Little-Known Facts About Indian Head Pennies… See How Much Indian Head Cents Are Worth

Did You Know?…
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  • The Indian head penny does not actually have an Indian on it. It is, in fact, Liberty wearing an Indian headdress.
     
  • The designer of the coin was James B. Longacre.
     
  • Indian head pennies were minted from 1859 until 1909.
     
  • The first year they were minted, they had a laurel wreath on the reverse and were of copper-nickel composition.
     
  • The following year, they changed the laurel wreath to an oak wreath and added a small shield at the top.
     
  • Then, in 1864 they changed the Indian head penny again by changing the composition of the coin to bronze, and near the end of 1864 they added a small letter L (the designers last name initial) to the lower ribbon of the headdress.
     
  • The design remained unchanged after that, until it was replaced in 1909 by the Lincoln penny.


How Much Are Indian Head Pennies Worth?

All Indian head pennies dated in the 1900′s are worth between $2.00 and $10.00 depending on the grade — with a few exceptions.

They are:

1909 S – Only about 300,000 of this coin were minted because the Lincoln penny took over, so it is worth $400.00-$600.00, depending on the grade.

Here is a 1909 S Indian head penny.

1908 S – Low mintage worth $65.00-$150.00

The 1908 and 1909 coins are the only two Indian heads that carry mint marks on them.

 

Then from 1899 to 1887, most Indian head pennies are worth between $3.00 and $20.00 depending on the grade with a few exceptions.

They are:

1894 – On some 1894′s the date was doubled making it worth $30.00-$225.00

1888 – Some 1888′s have the 8 stamped over the top of a 7 and it’s valued between $1,100 and $6,600

The rest of the earlier years I will have to list since the prices jump around and can be worth quite a bit more:

1886 – $6.00-$190.00
1885 – $8.00-$65.00
1884 – $5.00-$27.00
1883-1881 – $5.00-$20.00
1880 – $5.00-$26.00
1879 – $8.00-$70.00
1878 – $35.00-$180.00

1877 – I call this one "The Chief". It is the second lowest minted Indian next to the 1909 S and is just as sought after, if not more, by collectors. The book price on one of these coins is between $750.00 and $2,400.00.

See what a 1877 indian head penny looks like.

1876 – $35.00-$180.00
1875 – $20.00-$100.00
1874 – $20.00-$100.00
1873 – $22.00-$180.00
1873 with doubled LIBERTY – $200.00-$2,400.00
1872 – $90.00-$550.00
1871 – $65.00-$575.00
1870 – $55.00-$375.00
1869 – $70.00-$375.00
1868 – $45.00-$170.00
1867 – $50.00-$225.00
1866 – $50.00-$185.00
1865 – $12.00-$45.00
1864 bronze with L – $65.00-$275.00
1864 bronze no L – $12.00-$70.00
1864 copper-nickel – $20.00-$85.00
1863 – $12.00-$45.00
1862 – $12.00-$45.00
1861 – $22.00-$100.00
1860 – $13.00-$85.00
1859 – $15.00-$110.00

NOTE: All prices quoted here do not include mint state graded coins (MS-60 or higher) which would command a higher price.

 

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Jay

I have been collecting and trading coins for years. Coin collecting is a hobby for me, and I've done a lot of research about coins through the years.

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  • jenny loyd

    Hey, I got one of these too. How much are they worth? Just wondering?

  • Justin

    I have a 1908 Indian head penny. I found after i made a purchase at a convenient store and was wondering if it was worth much. I’m not sure but i think i might see a hint if an S on the back (its a little worn) but it’s pretty cool i think. I also have a 1943 steel penny

    • JoshuaTheFunTimesGuide

      Hi, Justin -

      Wow, incredible find, Justin! Whether its a 1908 or 1908-S Indian cent, you still have a coin worth much more than face value.

      A 1908 Indian Head with a typical amount of wear cent is worth $2 to $5.

      A 1908-S Indian Head cent is worth $50 to $150 and up.