1900 Indian Head Penny Value: How Much Is It Worth Today?

From the mid-19th century to the dawn of the 20th century, the United States embraced a distinctive design for its one-cent pieces. Known colloquially as the Indian Head pennies, these coins were in production from 1859 up until 1909. This was when a new design featuring President Lincoln took over, signaling the end of the Indian Head era.

The Indian Head pennies have a fascinating tale to tell. Many of them showcase the scars of time due to their prolonged stay in circulation, losing much of their original luster and detail. Over the decades, these coins have passed through countless hands, narrating a silent history of commerce and trade.

Interestingly, as the years rolled on, the 1900 edition of this penny became an object of attention for numismatists and collectors alike. When found in pristine condition – untouched by wear and tear – this coin becomes a treasure. Today, it’s not just a piece of history, but a sought-after artifact. To find one that has been preserved flawlessly over the decades? It’s akin to stumbling upon a rare piece of art.

Valuation of the 1900 Indian Head Penny

For those intrigued by its worth, here’s a breakdown based on the coin’s condition:

Grade Value of the 1900 Penny without Mint Mark
Adequate $2.30
Better $3.30
Above Average $5.15
Superior $6.65
Near Perfect $12
Almost Uncirculated $24
Just Minted $43
Near Flawless $65
Collector’s Dream $160

Data sourced from the USA Coin Book.

An In-depth Exploration of the 1900 Indian Head Penny

In the mid-19th century, a unique coin was conceived and brought to life by the United States Mint. Known as the Indian Head penny, this fascinating piece of coinage was produced from 1859 to 1909, when it was replaced by the Wheat penny to honor the birth anniversary of Abraham Lincoln.

The inception of the Lincoln penny marked a turning point in American numismatics, showcasing a historical figure on the coin’s front side for the first time. Contrary to its name, the Indian Head penny did not display an actual Native American. Instead, it featured an artistic interpretation of Lady Liberty adorned with a Native American headdress.

James Barton Longacre, the Mint’s chief engraver at the time, crafted this imaginative design. Although his intention was to represent an Indian figure, he opted for Lady Liberty, a decision that did not alter the coin’s familiar nickname as the “Indian Head.”

Longacre’s choice of the headdress reflected a belief that it symbolized the simpler societies in America. To him, it seemed more fitting than other symbols like the Phrygian cap and represented a powerful emblem of the nation’s heritage and the concept of freedom. Notably, the perspectives of Native Americans were overlooked in this decision-making process.

The composition of the Indian Head pennies evolved during their production. Initially, a mixture of 88% copper and nickel was used until 1864. Afterward, the Philadelphia mint shifted to a 95% copper-tin alloy, the sole alteration in its half-century existence. Concurrently, the coin’s weight was decreased from 0.16473 ounces (4.67 grams) to a mere 0.10969 ounces (3.11 grams).

A breakdown of the 1900 Indian Head penny shows:

  Year Minted
Philadelphia No Mint mark 1900 penny 66,831,502
Philadelphia 1900 penny proof 2,262
Total / 66,833,764

The Indian Head penny series holds a special place in the hearts of collectors and experts alike. Alongside the Lincoln penny, it stands as a prominent example of early American coinage, steeped in historical value.

Though these coins have withstood the test of time, they are not scarce, especially in lower grades. Only the finest specimens fetch high prices, catching the eyes of discerning collectors. Whether it’s a rare proof or a key date, the Indian Head penny continues to fascinate, a tangible connection to a time gone by and a symbol molded in copper and artistry.

A Glimpse into the Enigma of the 1900 Indian Head Cent

While the moniker might suggest otherwise, the imagery of the 1900 Indian Head cent showcases a young maiden adorned with an Indigenous headdress. Here’s a fascinating tidbit: even though American currency categorizes into dollars and cents, this coin has popularly been referred to as a “penny.”

Drawing parallels across the pond, “penny” is the nomenclature for a British coin. In contrast, the American one-cent coin holds the title for the least valuable currency piece in the U.S. This has been the case since 1857, marking the year the half-cent coin said its farewell.

And speaking of the “penny” title, it’s rather akin to calling spectacles “glasses” – it’s simply a colloquialism that’s stood the test of time, with no ties to the British denomination. These gleaming copper tokens, minted between 1859 and 1909, were succeeded by Lincoln cents as a tribute to the martyred President’s 100th birth anniversary.

Delving Deeper: The Face of the 1900 Indian Head Cent

Rather than an Indigenous figure, the coin’s face boasts the elegant Lady Liberty. The name “Indian penny” may be perceived as an homage to the Native tribes, who, during that era, were tragically displaced to reservations.

Why did Longacre, the engraver, opt for this imagery? One might surmise that the shallow embossment of the laurel wreath made for a more efficient minting process, ensuring the coin’s longevity.

Whispers in historical circles suggest that the muse for Lady Liberty was Longacre’s preteen daughter. Yet, Longacre himself credits the design inspiration to a statue named Crouching Venus. Irrespective of the muse, the coin’s face is adorned with “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” encircling the edge and the year of minting at the base.

A keen eye might spot the word “LIBERTY” inscribed on the band in Liberty’s tresses. Additionally, an inconspicuous ‘L’ – a nod to Longacre – is nestled between a feather and a lock of hair.

The Artistry Behind the 1900 Indian Head Penny

In the year 1900, a unique coin was crafted, known as the Indian Head penny. This cent piece presented itself as more than a mere object of trade; it was a piece of art with a rich history embedded within its design.

The Reverse Side of the Penny

The back of this coin features an intriguing combination of symbols. Right at its center, it displays the words “ONE CENT,” referring to the coin’s denomination. Attached to these words, there’s a ribbon that reaches down to the bottom of the coin, where it holds three arrows together. These arrows aren’t merely decorative; they tell a tale of warfare.

Surrounding this central motif, there’s a lavish wreath made from oak. And above it, you find a shield bearing seven horizontal and six vertical stripes. This formation alludes to the original thirteen states of the union.

Details and Specifications of the Coin

1900 Indian Head penny  
Face value One cent ($0.01)
Shape Round
Compound Copper with 5% of zinc or tin
Thickness 1 mm (0.03937 inches)
Diameter 19.05 mm (1.75000 inches)
Weight 3.11 g (0.10970 ounces)
Edge Plain

Further Aspects of the 1900 Indian Head Penny

The 1900 Indian Head penny was not simply remarkable for its artistry; it also had unique physical characteristics. Made from copper with a small portion of zinc or tin, it possessed a thickness of 0.03937 inches and a weight of 0.10970 ounces. Its diameter measured 1.75000 inches, and its edge was plain.

Along the rim of the coin, you might find tiny indentations, known as denticles. These were the early days’ response to the growing problem of coin shaving, especially with precious metals like gold and silver. The denticles made it harder to slice off tiny parts of the coin’s edge, a common form of cheating at the time.

This attempt to deter fraud eventually gave way to the modern reeded edge, but it stands as an example of how design, artistry, and practical considerations can all be wrapped into a small, everyday object. The 1900 Indian Head penny serves as a symbol, a story, and a piece of history all rolled into one.

The Enigma of the 1900 Indian Head Penny’s Tail Side

Peek into the 1900s, and you’d encounter an Indian Head penny whose intricate reverse showcases a clear inscription of its value: “ONE CENT.” It’s like witnessing a heraldic crest, with three arrows bundled together by a ribbon at the coin’s base, reminiscent of battles from yore.

Surrounding this centerpiece is a grand wreath, reminiscent of the oaks that have stood tall for centuries. At its core, a shield stands – striped thirteen times, a silent nod to the United States’ original states.

Intricacies of the 1900 Indian Head Penny  
Denomination A mere cent, yet priceless in history ($0.01)
Form A perfect circle
Material A blend of copper enhanced with a hint of zinc or tin
Depth A minuscule 0.03937 inches (1 mm)
Span A moderate 1.75000 inches (19.05 mm)
Heft A lightweight 0.10970 ounces (3.11 g)
Periphery Unadorned

Digging Deeper into the 1900 Indian Head Penny’s Secrets

This penny from 1900, crafted mainly from copper, has a substantial feel with a weight of 0.10970 ounces (3.11 g) and a span stretching to 1.75000 inches (19.05 mm). Like many historic coins of humble value, this one’s boundary is undecorated, yet if you squint, you’ll find minute markings akin to teeth (denticles) gracing its edge.

Why the denticles, one might wonder? It was an era when coin tampering was rampant. Many tried to trim edges, especially with coins shimmering in gold and silver. These denticles served as a deterrent, a precursor before the inception of the coin edges we recognize today. Their purpose? Thwarting any mischievous attempts to alter the coin’s authenticity.

The Tale of the 1900 Indian Head Cent

The year 1900 heralded a fascinating chapter in the annals of American coinage. At the heart of this narrative lies the Indian Head penny, exclusively minted in the renowned Philadelphia mint during that time.

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It’s riveting to note the diversity in the coin’s variants that year – with a collector’s favorite, the proof coin, standing side by side with the standard-issue penny.

Picture this: at the junction of two centuries, the US Mint embarked on a monumental endeavor. A staggering 66 million-plus of these iconic pennies were created, marking one of the most prolific production feats in the coin’s storied history.

A Look at the 1900 Indian Head Penny: From Philadelphia Mint to Your Coin Collection

In the year 1900, a noteworthy event in numismatics was the production of 66,831,502 Indian Head pennies at the Philadelphia mint. Surprisingly, this large quantity does not translate to a hefty price tag for collectors. Most of these centennial coins are found in less-than-ideal condition today.

Purchasing one of these antique pennies won’t break the bank. A weathered specimen can easily be acquired for a modest price ranging from $1 to $30. These once gleaming treasures now lie tarnished and worn, silently telling tales of time gone by.

But what if you’re seeking something more pristine, a true collector’s item? Even those coins that have survived in mint condition are within reach of the average enthusiast. Prices typically range from $40 to $155 for the finest examples of the 1900 Indian Head penny. If you desire the rare allure of the red-toned specimens, those heralded as the jewels of a collection, you may find yourself parting with anywhere from $1,300 to $6,250.

The chart below gives you a detailed glimpse of the value of this particular penny, based on different conditions:

Condition 1900 BN penny 1900 RB penny 1900 RD penny
Good $1 to $1.45 / /
Very good $1.55 to $1.85 / /
Fine $1.75 to $2.55 / /
Very fine $2 to $5 / /
Extra fine $5 to $12 / /
AU $18 to $27.55 / /
MS 60 $33 to $40 / /
MS 61 $35 to $45 $50 to $63 $80 to $100
MS 62 $45 to $58 $63 to $77 $105 to $132
MS 63 $60 to $78 $80 to $100 $135 to $190
MS 64 $80 to $100 $140 to $175 $267 to $325
MS 65 $125 to $155 $225 to $282 $565 to $660
MS 66 / $430 to $525 $1,300 to $1,700
MS 67 / / $4,200 to $6,255

Information courtesy of Greysheet

To add a touch of intrigue, the record for the highest price ever fetched by an Indian Head penny from 1900 shatters the estimations in the chart above. A vivid red specimen, graded MS 67+, was auctioned off for an astounding $28,200 in 2021 through Legend Rare Coin Auctions. The lucky buyer of this coin surely saw more than just metal and artistry; they saw a piece of history with an unspoken elegance and the legacy of a bygone era.

Thus, the 1900 Indian Head penny remains an accessible treasure for collectors, offering a range of options for different budgets. Whether you’re just starting a collection or looking for a unique and valuable addition, this coin serves as a reminder of the rich tapestry of our past.

Read More : 1904 Indian Head Penny Value (Rare Errors & No Mint Marks)

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The Peculiar Tale of the 1900 Indian Head Penny

The year 1900 was remarkable for many reasons, but in the world of numismatics, a distinct wonder was taking shape at the Philadelphia mint. A little over 2,000 special pennies—each carrying the emblematic Indian Head design—were crafted with a unique allure. Over the course of time, these pennies took on varied shades, each hue influencing its modern-day worth.

Consider this: today, if you wish to possess one of these coins, the cost is intrinsically tied to its coloration:

  • Pennies showcasing a deep, earthy hue: Between $110 and $1,980.
  • Those with a russet, twilight amalgamation: Between $135 and $2,400.
  • And the fiery, scarlet-tinted ones: Ranging from $200 to $4,800.
1900 Indian Head Penny – A Price Guide      
Grade Earthy Hue Twilight Mix Fiery Red
PR 60 $110 – $133 $135 – $160 $200 – $240
PR 61 $125 – $150 $170 – $205 $225 – $275
PR 62 $145 – $175 $200 – $240 $255 – $300
PR 63 $170 – $205 $230 – $275 $285 – $335
PR 64 $230 – $275 $335 – $400 $465 – $552
PR 65 $335 – $400 $450 – $540 $925 – $1,110
PR 66 $700 – $880 $1,025 – $1,230 $1,400 – $1,680
PR 67 $1,650 – $1,980 $2,000 – $2,400 $4,000 – $4,800

Courtesy of Greysheet

Of all these treasures, the crimson variants are highly sought after, often gracing elite coin collections. A rare gem among them is the 1900 PR 68 variant in radiant red, once fetching a price of $7,800 at an auction.

Yet, it’s essential to note that this isn’t the pinnacle of Indian Head penny auctions. A distinct 1900 PR 67 penny, shimmering with a cameo contrast, stole the limelight at a Stack’s Bowers event in 2019, fetching an astounding $28,800!

A Mystery of Time: The 1900 Indian Head Penny

Picture an artifact of monetary history, a coin that whispers tales from over a century ago: the Indian Head penny, minted in the dawn of the 20th century. This particular piece holds a mystery that can captivate any numismatist.

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A fascinating aspect of the 1900 Indian Head penny lies in its seeming perfection. Search as you might, finding an error in one of these coins is like searching for a needle in a haystack. That said, a select few enthusiasts claim to have spotted subtle discrepancies, such as slightly misaligned dates or curious duplications on the reverse side.

Inquiries into a Rare Treasure: The 1900 Indian Head Penny

Why is the 1900 Indian Head Penny Such a Rarity?

The 1900 Indian Head penny tells a tale of resilience, having weathered over a century since its creation. Most of these coins have suffered the ravages of time, their once-crisp details eroded by age and use. Thus, finding one in pristine condition is akin to unearthing a hidden gem.

Among the rarest of the rare are those pennies that shine with a distinctive red hue, struck with precision and care. These coins are not just mere metal; they are artifacts treasured by collectors, testaments to craftsmanship, and pieces of history that continue to inspire awe and wonder.

Imagine holding such a piece, feeling its weight, and knowing that it once circulated in a world very different from ours. The 1900 Indian Head penny is not just a coin; it is a symbol of an era long past, and a cherished relic among those who understand its value.

A Dive into the Valuable 1900 Indian Head Pennies

The allure of coin collecting often lies in the rich tales that each piece holds and its potential worth. Let’s embark on a journey through some outstanding transactions of the 1900 Indian Head pennies, remembered not just for their age, but for their remarkable monetary value at auctions.

  • A shining 1900 Indian Head penny, graded PR 67 CAM, captured the spotlight at a Stack’s Bowers auction in 2019, fetching a cool $28,800.
  • Similarly, a 1900 MS 67+ RD variant had collectors abuzz in 2021 when Legend Rare Coin Auctions declared its sale at a handsome $28,200.
  • In the realm of e-commerce, eBay too has witnessed some impressive sales, like a 1900 MS 67 RPD RD variant which found a new home for $10,000 in 2019.
  • And, Heritage Auctions hasn’t been left behind. A pristine 1900 PR 68 RD variant was a highlight in 2017, garnering $7,800.
  • From auctions to online platforms, various other remarkable pennies have traded hands for amounts ranging between a few hundred to several thousands of dollars over the years.

The General Worth of the 1900 Indian Head Penny Without a Mint Mark

Stepping away from these record-breaking sales, let’s discuss the 1900 Indian Head penny that doesn’t bear any mint mark. Many of these coins, bearing the scars of time and use, are quite affordable, trading hands for as little as $1 and going up to around $30. For those that are keen on coins that are in pristine condition, often referred to as being in ‘mint state’, you’d likely be parting with anywhere from $40 to a mid-range of $155.

However, for the avid enthusiasts who only have eyes for the crème de la crème of coin collections, there are those stunning red-toned Indian Head pennies. These can set you back anywhere from a considerable $1,300 to a steep $6,250.

The Fascination with Rare Indian Head Pennies

There’s a sense of nostalgia and value attached to pristine Indian Head pennies, making them cherished pieces in the world of coin collecting. Certain pennies from this collection have reached dizzying prices, emphasizing their rarity and demand amongst aficionados.

  • The 1864 Proof L on Ribbon penny has fetched a staggering price of $161,000. Think of this as the vintage Rolls Royce of the penny world!
  • Meanwhile, the 1877 edition of the Indian Head penny isn’t far behind, having been traded at a whopping $149,500. This could very well be considered the “Monet” of the coin realm.
  • Close on its heels is the 1902 version, which has been valued at $144,000. One might compare this penny to a rare edition of Shakespeare’s works.
  • The 1872 penny, akin to a timeless Rolex, garnered an impressive $126,500.
  • Both the 1899 and 1897 Proof Indian Head pennies stand tall at $108,000 each. Imagine if these coins could talk, the tales they would tell!
  • And last, but certainly not least, the 1909 S penny, shining bright at $97,750, could be likened to a rare gemstone, coveted by many but owned by few.

For collectors, each of these coins is not just a piece of metal, but a fragment of history, a tale of the bygone era, a testament to the craftsmanship of yesteryears.