1878 Indian Head Penny

 1878 Indian Head Penny

The 1878 Indian Head Penny is one of the most sought-after coins among numismatists.

This historical coin was issued by the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia and has been an object of fascination for many collectors since its debut more than 130 years ago.

It’s widely regarded as a masterpiece of design and craftsmanship, with its intricate details holding up remarkably well over time.

History Of The 1878 Indian Head Penny

The 1878 Indian Head Penny has a long and storied past. It was first struck in 1859, at the Philadelphia Mint, and would remain in circulation until 1909.

The coin is .955 inches (24.26mm) in diameter and weighs 3.11 grams of 88% copper with 12% tin and zinc alloying metals.

Its obverse displays an iconic Native American design which includes feathers on either side of his headdress, as well as those arranged to form a ring around the perimeter of the portrait. This image is surrounded by thirteen stars representing each original colony that formed the United States of America.

The reverse features a wreath composed of corn, wheat, maple leaves, cotton flowers, and oak branches encircling a shield inscribed with “ONE CENT” above it.

At the bottom are two crossed arrows symbolizing peace between states – just like what these coins represented when they were circulated during the time period known as ‘the Reconstruction’ following the Civil War.

These coins have been extremely popular among numismatists for generations due to their historical significance, beautiful designs, and scarcity relative to other 19th-century US coins.

They can still be found today through auctions or private collections though prices tend to vary depending upon condition and rarity grade assigned to them by professional grading services such as PCGS or NGC.

Design Features Of The 1878 Indian Head Penny

The 1878 Indian Head Penny is a beautiful piece of American history, like a tiny shard of the past. The obverse side of the coin features Lady Liberty wearing an Indian headdress and facing right with 13 stars surrounding her profile. This design was created by Chief Engraver James Longacre as part of his attempt to unify coins across America.

On the reverse side, there is an oak wreath encircling a wheat sheaf and shield motif with ONE CENT in Latin above it along with the year below; these symbols were also designed by Longacre. The physical details of this penny are impressive too. It has a diameter of 19mm and weighs 3.11 grams made from 95% copper and 5% tin & zinc alloy composition that gives it its distinctive reddish-brown coloration when exposed to air for long periods. Its edges have been reeded since 1859, giving it a unique texture compared to other coins produced during this period.

In addition to its aesthetic value, collecting 1878 Indian Head Pennies can be both fun and profitable due to their relative scarcity and high demand among numismatists around the world. For those who do decide to collect them, they must take care not to damage or clean these pennies—as doing so may significantly reduce their value!

Uncirculated Vs. Circulated Indian Head Pennies

The design of the 1878 Indian head penny is an iconic symbol for American numismatists. It features a profile of Lady Liberty wearing a feathered headdress, with the words ‘Liberty’ and the date inscribed on either side.

Now that we have looked at the aesthetic qualities of this coin, let us explore its condition when it comes to uncirculated versus circulated coins.

Uncirculated pennies are those that were never used in circulation by their original minting year. They are pristine examples which look as though they just rolled off the production line. This means that these rare coins can fetch higher prices than others due to their excellent condition and rarity.

Circulated pennies, however, show signs of wear from having been used in commerce throughout many years. These will obviously be less valuable since there is no guarantee that all details remain intact after being subjected to long-term use.

When evaluating any type of coin like the 1878 Indian Head Penny, it’s important to take into account both quality and grade before determining value or making a purchase decision – especially if you plan on investing or collecting them.

Uncirculated pieces tend to bring more money but may also require greater monetary investment upfront; meanwhile circulated specimens generally cost less but need careful inspection for potential flaws or damage prior to buying.

Pricing And Grading Of The 1878 Indian Head Penny

Irony at its best, the 1878 Indian Head Penny is a collector’s dream come true. A coin that has been around for over 140 years yet still holds so much value; this penny continues to amaze numismatists all over the world. With such an extensive history and unique aesthetic, it’s no wonder why this type of coin is highly sought after by collectors and investors alike.

When pricing and grading these pennies, there are several different factors to consider. Numismatists assess each individual piece on its coloration, strike quality, surface marks and other attributes which will determine how valuable it is in the marketplace.

An expert eye can easily spot any flaws or imperfections on the face of the penny which could drastically reduce or increase its overall worth. Additionally, condition plays a large part in determining price as well: coins graded Good through Mint State may be priced higher than those with lesser grades.

The final factor to take into account when valuing one of these classic coins is age. As time goes on, certain pieces become more scarce due to their rarity or because they were produced during a specific period of time. For example, some varieties from the late 1870s have become increasingly rarer since then; thus demand for them has increased along with prices accordingly.

In summary, many aspects must be taken into consideration when assessing the worth of a particular 1878 Indian Head Penny – from grade and condition to age and scarcity – making it both an exciting and challenging endeavor for any numismatist!

Collecting And Investing In The 1878 Indian Head Penny

The 1878 Indian Head penny is a highly sought after collectible in the numismatic world. It was minted at the Philadelphia Mint and boasts the head of Lady Liberty wearing an Indian war bonnet along with thirteen stars around her to represent the original colonies.

This coin is notable for its historical significance, as well as its unique design which has been popular since it was first released. Investing in this type of coin can be both exciting and rewarding.

The value of these coins have steadily increased over time, making them ideal for collectors looking to increase their portfolio’s worth. With that said however, there are some important factors to consider when investing in a rare or antique coin such as this one.

It is best to acquire your coins from reputable sources that offer authentication services. Additionally, you should look out for any signs of tampering or damage on the coin itself, as even slight blemishes could drastically reduce its worth.

Doing thorough research before investing will ensure that you get maximum returns on your investment and help make sure you add only quality pieces to your collection.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Best Way To Store An 1878 Indian Head Penny?

Storing a coin is more than just keeping it safe – the right method of storage can help ensure its value and condition remain intact.

As a numismatist, I always recommend that collectors use archival-quality supplies to store their coins in order to protect them from damage or discoloration over time.

While some may be tempted to save money by using traditional methods like plastic bags and paper envelopes, this isn’t ideal for an 1878 Indian Head penny since these materials don’t provide enough protection against environmental factors like humidity and temperature fluctuations.

So when looking for the best way to store your 1878 Indian Head Penny, make sure you opt for archival quality products!

Are There Any Counterfeits Of The 1878 Indian Head Penny?

Counterfeits of classic US coins, such as the 1878 Indian Head Penny, are an unfortunate reality.

In order to ensure you have a genuine coin, it is important to evaluate the characteristics closely and use trusted resources for authenticity verification.

It’s best to do this when purchasing or trading any old coins in your collection, especially those with high values like the 1878 Indian Head Penny.

How Rare Is The 1878 Indian Head Penny Compared To Other Indian Head Pennies?

The 1878 Indian Head penny is one of the rarest and most valuable in its series. As a numismatist, it’s important to understand how specific coins compare to others within their respective groupings.

The rarity and value of this particular coin can be attributed to its relative scarcity compared with other Indian Head pennies. Minted between 1859-1909, only 0.5% remain in circulation today.

Are There Any Other Collectible Items Featuring The 1878 Indian Head Penny Design?

It is ironic that something as small and seemingly insignificant as a penny could be so valuable to collectors, yet here we are discussing the 1878 Indian Head Penny.

As numismatists know, there are many other collectible items featuring this iconic design – including coins from foreign countries such as Mexico and Canada, die-cast models of the coin itself, and even jewelry pieces crafted with its likeness!

With all these options available, it’s no wonder why so many people have taken up collecting this highly sought after piece of currency.

What Are Some Tips For Spotting Fake 1878 Indian Head Pennies?

As a numismatist, it’s important to be able to spot counterfeit coins. One of the most popular replicas is the 1878 Indian Head Penny; these are often made with lower-quality materials and details that do not match those found on an authentic coin.

To help determine if your 1878 Indian head penny is genuine or fake, look at its size, shape, condition, weight, and design features. Make sure all these factors match up with what is known about original specimens of this type of coin.

Additionally, examine any markings to make sure they appear crisp and clear; counterfeits can have fuzzy or smeared designs imprinted on them. With some practice and attention to detail, you’ll soon become adept at spotting fakes!


As a numismatist, I can attest to the fact that an 1878 Indian Head Penny is truly a treasure.

This penny has been lovingly passed down through generations and cherished by collectors worldwide.

Not only are they rare, but also highly sought after for their stunning beauty.

With proper storage and care, it’s possible to preserve this piece of history for many years to come.

Collecting coins like these isn’t just about monetary value; it’s about preserving important pieces of our nation’s past so future generations can enjoy them as well!






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