1868 Indian Head Penny

1868 Indian Head Penny

The 1868 Indian Head penny is a beloved and sought-after coin among numismatists.

These coins were minted during the height of the industrial age, marking an important time in America’s history.

Its design features Liberty wearing a feathered headdress, representing the strength of Native American culture at that time.

Collectors prize these coins for their beauty and historical significance, making them highly valued and coveted pieces.

History Of The 1868 Indian Head Penny

The 1868 Indian Head Penny is a rare numismatic treasure, first minted over 150 years ago. With its striking design of Liberty wearing an Native American headdress, it has been captivating coin collectors and the public alike ever since.

It was only in production for two short years – 1864-1865 and then again in 1868 – making it one of the most desirable coins to own today.

Created by renowned engraver James Barton Longacre, this penny features a profile bust of Lady Liberty with stylized hair locks cascading behind her, along with 13 stars representing the original American colonies around the edge of the reverse side.

This particular version was made from 88% copper and 12% nickel alloy which gave it a unique color compared to other United States coins at that time.

Due to its scarcity and historical significance, owning an authentic Indian Head Penny can be quite expensive for many serious collectors. Its popularity continues to rise as more people learn about its fascinating history and come across these remarkable pieces of America’s heritage.

Truly, this little penny carries immense weight within coin collecting circles even decades after being discontinued from circulation.

Design Features Of The Coin

The Indian Head penny, or copper-nickel cent, was produced by the United States Mint from 1859 to 1909. This historic coin is a popular item amongst numismatists due to its distinct design features:

  • The obverse of the coin depicts Lady Liberty wearing an Indian headdress with her hair in plaits, symbolizing freedom and independence.
  • On the reverse of the coin is a shield decorated with thirteen stars representing the original colonies. Above it are two crossed arrows for peace between them.
  • Additionally, each side of this piece features several inscriptions such as “ONE CENT” on both sides and “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” on the reverse.

These unique designs make the Indian Head penny highly coveted among collectors who value its historical significance.

As such, these coins have become quite valuable over time due to their rarity and demand.

Mintage & Mintmarks

The Indian Head Penny is a classic coin of American history, renowned for its iconic design and historical importance. From its initial minting in 1859 until it ceased production in 1909, the penny underwent several changes to both its look and mintage process.

The mintage and mint marks of the Indian Head Penny provide an interesting insight into the evolution of this iconic piece of currency over time. During the earlier years of the penny’s production, between 1859-1864, every cent was minted at Philadelphia with no marks to distinguish them from any other year or location.

In 1865 however, new rules dictated that each penny be identified by a small letter mark stamped onto it which would indicate at what US Mint facility it had been created. As such, pennies could now have one of three marks: either ‘P’ (Philadelphia), ‘S’ (San Francisco) or ‘C’ (Charlotte). For their part, San Francisco only produced cents during this period from 1854-1856 before switching back to gold coins for many years afterward.

In addition to these distinctions based on origin, certain varieties were also produced according to yearly demand and other factors determined by the United States government. These included proof sets made specifically for collectors as well as a few special editions featuring different metals such as copper nickel or bronze alloys.

Over time then, understanding the various mintage processes and identification markers associated with Indian Head Pennies can help numismatists gain greater insight into their unique characteristics and value within modern collections.

Grading & Rarity

The grading and rarity of Indian Head Pennies can be a complex issue to understand. To properly grade this coin, it is important to look at its composition, condition, weight and size. Numismatists use the following criteria when evaluating an Indian Head Penny:

  1. Condition – How well preserved or worn the penny is;
  2. Date & Mint Mark – The year in which the penny was produced as indicated by the date on one side of the coin along with any mint mark indicating where it was made;
  3. Strike Quality – How sharply defined all elements are on both sides of the coin;
  4. Surfaces Grades – Assesses how well-preserved surfaces of each side appear to be from wear due to handling and circulation.

By properly assessing these factors, numismatists can determine if a particular example will have value beyond just its face value based on its rarity and condition.

Being able to accurately assess each factor requires knowledge and experience that comes with time spent collecting coins. In addition to seeking out rare examples, collectors should also focus their efforts towards acquiring coins that stand out in terms of quality as they tend to bring higher premiums than those around average grades when sold at auction or through private sales.

With patience and dedication, numismatists may find themselves rewarded handsomely for their accumulated expertise over time.

Value & Investment Potential

Grading and rarity are important factors in determining the value of an Indian Head Penny. With so many variables, it is essential to understand how a coin’s condition affects its worth.

A numismatist can assess the grade of this type of penny by closely examining both sides for signs of wear and tear. The more pristine the coin appears, the higher it will be graded and thus fetch a greater price point.

Value and investment potential come into play when considering coins such as these. Depending on their condition and availability, they may hold significant monetary value or even become collector items over time.

As with any other form of currency, demand plays an integral role in setting prices; if there is high demand for a certain piece, then collectors are willing to pay top dollar. On the flip side, if few people wish to purchase that particular item, then its worth decreases accordingly.

Overall, assessing an Indian Head Penny should take several elements into account: grading & rarity, value & investment potential, market demand etc., all working together to determine its true worth. It is ultimately up to each individual buyer what he/she feels comfortable paying for a given piece based upon those criteria.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Does An 1868 Indian Head Penny Weigh?

As a numismatist, I can offer you an intriguing look into the weight of the 1868 Indian Head penny. This piece of ancient currency is sure to fascinate even the most experienced collector!

As many know, these coins were struck from bronze and weighed 5.44 grams; however, it’s worth noting that due to wear or other factors such as time-traveling through inflationary periods, individual specimens may weigh slightly less than this value.

It’s thus essential for any true connoisseur to have their prized possessions appraised by a professional before making any investment decisions.

Is An 1868 Indian Head Penny Made Of Pure Gold?

No, an Indian Head Penny is not made of pure gold.

The 1868 version was minted in bronze, which consists primarily of copper and tin with a small amount of zinc.

This alloy has been used for centuries to create coins around the world.

Coins produced from this alloy are known for their durability since it can resist corrosion better than other metals such as silver or gold.

What Is The Diameter Of The 1868 Indian Head Penny?

At first glance, it may seem that the diameter of coins from this era is all uniform; however, upon further investigation we find that there’s much more to discover.

As numismatists have studied in great detail, each coin has its own unique character.

For the 1868 Indian Head Penny specifically, its diameter comes in at 19mm – a size worth noting as one of the most common amongst other coins during that time period.

Where Can I Find A Reputable Dealer To Purchase An 1868 Indian Head Penny?

Numismatists have long been drawn to the Indian Head penny, a classic coin from 1868.

When looking for a reputable dealer to purchase this iconic piece of history, it is important to look for one with an established reputation and a wide selection of coins.

A trusted source should be able to provide you with information about the condition of your coin as well as its provenance.

Additionally, make sure you understand any fees associated with the transaction before committing to purchase.

With these factors in mind, finding the perfect 1868 Indian Head penny can be an enjoyable experience!

Are There Any Special Features On The 1868 Indian Head Penny That Makes It Unique?

The 1868 Indian Head Penny is a classic United States coin that is highly sought after by numismatists.

It features a strong design with an American-style Indian head on the obverse and a wreath of wheat, corn, maple, and oak leaves on the reverse.

The main feature that makes this particular penny unique is its high mintage rate compared to other coins in the series.

This means it was produced more than most other years, making it more accessible for collectors to find.

Additionally, due to its age and condition rarity, surviving specimens are especially valuable.


As a numismatist, I have the utmost respect for the 1868 Indian Head Penny. Its unique features and intricate design are what makes it so special and sought-after by collectors.

Weighing in at 3.11 grams, with a diameter of 19mm, these coins remain one of America’s most cherished pieces of history. They truly symbolize not only our nation’s past but also its future as well – one that is rich in heritage and culture.

From their gold color to the distinct headdress atop Lady Liberty’s bust, each penny holds a unique story all its own. As an avid collector myself, I take great pride in owning such rare artifacts, knowing they will be treasured for years to come!






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