1876 Indian Head Penny

1876 Indian Head Penny

The 1876 Indian Head Penny is an iconic and widely-collected coin in the world of numismatics. It’s one of the most highly sought after coins among collectors due to its rarity, historical significance, and aesthetic appeal.

Its obverse design features a right-facing portrait of Liberty with a headdress that resembles a Native American war bonnet – hence its name. The reverse displays an eagle perched atop arrows surrounded by stars, symbolizing strength and unity.

This beloved penny has been around for over 140 years, making it one of the oldest circulating coins in U.S. history!

History Of The 1876 Indian Head Penny

The 1876 Indian Head Penny is a beloved part of American numismatic history. It’s the perfect representation of our nation’s past, and symbolizes much more than its small size would suggest. But ironically enough, it was never meant to be here in the first place.

In 1873, Congress passed the Coinage Act which called for replacing all existing coins with modern ones – but somehow, this penny slipped through the cracks. Instead of being phased out like other coins from that era, it continued to circulate well into the early 1900s. As a result, millions of these coins were produced over several decades and are still found today in collections across America.

To any coin collector or enthusiast who loves owning a piece of history, having an original 1876 Indian Head Penny carries special significance due their rarity and age. These pieces offer insight into our nation’s economic development while also serving as living evidence of 19th century life. In short, they represent not just financial value but cultural heritage too.

Design Features Of The 1876 Indian Head Penny

The design of the 1876 Indian Head penny is a prime example of American numismatic excellence. It has been passed down through generations and remains a collectible item to this day.

On one side, Lady Liberty faces right wearing an embroidered Native American headdress with 13 stars representing the original colonies surrounding her profile.

On the other, a shield lays upon oak branches with arrows pointing downwards on either side. Above that are two crossed olive sprigs topped off with 3 beads as well as a banner inscribed “E Pluribus Unum” (Latin for ‘Out of many, one’). The coin also features its year of mintage and ‘United States Of America’ around its circumference.

The details in these designs make it quite remarkable:

  • The intricate patterns in Lady Liberty’s feathered headpiece
  • The boldness of the shield against the oak boughs and arrows
  • The precision in each lettering of ‘E Pluribus Unum’
  • And finally, all encompassed by United States of America proclaiming sovereignty

It is clear why this coin continues to be so treasured among collectors today, making it an iconic part of our nation’s history.

Rarity And Value Of The 1876 Indian Head Penny

The 1876 Indian Head Penny is like a rare diamond in the rough. Its unique design, its rich history and its rarity make it an incredibly valuable piece for any numismatist’s collection.

It was first minted in 1859 and quickly became popular amongst collectors due to its distinct features: 13 stars surrounding Lady Liberty, which represent the original 13 colonies; an olive wreath with arrows symbolizing peace; and the words ‘One Cent’ written on the reverse side of the coin.

Even though more than 11 million were made between 1859 and 1909, few have survived over time – making them highly sought after by those who appreciate their beauty and historical significance.

Today, these coins are extremely hard to find as they do not come up often at auctions or through private sales. Their scarcity has resulted in high prices being paid for them when they show up – sometimes reaching thousands of dollars depending on condition and other factors. It goes without saying that they are prized pieces among numismatists all around the world.

Collecting Tips For The 1876 Indian Head Penny

Grading is key when it comes to collecting the 1876 Indian Head Penny – rarity, condition, and preservation often dictate the value.

Cleaning should be avoided as it can damage the coin, and pricing will depend on the supply and demand of the market.

It’s important to find reputable grading services and sellers when looking to buy or sell, and buyers should take caution when authenticating coins.


When it comes to grading Indian Head Pennies, a numismatist must take into consideration several factors. It’s important not only to consider the condition of the coin itself but also any mint errors or varieties that may be present.

Grading an 1876 Indian Head Penny requires one to look for features such as the date, letters, and number on its surface. The higher the grade of the penny, the more valuable it will become.

If you are looking at purchasing an 1876 Indian Head Penny online, pay attention to all details provided in the description including any images available. Make sure all lettering is clear and distinct with no signs of damage or wear. If there are marks or blemishes they should be light enough so that their presence doesn’t have too much effect on value when compared against similar coins without them. Lastly, check if the coin exhibits any known mint errors or varieties – these can add even more value!

While it may seem daunting knowing all this information about grading 1876 Indian Head Pennies, don’t worry; With practice identifying key features and variations becomes easier over time allowing you to build up your collection with confidence.


When it comes to collecting 1876 Indian Head Pennies, rarity is an important factor that must be taken into consideration. Rarity can refer to the number of coins in circulation or how much demand there is for a particular coin. Generally speaking, rarer coins are more valuable and sought-after than common ones.

As such, identifying just how rare a coin is can help you determine its worth as part of your collection. To do this, research the mintage numbers for any given date and mint mark combination so you know whether you’re looking at something truly special or not.

Additionally, paying attention to current market trends will also reveal which coins tend to carry the most value and why; This knowledge can come in handy when making decisions about what pieces to add or remove from your collection!

With all this said, understanding rarity isn’t just limited to certain dates – keeping up with new discoveries and newly released varieties adds even more intrigue to the hobby by presenting collectors with opportunities they may have otherwise overlooked.

Preservation And Storage Of The 1876 Indian Head Penny

Having discussed the steps to properly collect an 1876 Indian Head Penny, it is also important to note that proper preservation and storage of such a coin is essential in maintaining its condition. Coins are extremely susceptible to damage due to their small size, making them particularly vulnerable if not stored correctly. As such, numismatists must take the utmost care when storing these coins.

First and foremost, it is absolutely critical that the coins are kept away from any moisture or extreme temperatures. Both long-term and short-term exposure to either can cause oxidation on the surface of the coin, leading to discoloration and even corrosion over time.

It is therefore recommended that all collectors store their coins in airtight containers with desiccant packs; plastic flip holders provide both protection from dust as well as a slight buffer against temperature changes.

In addition, should extra caution be taken for rare specimens so as not to disrupt original patina or toning. If necessary, numismatists may want to invest in third party services like grading companies which offer specialized storage solutions designed specifically for protecting delicate coins like the 1876 Indian Head Penny.

This will ensure your collection remains pristine throughout generations!

Frequently Asked Questions

How Can I Tell If My 1876 Indian Head Penny Is Genuine?

A numismatist would tell you that determining the authenticity of a coin is not always straightforward.

In order to ascertain whether your 1876 Indian Head Penny is genuine, it’s important to look at key characteristics such as weight, diameter, metal composition and design details.

Additionally, an experienced collector may be able to spot signs of counterfeiting or alterations with their eyes alone.

If you’re still unsure after examining these criteria yourself, consider having it assessed by a professional grading service for a more definitive answer.

How Much Does A Common 1876 Indian Head Penny Typically Sell For?

It’s like trying to find a needle in the haystack when it comes to determining the value of a common 1876 Indian Head penny.

For numismatists, pricing these coins is tricky business due to their varying condition and rarity among collectors.

Generally speaking, you can expect to pay anywhere from $15-$100 for one depending on its minting location and grade.

That being said, prices may vary based upon factors such as auction results or market forces at play.

Are There Any Special Editions Of The 1876 Indian Head Penny?

Yes, there are special editions of the Indian Head penny. These coins were minted from 1859 to 1909 and feature a Native American man on one side with the words ‘United States of America’ around it and an eagle on the other side.

Some special edition varieties include proofs, which have mirrored surfaces that make them look almost like art; die variety errors, which occur when the wrong type of dies are used in production; overdated issues, where two or more dates appear on the coin; and repunched letters or numbers, which can be seen as extra lines inside some of the lettering or numerals.

Collectors often seek out these unique pieces for their numismatic value.

Where Can I Find Reliable Information On The 1876 Indian Head Penny?

Numismatists have long sought to uncover the truth of rare coins, such as the 1876 Indian Head Penny.

In order to find reliable information on this coin, it is important to investigate reputable sources that specialize in numismatic research and analysis.

These may include websites dedicated to collecting coins or historical societies with expertise in currency from past eras.

It is also beneficial to consult a professional appraiser for opinions on value and authenticity of any given specimen.

Ultimately, exploring these resources can provide a comprehensive view of the rarity and worth of the 1876 Indian Head Penny.

Are There Any Methods To Clean My 1876 Indian Head Penny Without Damaging It?

When cleaning a collector’s coin, it is important to take precautionary steps so as not to damage the piece.

For numismatists, there are several methods that may be used when cleaning an 1876 Indian Head penny without causing any harm.

These include wet and dry cleaning processes such as brushing with a soft cloth or using distilled water for more stubborn dirt buildup.

Taking care to use only gentle pressure and avoiding abrasive materials will help ensure that the coin remains unharmed during the process.


As a numismatist, I find the 1876 Indian Head Penny fascinating.

It’s estimated that just over 20 million of these coins were minted in Philadelphia alone, making them fairly common among penny collectors.

Of course, many special editions and rare varieties exist as well; some are worth thousands of dollars!

I highly encourage anyone with an interest in coin collecting to learn more about the 1876 Indian Head Penny.

With its rich history and immense variety, it’s sure to bring enjoyment for years to come.






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