Indian Head Penny

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Indian Head Penny Prices

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The Indian Head cent, also known as an Indian Head penny, was a one-cent coin ($0.01) produced by the United States Bureau of the Mint from 1859 to 1909. It was designed by James Barton Longacre, the Chief Engraver at the Philadelphia Mint. 1955 d wheat penny. From 1793 to 1857, the cent was a copper coin about the size of a half dollar. While 1909 Indian Head pennies are relatively scarce, it’s best to seek original, uncleaned specimens for your coin collection if you can afford such pieces. Finding a 1909 Philadelphia Indian Head penny shouldn’t be very difficult, but 1909-S Indian Head cents are rare and should be bought carefully, as counterfeits do exist.

The Flying Eagle Cent and Indian Head Cent were minted between 1856 and 1909. We have a great selection of Indian Head and Flying Eagle Cents all graded using strict Photograde standards. Grades available from almost good in condition to almost uncirculated. Add some of these exciting, and rare U.S. Coins to your collection today. These coins offer great value to todays' collector making for a collection that can be easily, and affordably added to, and handed down for generations to come.
Indian Head Penny Specials
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How to Grade Flying Eagle/Indian Head Cents

  • G4 Good

    - Eagle: All details worn, but readable. Indian: No letters in LIBERTY readable, full to near full rims.
  • VG7 Very Good

    - Eagle: Feather details and eye are evident, but worn. Indian: At lease three letters readable in LIBERTY.
  • F12 Fine

    - Eagle: Eagle head details and feather tips sharp. Indian: LIBERTY completely readable, but weak in spots.
  • VF20 Very Fine

    - Eagle: Feathers in right wing and tail show considerable detail. Indian: Slight, but even wear on LIBERTY.
  • EF40 Extremely Fine

    - Eagle: Slight wear, all details sharp. Indian: Details and LIBERTY sharp. Slight wear on ribbon end.
  • AU50 Almost Uncirculated

    - Eagle: Slight wear on eagle's left wing and breast. Indian: Slight wear above ear and lowest curl of hair.

Indian Head pennies, also known as the Indian Head Cent, were produced by the United States Mint and designed by Philadelphia Mint engraver James Barton Longacre from 1844 to 1869. Indian Head coins are highly sought after due to their rarity, and collectors will often buy Indian Head pennies at many times their face value.

Collectors in search of Indian Head Cents for sale will find that our selection is graded using strict Photograde standards, and spans across all production years.

These coins feature the head of Liberty with a feather head dress of a Native American on the obverse side along with text reading “United States of America.” There will be one of two designs on the reverse side, depending on the year; a coin from 1859 reads 'ONE CENT' inside a wreath of laurel, and the other, from 1860 until the end of production, has a similar design except that the text is inside a wreath of oak and olive. The reverse side also features a ribbon tied at the base of the wreath with a Federal shield above. Make the rare Indian Head Penny part of your collection while you can!

Indian Head Penny Mint Mark

  • Indian Head Pennies

Indian Head pennies followed in the early success of the first small cents, which bore the Flying Eagle design minted from 1856 through 1858. Like the earlier series, Indian Head pennies were designed by James B. Longacre, who served as Chief Engraver of the United States Mint. Longacre served as chief engraver from 1844 until his death in 1869. Among Longacre’s other coin designs is the Shield nickel and the two cent piece, the latter of which in 1864 became the first U.S. coin to bear the motto IN GOD WE TRUST.

Longacre’s famous Indian Head penny is thought by some to bear the portrait of a specific member of a Native American tribe. In fact, the young woman on the coin is a portrayal of Miss Liberty and bears many Caucasian features. It has long been thought that the design was modeled after Longacre’s daughter, Sarah, who visited her father at the U.S. Mint one day when several Native Americans were in attendance there.

Indian Head Penny Worth

The story goes that a Native American chief placed his traditional headdress on the young girl’s head. Her artist father quickly sketched the image to show to his wife (in an era before photography was widely used), and it was from this sketch that the Indian Head penny design is said to have derived. Other accounts suggest that a statue of Venus exhibited in Philadelphia while on loan from the Vatican may have also been an inspiration for Longacre’s design work on the Indian Head penny.

Whatever the design inspiration for the coin may be, the Indian Head penny is one of the most popular and widely collected U.S. coins from the 19th century. This is so for several reasons. For one, it’s a largely affordable coin with only a few expensive, rare key dates (namely the 1877 and 1909-S counted among those pricier coins); and Indian Head pennies, especially those made since the 1880s, are readily available in the collector market. Also, the series was struck on an annual basis for some 50 years, meaning there are plenty of different issues for the coin collector to pursue.


Though they haven’t been made since 1909, Indian Head pennies are still widely recognizable and are pursued by collectors of all ages, including children. While some people only want a few examples of Indian Head pennies to keep as type pieces or memorabilia, these coins are still largely collected as an entire series. There are plenty of coin folders and coin albums to this day that accommodate an entire collection of Indian Head pennies. Often, Indian Head pennies are collected along with Flying Eagle pennies.

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