Top 10: Most Valuable Indian Head Penny!

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Written By Natasha Jones
I'm Natasha Jones, an avid collector of coins, stamps, and paper money. My passion drives me to seek unique finds, from antique shops to international exchanges. I enjoy connecting with fellow collectors through forums and meet-ups, sharing discoveries and insights. Collecting, for me, is about preserving history and building a community around this shared interest.

I have searched for the most valuable Indian Head Penny ever and created this list!

These coins were produced until the early 1900s and are highly sought after by collectors.

Indeed, that makes certain versions very valuable.

Which coins draw the most expensive prices and why? Read on to know more!


Most Valuable Indian Head Penny:

1. 1873 Indian Head Penny (MS-65) (Doubled Liberty)


This coin from 1873 is red and brown instead of just red.

And we have here what’s called hub doubling – a double image of Lady Liberty.

There are only two examples of this coin-graded MS65, and I must inform you that none are higher.

There’s a bit of a debate about which 1873 Doubled Liberty is the finest.

Whether or not this coin is truly the finest example, it is quite rare and special. And it fetched $69,000 when it went up for auction.

2. 1868 Indian Head Penny (MS-66+)


In 1868, the Mint minted over ten million cents.

However, finding one of the highest quality is considerably more challenging.

So, folks, there are only about 130 that have been certified as having that sought-after “red” coloration.

Amongst these elusive red coins, the gradings vary from MS63 to MS66.

We have here a specimen of the highest available quality, and it’s worth noting that only seven coins have achieved this prestigious status.

In 2019, it was put up for auction at a coin auction house specializing in rare coins.

The final bid was $72,000, which includes the buyer’s premium.

3. 1869 Indian Head Penny (MS-66+)


This here coin from 1869 has earned itself a “red” designation from the PCGS.

This is also an exceptionally good specimen, finely struck and achieving the grading of mint state 66+.

This is a bright orange-red color that is even across both surfaces.

It appears perfect to the naked eye.

Viewing it up close with a loupe, you’ll find just a few specks.

We have here one of the two Indian Head Pennies from 1869 that has achieved this grading, and I must say, none are finer.

Unsurprisingly, collectors were thrilled when it was auctioned in 2019.

So, it was sold for $84,000.

4. 1890 Indian Head Penny (MS-67+)


This Indian Head Penny from 1890 made over $90,000.

Condition is key in this example. This coin has been graded mint state 67 by the PCGS.

This coin was also designated as “red,” which means it is made of copper and retains at least 95% of its original red color.

This is quite an attractive specimen! It has a luster on both sides of the coin.

In 2020, the catalog was very enthusiastic about its “unimpeachable beauty” when it was put up for sale.

According to the auctioneers, this is one of the most exquisite Indian Head Pennies ever produced during its 50-year run.

The hammer has fallen at a final price of $91,063, which includes the buyer’s premium.

5. 1877 Indian Head Penny (PR-67)


This Indian Head Penny is yet another example of a rare condition.

This is a proof coin that has been graded 67 by the PCGS.

This is one of the only two coins from 1877 that are of such high quality.

And it’s also in red – which happens to be the most sought-after hue.

And if that wasn’t enough, folks, let me tell you that Indian Head Pennies from 1877 are a whole lot rarer than ones from other years, no matter what condition they’re in.

In February 2009, this coin was put up for sale. It was sold for an impressive $97,750!

6. 1897 Indian Head Penny (PR-67+)


Ah, we have an Indian Head Penny here, which we call a “deep cameo.”

That is a grading awarded by independent coin certifying authorities.

So this means there’s some rich “frosting” on the raised parts of the design.

Well, that contrasts with reflective fields for a very attractive coin.

This is a proof coin that’s been graded 67+ by the PCGS.

So basically, we have an above-average strike here, folks.

The coin boasts a full mint luster, with only a few tiny marks.

This here Indian Head Penny is the real deal.

It’s the only one of its kind, a deep cameo, and a beauty.

You won’t find another one like it, no matter the date or color you want.

That makes it quite special. So, when it went up for auction in March 2021, it was sold for $108,000.

7. 1899 Indian Head Penny (MS-68)


This coin has been put up for sale on three separate occasions from 2003 to 2019.

This coin, my friends, dates back to 1899 and is in exceptional condition.

The PCGS has graded it as mint state – MS – 68.

It’s considered “premium quality” because it has a clear and distinct strike, and you won’t see any visible marks when you look at it closely.

There seems to be a difference of opinion among coin experts regarding the existence of one or two coins of this caliber.

Many believed this was the only survivor, and numerous bidders shared the same opinion.

In 2019, it was sold for a price of $108,000.

8. 1872 Indian Head Penny (MS-66)


In 1872, most cents were made from older coins that had been melted down.

So, what happened was that the planchets, which are metal discs, ended up being of varying quality.

This led to the coins having a streaky appearance.

Any top-notch examples from this year are going to be highly collectible.

This coin is an MS66, indicating it’s in excellent condition and quite appealing.

This is one of the two 1872 Indian Head Pennies graded at this level.

And, most importantly, there are no known examples of a better quality.

In August 2007, the coin was put up for sale.

Someone was willing to spend $126,500 to own a best-in-class coin!

9. 1877 Indian Head Penny (MS-66)


The 1877 coin has been graded as MS66.

So what you have there is a coin in mint state, boasting an above average strike and a luster that’s “full mint.”

So, it was designated as “red,” which indicates that it still had most of its original copper color.

In 1877, we experienced the final year of a Depression, and the Mint minted relatively few cents.

It is believed that only 852,500 were made, and some experts speculate that the actual quantity may have been even lower.

Regardless of the precise figures, the number of mint state survivors from 1877 is exceedingly scarce.

Only six examples have been certified as MS66 by the PCGS.

So, when this one was auctioned in August 2007, it attracted considerable interest.

Ladies and gentlemen, after frenetic bidding, it was sold for $146,500, which includes the 15 percent buyer’s premium.

10. 1864 Indian Head Penny (PR-2)


Ladies and gentlemen, the most valuable Indian Head Penny ever sold is from 1864.

According to the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS), it has been examined and given a PR65 rating.

So, the thing is that PR stands for “proof,” and it’s used to refer to a coin that wasn’t meant to be circulated.

Proof coins are known for their exceptional quality and are primarily manufactured to collect.

In 1864, collecting coins was not a common pastime, which made it quite challenging to acquire proof.

This coin was made towards the end of 1864.

At this point, I sharpened the details of the portrait.

They added an L to the bottom of Liberty’s ribbon behind her neck.

James Longacre was the image designer, and the “L” stands for him.

Only 20 specimens of this proof coin exist and are divided into three types.

This particular coin belongs to the Snow-PR2 type, and only seven are believed to exist.

This was up for auction in October 2011.

The final bid was $161,000, which includes the 15% buyer’s premium.

This coin is still the most valuable Indian Head Penny to this day!

Before you go…

There are many different grades of Indian head pennies, but the most valuable ones are those in good condition. If you find one of these coins in good shape, you should hang onto it!

Check out my next article: “1901 Indian Head Penny – Do You Need This In Your Collection?

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