of each Indian head penny is based on the year and the condition (grade and eye appeal).  Typically for common dates in worn condition, its value ranges from $1 to $2. However, there are four ways to find a higher value.


  1. If there is more than one variety for a define year. For example an “L” in the ribbon was introduced late in 1864, resulting in two different coins that year, hence variety. The lower mintage 1864 “L” is worth about 4 times more than the regular 1864;


  1. Indian head pennies have some dates that are very valuable (key and semi-key date). This includes Indian head pennies minted between 1866 and 1878. The majority of them are worth at least 40$. For instance, 1877. Their prices begin at about $380;


  1. The overall condition (grade and eye appeal) of the coin is very essential in determining value. A common date can be worth in the hundred dollar range if certified as MS65;


  1. Some Indian head pennies were minted in San Francisco in 1908 and 1909. These are worth in the hundred dollar range even in well worn condition.

Indian head pennies must be closely examined and then assigned a grade.  Note that you cannot increase the value of an Indian head penny by cleaning it. In actual fact, a cleaned coin is significantly worth less and coin dealers can easily spot it.


Experience and skill is needed to accurately grade and determine the value of an Indian head penny. If you are looking for the missing coin in your collection or want to buy an already assembled indian head penny collection, then go to www.stores.ebay.com/uspennycollection.

Purchase an Indian head penny and pass the excitement of an unusual and precious coin to your children.

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