1882 Indian Head Penny

1882 Indian Head Penny

The 1882 Indian Head Penny is one of the most popular and sought-after coins for coin collectors. It was minted in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from 1859 to 1909, making it an especially attractive piece for numismatists interested in American history.

This iconic penny has seen its value steadily increase over time due to its rarity; only 11 million were made in 1882 alone. Its design features Lady Liberty wearing a feathered headdress, surrounded by 13 stars representing the original colonies.

With its rich symbolism and eye-catching design, this beloved coin remains a favorite among serious coin collectors today.

History Of The 1882 Indian Head Penny

The 1882 Indian Head Penny was a coin of sheer coincidence. It appeared in the year that saw the passing of its namesake, Chief Black Hawk of the Sauk Nation, and became an instant symbol of his legacy. Its design featured a stoic profile portrait of Liberty wearing a Native American headdress – an unprecedented choice for any coin at the time.

This penny was first issued by the United States Mint in Philadelphia on July 13th, 1859 as part of the third installment in their Flying Eagle cent series – one which would go on to become highly sought after amongst numismatists due to its unique look and rarity.

The obverse features a bust-length figure facing left with thirteen stars around it representing the original colonies. Meanwhile, on reverse is an eagle flying towards the sun encircled by two wreaths with UNITED STATES OF AMERICA written above.

It is believed that these coins were produced primarily as souvenirs or trophies rather than currency; thus making them even more desirable to collectors today who are seeking out rare specimens from this era. Their scarcity has driven up prices significantly over recent years, making them prized investments among many investors looking to diversify their portfolios into precious metals.

Features Of The Design

The 1882 Indian Head Penny is a captivating coin with an impressive history. It was first minted in the United States from 1859 to 1909 and carries many features that make it stand out among other coins of its time. Now, let’s take a closer look at some of these features.

One such feature is the obverse side of the penny which depicts Liberty wearing a feather headdress symbolizing Native American culture.

The reverse design showcases a laurel wreath surrounding the words ‘ONE CENT’, encircled by 13 stars representing each of the original U.S. colonies. This symbolism serves as a reminder of this nation’s rich past and how far we’ve come since then.

The composition of the penny also makes it unique; unlike most contemporary coins, it contains 88% copper, 12% nickel alloy – giving it an attractive reddish hue when polished or uncirculated.

Furthermore, due to its age, availability in various grades and condition can vary significantly; making collecting them quite rewarding for numismatists around the world! Altogether, this details why the 1882 Indian Head Penny remains one of America’s most beloved collectible coins to date.

Rarity And Value

The Indian Head Penny, often referred to as an Indian Cent, is one of the most sought-after coins in numismatics. It contains a fascinating history and has been admired for its iconic imagery since it was first issued in 1859.

The rarity and value of this coin make it a true collector’s item that can be highly desirable. Strikingly designed by James Longacre, these pennies feature the image of Lady Liberty wearing a Native American headdress on the obverse side. This design caused some controversy at the time due to its appropriation of native symbolism, yet today many people consider it an enduring symbol of our country’s past.

On the reverse side there is also an interesting design featuring a laurel wreath encircling ONE CENT – ideal for any coin collection! These coins were only minted until 1909, making them much rarer than other United States coins from around the same period.

Furthermore, certain varieties can be particularly valuable depending on their condition which makes them even more attractive to collectors who are willing to pay top dollar for examples in excellent condition. With such great historical significance and potential financial rewards combined, it is no wonder why they remain popular with collectors today.

Collecting Tips

Grading is key when it comes to collecting Indian head pennies, as it helps determine their price and condition.

Pricing can vary greatly depending on the rarity of the particular penny, so research is essential before buying.

It’s important to store your pennies properly to ensure their condition, and catalogs can help with authentication.

Investing in an authentication certificate and insurance can provide an extra layer of security when building up a portfolio.


When it comes to collecting Indian Head pennies, one of the most important things you can do is become knowledgeable about grading. Grading a coin has two components: how well-preserved its condition is and how much wear it’s received over time.

A numismatist will judge both aspects by looking for signs such as scratches, discoloration, luster or loss thereof, strike quality and toning; all these factors help determine the grade of the coin in question.

To get started on your journey into grading coins there are many resources available online that can help you learn more about judging their condition. For example, The American Numismatic Association offers an array of tutorials that explain what each element means when assessing a coin’s value. Additionally, there are books written specifically with collectors in mind that provide illustrations and examples so you can better understand which type of markings indicate certain grades.

It is essential to have an understanding of grading if you want to be successful at collecting Indian Head pennies since this knowledge helps ensure that you purchase coins that match their descriptions accurately and fairly priced.

With patience and dedication, soon enough you’ll be able to identify different qualities and characteristics like an experienced collector!


Once you have a good understanding of grading Indian Head pennies, the next step is to understand how to price them.

Pricing coins can be difficult since there are so many factors that come into play when determining its value: supply and demand, rarity, age, condition and more.

As such, it’s important for collectors to do their research in order to determine what they should pay for each coin.

Several online resources provide valuable data on pricing for coins like the Indian Head Penny; this includes sites such as PCGS Price Guide or NGC Coin Explorer which compile recent sale prices from auctions and dealers around the world.

However, don’t forget to also compare your findings with other sources as well before making any purchase decisions.

In addition to researching prices online, attending coin shows and conventions can be even more beneficial because these events give collectors an opportunity to network with experienced numismatists who can help educate them further on matters related to pricing.

By taking advantage of these opportunities and doing your homework first – whether online or in person – you’ll be able maximize your investment potential when collecting Indian Head Pennies!

Popularity Among Coin Collectors

The Indian Head Penny has long been a favorite among coin collectors. Its unique design and rich history makes it highly sought after by numismatists of all ages. For many, the Indian Head Penny is one of the first coins they collect — meaning that its popularity will only continue to rise over time.

It’s easy to see why the Indian Head Penny holds such great appeal for collectors. From its iconic Liberty portrait on the obverse side, to its shield reverse featuring an American eagle — this penny truly captures both beauty and patriotism in just one small piece of currency.

In addition, the fact that this classic penny was minted from 1859 – 1909 means that there are quite a few different varieties available to collect, giving enthusiasts plenty of options when building their collection.

Clearly, the Indian Head Penny is still as popular today as it was back in its heyday. With more than 100 years passing since these historic pennies were last released, they remain a staple in any serious collector’s portfolio — providing them with an array of opportunities to find rare specimens or become experts in a particular variety.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Average Grade For An 1882 Indian Head Penny?

When it comes to grading indian head pennies, the 1882 issue is considered one of the more desirable coins to collect. This is due to its rarity and condition attributes that can make them quite valuable in higher grades.

Generally speaking, an average grade for an 1882 Indian Head Penny would be somewhere around good-4 (G-4), though some may exist with better eye appeal and quality then others. Ultimately, a professional coin dealer or reputable third party grader will need to assess the overall condition of any particular example before assigning a definitive grade.

Are There Any Special Varieties Or Errors Of The 1882 Indian Head Penny?

As the saying goes, ‘a penny saved is a penny earned’, and when it comes to collecting rare coins such as the Indian Head Penny, there are certainly several varieties and errors that collectors should be aware of.

The 1882 Indian Head Penny has three major types – copper-nickel cents (which were produced in Philadelphia only), bronze cents (also made in Philadelphia) and copper cents (made in San Francisco).

Errors can include double die obverse/reverse coinage, off center strikes, missing letters on mottos or dates, wrong planchets and much more. Collectors must do their due diligence when looking for these special varieties and errors.

Are 1882 Indian Head Pennies Still In Circulation?

As a numismatist, it is important to know if certain coins are still in circulation. The 1882 Indian Head Penny is one such coin that many collectors and investors want to know about.

Unfortunately, no 1882 Indian Head Pennies exist in circulation today as they were last minted in 1909 and have since been removed from regular circulation.

However, these sought-after coins can be found on the secondary market for purchase or trade with other enthusiasts.

Are 1882 Indian Head Pennies Legal Tender?

The 1882 Indian Head penny is a beloved piece of American history that many collectors and numismatists aspire to own.

However, some may be wondering if this coin still holds legal tender status in the United States today?

The answer is yes – all coins minted by the U.S. government are considered legal tender, regardless of age or condition.

This means that you can present your 1882 Indian Head Penny as payment for goods and services (though it’s unlikely anyone will accept such an old coin).

Still, they’re fun to collect and a great way to preserve our nation’s rich heritage!

What Is The Best Way To Store 1882 Indian Head Pennies?

As a numismatist, it’s important to store your coins in the best way possible.

With that being said, 1882 Indian Head pennies require special care and attention when it comes to storage.

It’s essential to preserve the condition of these collectibles so they can maintain their value over time.

To ensure long-term preservation, you should use airtight containers or plastic sleeves for storing individual coins; alternatively, coin albums are great options for organizing larger collections.

Additionally, make sure not to expose any coins to direct sunlight as this could cause discoloration and damage them irreversibly.


The 1882 Indian Head Penny is a classic piece of numismatic history. It evokes nostalgia and admiration in collectors as its luster and beauty continues to shine through the ages.

With an average grade of Fine-12, these coins are still highly sought after by many hobbyists. Although they’re no longer in circulation, they remain legal tender and can be found online or at coin shows around the country.

The best way to store your 1882 Indian Head Penny is with care; like precious gems, you want it to sparkle for generations! As time passes, this penny will only become more valuable – a shining reminder of our nation’s past that we should treasure forever.






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