What Year Indian Head Pennies Are Worth Money

The value of Indian Head pennies depends on several factors, primarily the year they were minted. Early Indian Head pennies, particularly those minted before 1909, are generally worth more than later issues. For example, the 1859 Indian Head penny, which was the first year of production, is highly sought after by collectors and can fetch a significant premium. Pennies minted in 1909 and after are less valuable due to their higher mintage numbers, but can still hold some value depending on their condition and rarity. Additionally, error coins, such as those with double strikes or other minting irregularities, can also enhance the value of an Indian Head penny.

Indian Head Pennies: Value and Rarities

The Indian Head Penny, minted from 1859 to 1909, features the profile of a Native American chief on the obverse and a laurel wreath on the reverse. While most Indian Head Pennies are worth face value, certain rare dates and varieties command a higher price.

Key Dates

  • **1859** – First year of issue, only 440,000 minted.
  • **1864-L** – Minted in Philadelphia, less than 18,000 produced.
  • **1877** – Low mintage of 11,640,000.
  • **1909-S** – Last year of issue, minted in San Francisco, with a mintage of 300,547.


  • **1873 Closed 3** – A variety with a closed “3” in the date, only a few hundred known.
  • **1877 Indian Cent Nickel** – An experimental issue mistakenly struck on nickel planchets, extremely rare.
  • **1885 Indian Head Proof** – Proof coins produced specifically for collectors, very valuable.

Value Table

1873 Closed 3$10,000$25,000
1877 Indian Cent Nickel$50,000$100,000
1885 Indian Head Proof$2,000$5,000

Note: Values are approximate and may vary based on condition and other factors.

Condition and Grade

The condition and grade of an Indian Head penny can significantly impact its value. Here are some key factors to consider:

  • Wear: The amount of wear on a coin affects its grade. Coins with little or no wear are worth more than heavily worn coins.
  • Luster: Luster refers to the shine on a coin’s surface. Coins with good luster are worth more than coins with dull or faded luster.
  • Strike: The strike refers to the sharpness of a coin’s design. Coins with a strong, crisp strike are worth more than weakly struck coins.

The following table provides a general overview of how condition and grade can affect the value of an Indian Head penny:

Condition/GradeValue Range
Uncirculated (MS-60)$100 – $500
About Uncirculated (AU-50)$50 – $150
Extremely Fine (XF-45)$15 – $50
Fine (F-12)$2 – $5
Good (G-4)$1 – $2

Year-by-Year Values of Indian Head Pennies

Indian Head pennies, featuring the iconic profile of a Native American, were minted from 1859 to 1909. While all Indian Head pennies have some value to collectors, certain years and conditions can command higher prices.


  • Regular issue: $20-$50
  • Proof: $100-$200


  • Regular issue: $15-$30
  • Proof: $75-$150


  • Regular issue: $12-$25
  • Proof: $60-$120


  • Regular issue: $10-$20
  • Proof: $50-$100


  • Regular issue: $8-$15
  • Proof: $40-$80


  • Regular issue: $7-$12
  • Proof: $35-$70


  • Regular issue: $6-$10
  • Proof: $30-$60


  • Regular issue: $5-$8
  • Proof: $25-$50


  • Regular issue: $4-$7
  • Proof: $20-$40


  • Regular issue: $3-$5
  • Proof: $15-$30


  • Regular issue: $2-$4
  • Proof: $10-$20

It’s important to note that these values are approximate and can vary depending on condition, mint mark, and market demand.

Collecting Tips for Indian Head Pennies

Indian Head pennies, minted from 1859 to 1909, hold historical and numismatic value. While all Indian Head pennies have worth, certain years and conditions command premium prices.

Valuable Year and Condition Combinations






1877Very Fine

Factors Affecting Value

  • Year: Rarer years, such as 1859, have higher values.
  • Mintmark: Coins minted in San Francisco (S) are more scarce and valuable than those from Philadelphia.
  • Condition: Uncirculated coins with sharp details fetch top dollar.
  • Strike quality: Coins with strong, well-defined features are more desirable.
  • Rarity: Some Indian Head pennies were minted in small quantities, increasing their scarcity and value.

Additional Tips

When collecting Indian Head pennies, consider the following:

  • Examine the coin carefully under magnification to assess its condition and authenticity.
  • Purchase coins from reputable dealers or through trusted online platforms.
  • Research the market value of the pennies you’re considering buying.
  • Consider investing in a protective holder to preserve their condition.
  • Hey folks, thanks for sticking around until the end! I hope this little rundown of the Indian Head pennies has been helpful. Remember, the key to getting the most out of these coins is to do your research and keep an eye out for those special errors and varieties. Before you rush off, be sure to bookmark this page or check back later for more numismatic wisdom. Take care and happy hunting!