Old Indian Head Pennies: What Are They Worth?

1908-indian-head-penny-by-sr-smashy.jpg Many readers are curious about the value of their Indian Head pennies.

Indian Head pennies were struck from 1859 through 1909 and designed by James Longacre. They were circulated for many years after the last ones were struck.

Through the years, lots of people hung onto their Indian Head pennies, storing them away in drawers, boxes, and trunks. These days, millions of Indian Head pennies can be found in old estates, and many people receive Indian Head pennies as family heirlooms which are passed on down through the generations.

To help answer your questions, here’s a little about the value of Indian Head pennies…

 

Indian Head Penny Values

Indian Head pennies were struck by the hundreds of millions. Therefore, as a coin series, they are not rare.

In fact, many dates in the Indian Head penny series are worth less than $3 to $5 in typical, circulated condition.

Prices increase upwards of $35 to $50 and up for uncirculated examples of Indian Head pennies in that same range of dates.

Most Indian Head pennies struck during the 1880s on through the early 1900s are, in fact, the most commonly encountered Indian Head pennies.

Of course, as is the case with any coin series, there are scarce dates of Indian Head pennies worth keeping an eye open for. These scarce dates range from values of $25 and $50 on up through the hundreds of dollars.

 

Rare Indian Head Pennies Worth Collecting

So, which are the scarce Indian Head pennies you should be on the lookout for?

Consider these:

  • 1864 “L” on Ribbon: $50 to $685 in Good to Mint-State 63
  • 1866: $48 to $475 in Good to Mint-State 63
  • 1867: $48 to $425 in Good to Mint-State 63
  • 1868: $35 to $420 in Good to Mint-State 63
  • 1869: $82 to $1,300 in Good to Mint-State 63
  • 1870: $60 to $800 in Good to Mint-State 63
  • 1871: $82 to $900 in Good to Mint-State 63
  • 1872: $90 to $950 in Good to Mint-State 63
  • 1873 Double Liberty: $625 to $10,000 in Good to Mint-State 63
  • 1877: $950 to $5,250 in Good to Mint-State 63
  • 1878: $25 to $475 in Good to Mint-State 63
  • 1888 Over 7: $2,650 to $85,000 in Good to Mint-State 63
  • 1894 Doubled Date: $55 to $650 in Good to Mint-State 63
  • 1908-S: $55 to $525 in Good to Mint-State 63
  • 1909-S: $465 to $1,350 in Good to Mint-State 63

As you can see, there are several Indian Head pennies that are indeed worth a “pretty penny.” However, these dates are also among the most scarce in the Indian Head penny series!

For that reason, you should always double-check the date of any Indian Head penny you happen upon — to see if you have one of the rare dates.

 

Common-Date Indian Head Penny Values

Now, you may be wondering what your Indian Head penny is worth if it is not one of the scarcest specimens mentioned above.

What is your Indian Head penny worth, if dated from the 1880s through the 1900s, and it’s not well-worn?

1860-Indian-Head-Penny.jpg

Consider these:

  • 1859: $15 to $700 in Good to Mint-State 63
  • 1860: $11 to $375 in Good to Mint-State 63
  • 1861: $20 to $300 in Good to Mint-State 63
  • 1862: $11 to $265 in Good to Mint-State 63
  • 1863: $11 to $265 in Good to Mint-State 63
  • 1864 Copper-nickel (thicker and lighter in color than most copper cents made after this date): $18 to $350 in Good to Mint-State 63
  • 1864 Copper: $11 to $220 in Good to Mint-State 63
  • 1865: $9 to $150 in Good to Mint-State 63
  • 1873 Open 3: $20 to $310 in Good to Mint-State 63
  • 1873 Closed 3: $30 to $635 in Good to Mint-State 63
  • 1876: $25 to $475 in Good to Mint-State 63

All other regular issue dates not already mentioned are worth between $3 to $75 (low range of Good up to Mint-State 60-63).

See the latest prices for Indian Head cents.

Joshua McMorrow-Hernandez

My love for coins and numismatics began when I was 11 years old. I primarily collect and study U.S. coins produced during the 20th century. I've also been studying meteorology and watching weather patterns for years. I enjoy sharing little-known facts and fun stuff about coins, weather, travel, health, and living green with others.

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  • Rebecca Volke

    I have an 1879 Indian Head Penny, and i would like to know how much it is worth. I also have 1900, 1887 indian head pennies, and would also like to know how much they are as well.

    • Anonymous

      Hi, Rebecca —

      Assuming your coins are undamaged and in typical, circulated grades, the 1879 Indian Head cent is worth around $5 to $10. The 1887 and 1900 Indian Head pennies are worth closer to $2 to $5 each.

  • Anonymous

    I have an 1888 indian head penny which I believe to be an 1888/7 penny which has a 7 stamped in the outer rim under the last eight. It also has another stamp over the united but hard to tell what it is. I have enlarged the coin and can see the 7 which is very small in the rim and wondered if that is what makes it rare. photos on request..

    • Anonymous

      Hi, Tommy —

      It’s probable you do have the 1888/7 Indian cent, but I urge you to check out this web page to get a better idea as to what an 1888/7 Indian cent looks like: http://www.fly-inclub.org/1888over7analysis.htm

      If you do have the 1888/7 Indian cent, you have a valuable coin indeed! It’s worth $1,000 and up even in well-worn grades.

      As for the other marking, it’s hard to say what’s going on. If it looks like a straight or squiggly line, it may be a die crack. Die cracks result from a damage to the die (the stamp which imprints the design) and often make coins more valuable. However, if it appears to be a random design or letter, then it was placed there by a private individual, and that would actually lessen the value.

      All the best!

      • Angelp_07

        I have an Indian head penny and it looks like the pictures above but the date says 1835. Is that possible? I considered it being an 8 and not a 3 but it clearly looks like a 3.

  • Jim

    I have several indian head pennies. one or two have developed green tarnish. Will it help or hurt to gently clean them?

    • Anonymous

      Hi, Jim –In most cases, anything done to the coins will more than likely hurt them rather than help them. I do suggest a couple things if you’re interested in trying to remove the green:If the green was caused by PVC from a coin holder, you’re best to remove the gunk with acetone. PLEASE, use acetone very carefully and don’t breathe the fumes. Make sure you follow all the directions on the packaging. If, however, the green is oxidation that belongs to corrosion on the coin, there really is no ‘safe’ way to remove this as there will still be pock marks or porosity left behind.Whatever you do, don’t scrub the coin or dip the coin in vinegar, baking soda, jeweler’s cleaner, or any other abrasive or caustic chemicals! Copper is very chemically reactive, and most attempts to improve the color or appearance of the coin leaves the coin worse off.

  • Ren

    So, What is a 1904 worth in set of 2?

    • Anonymous

      Hi, Ren —

      You have two 1904s? Each is worth about $2 to $3.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/UUDUU22FVW2VLOBVVB3EYWSDTU Tony

    i have a 1944 “S” bronze penny. Or at least looks bronze. Does this coin hold any value.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks for your question, Tony. Yes, your coin does hold some extra value, though it’s minimal. 1944-S cents are pretty common and worth about 3 to 5 cents each.

  • Tammy

    Hey Joshua! My mother has an 1888 Indian Head Penny she found in front of her apartment. I haven’t seen it yet but she said it’s in good condition. Can you tell me if this could possibly be worth anything?

    Thanks!

    Tammy

    • Anonymous

      Cool! Thanks for your question, Tammy.

      Yes, your mother’s 1888 Indian Head cent is definitely worth more than face value. It all depends on the condition. Hopefully, the coin is without any porosity, isn’t black, and has not been cleaned or damaged.

      ‘Good’ is an actual coin grading term referring to a very well-worn coin. Your mom’s definition of ‘good ‘ may be different, however. But to give you a rough guide, assuming her coin has typical amounts of wear for a penny of its age and has no signs of damage, it’s worth $2 to $5.

  • STAGECOACH1

    hey Joshua I found an 1864L penny in my field. Everything is legible with little wear . The coin is a little darkgreen. 1st could this be cleaned with acetone and do you think it is work more than a few cents. Thanks in advance

  • Teresao718

    My mother in law just gave her son,his father’s collection.
    25-30 indian head pennies.start date 1860-1900.is it worth more to a collector if they are all in a book ?? rather than apiece ??

    • Anonymous

      Hi, Teresa —

      Great question. In general, an album not only is a more appealing way for most coin collectors to display and organize their coin collections, but in many cases it can increase the value (even if only slightly) – especially in the case of a coin series like Indian Head cents, which are usually collected by date.

      Still though, the actual value will be worth the sum of its parts, and the value of the coin collection in question will vary based on the overall grade (condition) of each of the coins within.

  • Chrisdeason69

    hi my name is chris , i have a 1994 D penny it looks like it is zinc or steel and i sent it off about 6 years ago they just said no grade have u heard of this or seen 1 if so does it have any value?

  • Chrisdeason69

    hi my name is chris , i have a 1994 D penny it looks like it is zinc or steel and i sent it off about 6 years ago they just said no grade have u heard of this or seen 1 if so does it have any value?

  • Carriyana

    how much is a 1843 Indian penny worth?

  • Carriyana

    how much is a 1843 Indian penny worth?

  • Mary

    The worth of Indian Head Pennies was dissapointing. I have been collecting coins since I was in my teens. My Indian Head Penny is in really good condition. My grandmother heard as a little girl, they were not going to be made anymore. She saved her pennies. When she found out about my coin collection, she gave me one. I felt elated…today I look and find it’s not worth much in monetary value, but priceless to me.

  • Abygel

    My Indian head coin is only worth a dollar. it is from 1900 and i don’t know much about it.. probably because i’m 13..

  • alejandro rocha

    ALEJANDO: I HAVE A NUMBER OF OLD BUFFALO NICKLE’S AND 2, OLD DIMES FROM 1903, 1934, AND OLD DOLLAR BILLS SILVER WITH THE BLUE INK WHAT TYPE OF VALUE DO THEY HOLD
    THE BILLS ARE 1, ONE DOLLAR BILL 1, FIVE DOLLAR BILL AND 1, TEN DOLLAR BILL.  ?

  • JG68

    I have an 1897 Indian Head penny the obverse is in great condition, but the reverse is completely smooth other than a few scratches. It doesn’t appear to have ever been struck on the reverse side. I would like some imput as I searched and searched and didn’t find any other examples of this.

    • Anonymous

      JG,

      If you’d like, you can post a pic here on the message board for us to further verify, but based on your description, it sounds like it is a normally struck 1897 Indian Head cent that had been mutilated.

  • http://www.facebook.com/john.boone.18 John Boone

    I have an 1888 over 7 .i am not sure where or how to have it graded, kind of scared to send it off ,what do you think any help would be appreciated

  • Debbie

    I have 3 1955-D wheat pennies are they worth anything? I have 71 wheat pennies and the oldest one is 1955 and the lowest is 1920. I also have a1907 penny. I thought I read something about a 1943 wheat penny is worth some money. Please let me know. Thanks Debbie

    • JoshuaTheFunTimesGuide

      Hi, Debbie –

      1955-D Lincoln cents are worth around 5 cents each. A 1920 is worth 10 to 20 cents, and a 1907 Indian Head cent is worth about $1 to $2.

      1943 steel Lincoln cents are worth 10 to 25 cents each; only the copper ones (which don’t stick to magnets and are highly rare) are worth a substantial amount of money.

    • Michele Flemate

      i also have a 1907 indian head penny….can u tell me anything about its value? ken in strafford

      • JoshuaTheFunTimesGuide

        Hi, Michele,

        A 1907 Indian Head cent is worth around $2 to $5.

        Thanks for your question.

  • Debbie

    Is a India Rupee worth anything?

  • Guy S Meaker

    I have a very worn,very thin coin that looks just like my other Indian head pennies.It is clearly dated 1803-can this be a legitimate coin? And,if so-what kind of value are we looking at?

    • JoshuaTheFunTimesGuide

      Guy,

      Would you please post a pic of your coin so we can tell what it is? Thanks!

    • Nesio Atx

      I hv a similar coin but its only the front side..possibly a plate for printing?..can sumone elaborate on the rarity of this coin or the authenticity…?7

      • JoshuaTheFunTimesGuide

        Hello, Nesio –

        Your piece appears to be a type of privately minted token made to replicate the semblance of the Indian Head cent, which was struck from 1859 through 1909. Such pieces as yours would have a value of a couple dollars perhaps to a person who specializes in tokens and the like. Thanks for your question!

  • bobdee

    I have a 10 dollar indian head gold coin that came in a red box lined with red fabric. I would like to know if this is considered a proof coin

    • JoshuaTheFunTimesGuide

      There are proof 1913 Indian Head $10 gold coins, however the fact that yours is in a box doesn’t make it a proof coin. Proof coins are struck on polished planchets (coin blanks) with specially prepared dies to make the coin sharper in image than circulation strikes. If you could post an image of your coin here in the comments forum so we could see if your coin is a proof. Thanks!

  • Betty

    Hello, I received an Indian head penny in change and I would like to know if it is valuable. It is dated 1860, is quite clear still, but does have a scratch across it. Thanks!

    • JoshuaTheFunTimesGuide

      Hi, Betty –

      Nice find! An 1860 Indian Head cent with a scratch across its surface would still have a value of at least $3 or $4.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jeremy.peiffer.7 Jeremy Peiffer

    hi i found a 1908 “s” stamped Indian head penny with hardly any wear but it is dirty. not rusty or mis-colored just dark around the indents. what could this be worth?

    • JoshuaTheFunTimesGuide

      Hello, Jeremy –

      Great find! Depending on the exact condition, your 1908-S Indian Head cent is likely worth between $50 and $150, more or less.

  • angel

    have a dime silver on one side and copper color on the other , is it worth something ?

  • douggus@windstream.net

    I have a 1894 indian head stamped normally on the front, slightly out of round and the only markings on the back is the word DOBSON any idea of what I have?

    • JoshuaTheFunTimesGuide

      It sounds like you have what was a regular 1894 Indian Head cent with a reverse that was polished smooth (probably with a strong abrasive, like sand paper) and then counterstamped or etched by an individual. Either Dobson was an ordinary person or perhaps the name of a store or service provider of some sort.

  • Eddie

    Everywhere I read about 1908 and 1909 pennies, I hear they were the only Indian head pennies produced with mint marks. I have a 1908 penny that has no mint mark at all. The penny is in very good shape, showing little wear. This is a good indication that the mint mark has not worn out. I see no trace of a mint mark at all. What do I have here? Is it an undocumented 1908 no mint mark penny? How do we find out how many 1908 no mint mark pennies were made?

    • JoshuaTheFunTimesGuide

      Hi, Eddie –

      Great question. It is true that 1908 and 1909 were the only years that Indian Head pennies were made with a mint mark, but not all pennies from those years had them. In fact, most did not. Only 1,115,000 1908 pennies have the S mint mark, signifying that it was made in San Francisco. Conversely, more than 32 million 1908 pennies were made at the Philadelphia mint, which did not include a mint mark on its coins at the time. Your coin, given the description you provide, is worth around $7 to $10.

      For more on mint marks, check this post out: http://coins.thefuntimesguide.com/2009/03/mint_marks.php

  • http://www.facebook.com/ryan.reading.50 Ryan Reading

    I have a 1894 indian head penny dbl dated. Decent condition. Liberty is readable and date. Greenish from in the ground. Asking 500.00 …716 410 1361

  • Doug

    I have an Indian Head Cent collection and I have recently purchased a Microscope to examine these cents more closely. I noticed on one of my uncirculated cents ( a 1906 example ) the Date as well as other letters on the obverse seem to be Doubled. I have no knowledge of a 1906 Indian Head Penny example that is considered a Double Die. I have taken many pictures from different angles and they all seem to show Doubling. Please help me if you can. Thank you very much for your time and interest.

    • JoshuaTheFunTimesGuide

      Hi, Doug –

      If you could would you mind posting a few photos here in the comments section?

      In all likelihood, it would actually be a case of machine doubling, which is a “doubling” error caused by the way the coin was struck, not the way the design was set into the die (which would result in a doubled die coin); in these cases the value isn’t usually increased.

      However, maybe a look at the photos will reveal that the case is a doubled die. Fingers crossed.

  • Will Suter

    I have about 300 Indian Head pennies in my collection. I would like to sell them but not on Ebay, anyone know where I could sell them.

  • Steve P

    I acquired a 1904 Indian Head Penny with the word “COPY” on the tail side. Is it worth anything?

    • JoshuaTheFunTimesGuide

      Hello, Steve –

      While your replica 1904 Indian Head cent isn’t really worth anything, you may be interested to know that there is growing interest in collecting fake coins. Here’s some more info: http://coins.thefuntimesguide.com/2013/05/fake-coins.php

  • audrey gregory

    I have a sent of 6 steel pennies P.D.S. mark are the worth anything?

    • JoshuaTheFunTimesGuide

      Hello, Audrey –

      With the assumption that the steel pennies exhibit wear (just so we don’t over-inflate value possibilities without seeing the coins in person), your 1943 Lincoln cents are worth around 10 to 25 cents each.

      Please post photos of your coins here if you please!

  • J Veech

    I have a 1899 Indian head penny. It is dirty but not very worn. What do you think?

    • JoshuaTheFunTimesGuide

      Hi, J –

      An 1899 with a moderate amount of wear will be worth in the neighborhood of $3 to $10, with the variance based on exactly how much wear the coin has and also any imperfections (nicks, scratches, etc.) it may have. If you clean your coin, it will actually further lower its value.

      Thanks for your question!

  • Lathen Mckinney

    I have a 1897 penny good conditon what is worth anybody thank you

    • JoshuaTheFunTimesGuide

      Hello, Lathen –

      An 1897 Indian Head penny is worth around $3 to $5 in worn condition.

  • Rayla and Jaramy Wilson

    We own an 1864 L Indian Head Penny with a strike error on the front that is in near un-circulated conditions. Value estimates are appreciated

    • JoshuaTheFunTimesGuide

      Hi, Rayla –

      Would you mind sending us a photo of your 1864 Indian Head cent so we can help determine what type of strike error it has and, consequently, the value?

      Thank you!

  • Andrew

    I have a 1803 Indian head coin it’s real thin but it does not bend and has nothing on the back