1879 Indian Head Penny

 1879 Indian Head Penny

The 1879 Indian Head penny is a highly sought after collector’s item for numismatists. This classic coin has been in circulation since the late 19th century, and it continues to hold its value as one of the most popular coins from America’s past.

Many people are interested in collecting this piece of American history, so let’s take a closer look at what makes this rare penny so special.

The design of the 1879 Indian Head penny features Lady Liberty wearing an exquisite feathered headdress with 13 stars around her profile. As you can imagine, these details add even more character and charm to the already valuable coin.

In addition, many versions feature mint marks which make them much harder to find than standard editions. It’s no wonder why numismatists have taken such great interest in these historical pieces!

History Of The 1879 Indian Head Penny

The 1879 Indian Head Penny is an iconic coin for any numismatist and collector. This classic piece of American history was minted in Philadelphia from 1859 until 1909, with a total mintage of over 300 million coins.

It features Lady Liberty wearing a Native American headdress on the obverse, while 13 stars surround her to represent the original 13 colonies. On the reverse there is a wreath of corn and cotton tied together with a ribbon, symbolizing agriculture and industry in the United States.

The 1879 Indian Head penny has been sought after by collectors since its initial release due to its intricate detailing and unique design elements. The use of copper gave it a distinct reddish-brown hue that stands out among other coins produced during this time period.

Additionally, its small size made it relatively easy to store or carry around in large quantities if desired. The legacy of the 1879 Indian Head penny lives on today as one of the most recognizable pieces of US currency ever produced.

Its scarcity makes it highly desirable for any collection; even though millions were originally minted, many were lost or destroyed through wear-and-tear over time. As such, those who are lucky enough to possess one can rest assured knowing they own a true piece of American history that will be appreciated by generations to come.

Design Of The Indian Head Penny

Mintage dates for the Indian Head Penny span from 1859 to 1909, making it a popular choice for collectors.

Its obverse design features a profile of an indigenous woman wearing a feathered headdress.

On the reverse, the words ‘One Cent’ are featured prominently along with a laurel wreath.

The coin’s designer, James B. Longacre, incorporated features from ancient Greek coins into the design, making it an attractive and unique piece of numismatic history.

The Indian Head Penny is an iconic piece of US coinage, and its design has had a lasting influence on coin design throughout the world.

Mintage Dates

The Indian Head Penny is a beloved numismatic piece, and its mintage dates are certainly no exception! From 1859 to 1909, this coin was issued by the United States Mint.

It’s worth noting that during the Civil War years of 1861-1865, due to the Union government’s need for copper, nickel three cents pieces were made instead.

The Indian Head Penny also stopped production for one year in 1877 – which makes it quite rare within certain collections.

In addition, from 1893 to 1901, these coins were minted with different designs on them; such as ‘V’ or ‘barbed wire’.

As a result, these variations make collecting the Indian head penny even more exciting!

All things considered, collectors can marvel at this American classic with regards to both design and date variety – making it an excellent investment opportunity for any collector looking for something truly special.

Obverse Design

The obverse design of the Indian Head Penny is iconic. It features a profile view of an American Indian wearing a feathered headdress, and this depiction has been widely accepted to represent Native Americans in general. The date appears below the image with thirteen stars above it – each representing one of the original colonies that formed the United States. Overall, it’s quite a powerful piece of numismatic history!

As far as variations go, some coins were minted without any inscription on them at all; making them highly sought-after by collectors. Additionally, there are several varieties throughout mintage years which feature different lettering styles for certain dates – adding yet another layer of complexity to the coin’s overall look. All in all, these differences make collecting even more interesting!

Reverse Design

The reverse design of the Indian Head Penny is just as iconic. It features a Union shield, with an eagle resting atop it – representing America’s strength and freedom. The motto ‘E Pluribus Unum’ (Out of Many, One) is inscribed across the bottom in Latin.

Above the shield are the words ‘One Cent’ and below it reads ‘United States Of America’. This side of the coin paints a beautiful picture of unity amongst its citizens.

When it comes to variations, some coins may feature different lettering styles again; or even be minted without any inscription at all! These pieces are truly coveted by collectors due to their rarity and uniqueness.

There’s also been various re-strikes made for special occasions throughout history – increasing their value significantly over time. All these aspects add character to each individual piece, making them highly sought after by numismatists around the world.

It’s clear that both sides of this penny have played a significant role in American history – providing us with insight into our past while giving us something tangible to collect today. Collecting Indian Head Pennies can give us an appreciation for historic United States currency like no other form of collecting could do!

Mint Marks On The Indian Head Penny

Numismatists consider the Indian Head Penny to be a significant coin in American history. Produced from 1859-1909, over 800 million of these coins were minted and circulated throughout America.

An interesting statistic is that only three varieties exist regarding their reverse sides: one with no mint mark, one with an “S” indicating San Francisco production, and another with a “C” for Carson City.

The primary design features on both sides are consistent—the obverse depicting Lady Liberty wearing a feathered headdress, while the reverse displays an oak wreath and shield above which reads ‘One Cent.’

The coins come in two distinct sizes due to changes made during their production timeline; however there was never an explicit indication as to why this happened. It’s believed that it had something to do with adjusting the weight or edges of the penny, yet exact circumstances remain largely unknown.

Today, collectors highly value each variety based on its rarity and condition. Different dates can fetch hundreds of dollars depending on how well preserved they are! Of course, many factors influence the price including year of mintage, type of metal used (bronze vs copper), luster quality, and more.

Collectors should always remember when purchasing Indian Head Pennies that authenticity is most important factor going forward.

How To Determine Value Of The Indian Head Penny

Determining the value of an Indian Head Penny requires research and knowledge. This coin is one of the most popular U.S. coins to collect, so it’s important for a numismatist to understand how its worth can be accurately measured:

  1. Check the condition of the penny – To determine a fair market value, examine your coin carefully and note any signs of wear or damage such as scratches, dents or discoloration which may reduce its grade and therefore lower its potential value.
  2. Look up mintage figures – A small number of surviving examples from particular years increases demand for them, making those coins more valuable than others that were produced in larger numbers over time.
  3. Investigate pricing guides – Professional grading services assign a numerical grade to each coin based on quality standards established by experts and publish current prices in their price guides which reflect market trends and collector demands; these guidebooks are essential resources when assessing values of existing Indian Head Pennies.

By taking into account all three factors before assigning a cost, you’ll have an accurate estimation of what someone would pay for this classic US coinage!

Collecting The Indian Head Penny

The Indian Head Penny has been a prized item for numismatists and coin collectors alike since its first minting in 1859. It is a unique piece of American history that reflects the country’s changing economic system, as well as its relationship with Native Americans during this period.

As one of the most popular coins ever produced by the United States Mint, it is not surprising that many people have gone to great lengths to collect these pennies over time. Those who are serious about collecting Indian Head Pennies must understand how they were made and what factors make them valuable today.

GradeCondition of CoinHigh
Mintage DateYear ProducedMedium
RarityNumber AvailableHigh
Design TypeVariations/TypesLow

Aspiring collectors should also consider other elements such as grade, mintage date, rarity, and design type when evaluating an individual penny’s worth. For example, those with higher grades or rarer designs will generally be more expensive than those with lower grades or common designs. Furthermore, understanding the production process can help determine which features carry more value among different varieties of coins. With knowledge comes power – possessing a thorough understanding of all variables associated with the Indian Head Penny will give you an edge when trading or investing in them.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is The 1879 Indian Head Penny Rare?

Coin collectors and numismatists are often in search of rare coins, and the 1879 Indian Head penny is one such coin that has attracted much attention.

It’s a remarkable coincidence that this particular year marks the end of an era for these coins – minting stopped shortly after its release.

As such, it makes sense why collectors may be interested in knowing if this piece is indeed rare or not.

The answer depends on condition; however, given its age and limited production numbers, it can generally be considered to be a desirable addition to any collection.

Are There Any Counterfeit Versions Of The 1879 Indian Head Penny?

As a numismatist, I am often asked if there are any counterfeit versions of coins. In the case of the 1879 Indian Head Penny, it is no exception. Counterfeiters have been known to replicate this coin in an effort to pass them off as genuine pieces.

The best way to tell if your 1879 Indian Head Penny is authentic is by examining its features and determining whether they match up with those found on other legitimate examples. Additionally, you can compare it to authenticated images from trusted sources or take it to a professional for authentication.

What Is The Best Way To Store Indian Head Pennies?

When it comes to storing Indian Head Pennies, numismatists recommend both short and long-term storage methods.

For the everyday collector, keeping coins in a secure box or coin album is an ideal way to store them over time.

If you want to take extra precautions for your collection’s preservation, investing in plastic flips or 2×2 holders are great options for protecting these pieces from air and moisture that can cause damage over time.

Additionally, if you plan on long-term storage of your pennies, consider using certified slabs which provide excellent protection against oxidation.

Does The Condition Of The 1879 Indian Head Penny Affect Its Value?

The condition of a coin can greatly affect its value. Indian head pennies, in particular, are highly sought after by numismatists; therefore, the grade and state of preservation play an important role when determining their worth.

An 1879 Indian Head penny that is uncirculated or lightly circulated will almost always be valued higher than one with heavier circulation wear and tear. Additionally, any signs of damage such as scratches, dents, rim hits and discoloration may drastically decrease its overall value.

Therefore, it’s essential to examine coins carefully and accurately determine their condition prior to making an investment or sale.

How Much Does It Cost To Buy An 1879 Indian Head Penny?

The cost of a penny can vary greatly depending on its condition, mint year and other factors.

An 1879 Indian Head Penny is no exception; the price will range from as low as around $10 to over $100 for one in excellent condition.

The most valuable pennies are those that have been well preserved or uncirculated – meaning they haven’t circulated in circulation long enough to become worn down.

If you’re looking for an investment piece, it’s best to look for coins certified by reputable organizations such as NGC or PCGS.


The 1879 Indian Head Penny is a highly sought-after coin, with collectors eager to add it to their collections.

Its rarity and beauty make it an attractive purchase for both experienced numismatists as well as novice coin enthusiasts.

It’s important to be aware of counterfeits, however, and do your research before investing in this penny.

To ensure its condition remains pristine, proper storage methods are essential; if properly cared for, the value of this piece can go far beyond its face price.

As I continue to explore the fascinating world of coins, my appreciation for the 1879 Indian Head Penny grows more each day!






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