1870 Indian Head Penny

1870 Indian Head Penny

The 1870 Indian Head Penny is a highly sought after collectible coin that has become an iconic symbol of American numismatic history.

It was minted in the same year as the first transcontinental railroad completion and features Lady Liberty with her hair tied up in a bun wearing a traditional Native American headdress.

This penny is treasured by collectors for its beauty, rarity, and historical significance.

The 1870 Indian Head Penny stands out from other coins of this era due to its bold design which includes thirteen stars around the edge denoting the original colonies.

These pennies are rare finds today, making them desirable to both novice and experienced numismatists alike.

With careful study and some luck, these coins can be located at auction or through private sellers – often commanding impressive prices depending on condition.

Mint Of Origin

The Indian Head Penny is a beloved coin amongst numismatists. It was minted in the United States from 1859 to 1909 and features Lady Liberty wearing an elaborate headdress on one side, with the words ‘United States of America’ around it. On the other side, there’s an American shield superimposed over two crossed arrows, surrounded by a wreath made of corn, wheat, maple leaves, and oak branches.

The coins were struck at three different U.S. Mints: Philadelphia (no Mintmark), San Francisco (S) and New Orleans (O). It wasn’t until after 1860 that the production of these coins began to increase significantly due to increased demand for small change in circulation.

Before then, most Americans had relied heavily on foreign coins such as Spanish Reales or French Francs when making daily transactions. In addition to being well-circulated among citizens during this time period, they were also used as payment for various goods and services throughout Native American tribes across the country.

Due to its wide use and appeal amongst collectors today, these coins are highly sought after in both circulated condition and those which retain their original luster. Their design has become iconic within American currency history; many modern replicas are still produced today while others can be found inside special collections housed all across the world.

Key Design Features

The Indian Head penny is one of the most popular and recognizable United States coins. It was designed by James B. Longacre in 1859 and minted until 1909. The coin features a portrait of Liberty wearing an Indian headdress on its obverse, while the reverse depicts a laurel wreath encircling the words “ONE CENT” within it.

The following points highlight some of the key design features of this classic American penny:

  • A left-facing profile bust of Lady Liberty wearing a feathered Native American war bonnet adorns the obverse side of the coin.
  • On the reverse side, there is a small bundle of wheat ears at each end that are connected to an oak wreath which wraps around ONE CENT lettering in its center.
  • This iconic coin was made out of 88% copper with 12% nickel alloy for added durability and strength.
  • Its diameter measures 19mm and has a reeded edge finish along its circumference.

Numismatists have long appreciated the beauty and historical significance associated with the Indian Head cent, making it highly sought after by collectors all over the world today.

Rarity And Value

The Indian Head Penny is a highly sought after collectible due to its rarity and value. This numismatic item was produced between 1859 and 1909, making it relatively rare compared to other coins from the same period. It has become increasingly desirable among coin collectors as its demand continues to rise.

Table: Rarity & Value of Indian Head Pennies

GradeRarityValue (USD)
GoodCommon$1 – $5
FineScarce$6 – $15
Uncirculated/Mint StateRare-VeryRareup to$1000+

In terms of grading, an Indian Head penny in good condition may be classified as common with a current market worth ranging from one to five US dollars. A fine grade categorizes the coin as scarce, appreciating it’s monetary value at six to fifteen US dollars. When found in uncirculated or mint state grades, they are considered very rare and can fetch hundreds even thousands of dollars depending on the specimen available.

Thus, whether novice or experienced collector alike, researching before purchasing is important in order to make sure you get your money’s worth when acquiring this valuable piece of history. As such, careful consideration must be taken when evaluating these pieces since their desirability increases with their quality which significantly affects how much they cost.

Collectors And Investors

In the world of numismatics, Indian Head pennies are highly sought after by both collectors and investors. While they may not be as rare or valuable as other coins from the same era, their ability to maintain a certain level of value has made them an attractive option for those looking to make a profit.

The unique design of these coins is what makes them so appealing. It features Lady Liberty wearing a Native American headdress on one side and an eagle perched atop arrows on the reverse. This combination allows it to stand out amongst other coins from its time period, making them desirable among collectors who appreciate its distinctive look.

For investors, this coin offers many advantages over others in its category. Its attractive design and general scarcity means that it will retain its worth far better than more common coins over time. Furthermore, due to the fact that it was first produced in 1859 and circulated until 1909, there are plenty of specimens available at reasonable prices which makes it accessible to even the most novice investor delving into the hobby market.

Buying And Selling

The Indian Head penny is a collector’s dream come true! Its rich history and unique design make it an ideal asset for anyone looking to invest in numismatics.

When buying or selling this iconic coin, it’s important to consider its condition, rarity and potential value as part of the transaction.

For collectors interested in buying Indian Head pennies, there are several factors that should be taken into account before making a purchase. The most critical factor when evaluating these coins is their grade, which can range from poor to mint state depending on how well they have been maintained over time. This will determine the overall price of the piece since higher-graded pieces tend to be more valuable.

Additionally, buyers should also assess the rarity of the particular issue they are considering purchasing – some dates may be harder to find than others and thus command higher prices in the market.

Finally, any prospective buyer must also look at what other similar examples have sold for recently so they know if their offer strikes a fair balance between affordability and value. Doing research ahead of time helps ensure that both parties walk away happy with their deal and can help guarantee satisfaction with your investment down the line.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Can I Tell If My 1870 Indian Head Penny Is Genuine?

As a numismatist, authenticating an Indian Head penny is of utmost importance. These coins have been around since the mid-19th century and are highly sought after by collectors.

The first step in determining whether or not your coin is genuine is to look for any signs of damage that could indicate it has been tampered with. You’ll also want to check for discrepancies in the design or lettering that could signal a counterfeit piece.

Finally, make sure that there’s no tarnishing or discoloration present on the surface of the coin, as this too can be indicative of fraud. With these measures taken into consideration, you should be able to confidently determine if your 1870 Indian Head Penny is authentic!

What Is The Best Way To Store My 1870 Indian Head Penny?

When it comes to storing numismatic coins, the best way to protect them is by using a soft cloth and an airtight container.

This will keep your coin from coming into contact with moisture or any other damaging elements.

It’s also important that you store your coin in a dark place where there is no direct sunlight or UV exposure.

To provide added protection for your 1870 Indian Head Penny, consider adding some cotton inside of the container so that it does not move around when handled.

How Often Do 1870 Indian Head Pennies Come Up For Auction?

Surveying the numismatic landscape, auctions featuring Indian Head pennies are a relatively common occurrence.

Indeed, they come up frequently enough to make them one of the most sought after coins among collectors.

A rhetorical technique is used here; by painting an image of auctioneers confidently holding aloft their prized specimens – a 1870 Indian Head penny in particular – it becomes easy to see why these classic pieces have become so popular.

How Can I Find Out The History Of My 1870 Indian Head Penny?

As a numismatist, I often get asked how someone can find out the history of their coin.

The best way to do this is to use resources that document past auctions and sales records for coins.

You should be able to locate information on your particular coin by searching its date, denomination, country or mintmark.

For example, if you have an 1870 Indian Head Penny, there are several sources available online where you can look up the sale prices and auction details related to this specific coin.

While not every penny may have detailed records available, many will provide some insight into the history of your unique specimen!

What Is The Most I Can Expect To Pay For A 1870 Indian Head Penny?

Irony can be used to evoke emotion in numismatists, for example when discussing something as rare and valuable as an 1870 Indian Head Penny.

The most you can expect to pay for it is far more than its weight in gold.

A true collector will know that this coin’s worth comes from its rarity and historical significance, not just what someone is willing to pay for it.


As a numismatist, I’m always fascinated with studying the history of old coins like the 1870 Indian Head Penny.

Not only do these coins tell us about our past, but they are also incredibly valuable and sought after by collectors today.

By understanding how to store them properly, authenticate them, research their origins and discover current market prices, coin enthusiasts can maximize the enjoyment they get from owning such an amazing artifact.

It’s truly a pleasure to be able to own one of these rare pieces of American history!






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