1890 Indian Head Penny Value

1890 Indian Head Penny Value
Posted on May 09, 2024 by BOLD Precious Metals

Are you interested in collecting rare and old coins and love to explore their historical significance? If so, reading about the 1890 Indian Head Penny will excite you. This coin is not only an important piece of American history but also serves as a reminder of the skill of coinage at a critical stage in our country's history.

Even though many 1890 Indian Head Penny coins are still in circulation, it can be challenging to find them in exceptional condition. Because of this, collectors are prepared to spend a lot of money on a rare find.

Such 1890 Indian head pennies are a scarce find if you are lucky or have fortunately witnessed one. You may wish to find out about the coin's history and worth. This is where this article comes in. We will take you on an adventure through a time of this American numismatic legacy.

     History of the 1890 Indian Head Penny

History of the 1890 Indian Head Penny

The Indian Head Penny was one of the first coins to include the laurel wreath on the reverse. Striking and circulating it first in 1859. In all other 1860s and subsequent images, an oak wreath can be seen in place. This arrangement was valid till 1909 when the U.S. Mint's switched out these coins for a totally new Lincoln penny.

It's interesting to note that the Philadelphia Mint was the only authorized facility to produce these one-cent coins and five-cent nickels. As a result, during the 50 years of coinage, practically all of the coins were unmarked.

The one-cent coin was gaining popularity by the time the 1890 Indian Head Penny was struck. At the beginning of the 1880s, the nation was going through an economic crisis, which decreased demand for currency. By the end of the 1880s, the economy was beginning to recover, and mintage increased significantly.

Furthermore, during this same period, the US Post Office reduced the cost of a stamp to two cents. Because of this, the three-cent nickel was essentially useless by 1890 and discontinued. This led to the 1890 Indian Head Penny being used by more people, and its mintage kept rising.

     1890 Indian Head Penny Value

The 1890 Indian Head Penny value depends upon its condition, type, and rarity caused by the errors.

1890 No Mint Mark Indian Head Penny Value

1890 No Mint Mark Indian Head Penny Value

Only the Philadelphia Mint produced 57,180,114 Indian Head pennies in total in 1890. The majority of these coins have low-grade and brown tones. Nonetheless, enough collectible-grade circulated coins remain in circulation.

DescriptionPrice Range
Average condition (brown-toned, low-grade)$1 to $50
Mint State$42 to $345
MS 66 grade$750 to $100
GEM BU brown penny (1890)Sold at $1,150 in 1999
Red-brown pennies$140 to $750
MS 66 grade (red-brown)$1,400 to $2,250
MS 63 grade (red)$180 to $200
MS 64 grade (red)$550
MS 65 grade (red)$1,150
MS 66 grade (red)$6,500
MS 67+ grade (red)Sold at $91,063 in 2020

1890 Proof Indian Head Penny Value

1890 Proof Indian Head Penny Value

In addition to circulated pennies, the Philadelphia Mint began producing proofs in 1890. Just 2,740 coins of this caliber were produced for collection.

These days, three different types of pennies can be distinguished by their color. Their price range is determined by these characteristics; the most expensive brown coins are those with exquisite red toning and exceptional luster.

Penny TypeGrade RangePrice RangeNotable PriceYear of Sale
Brown Proof (PR)PR 60 - PR 66$185 to almost $1,000--
Brown Proof (PR)PR 67$1,700 to $2,000--
Red-Brown Proof (PR)PR 60 - PR 66$200 to $2,000--
Red-Brown Proof (PR)PR 67$2,200 to $2,640--
Red Proof (PR)PR 60 - PR 66$250 to $4,000--
Red-Brown Proof (PR)PR 65 (CAM)-$5,0402019

Rare Error 1890 Indian Head Penny value

This particular collection of Indian pennies minted in 1890 is uncommonly low in number with imperfect strikes. Although few coins have such imperfections, one of which is the significant double-strike error, these coins are generally collectible and more expensive than regular pennies.

Error TypeDescriptionValue Range
Double Striketakes place when there is a failed removal between the dies, causing the die to strike the same coin twice. It's obvious that the design is off-center.$500 to $2,000
Tripled Die Obversearises from a coin hub and die that are not properly aligned.$460 to $560
Misplaced Date (MPD)The coin has an odd minting date because one or more date digits are positioned incorrectly on the die. May cost more than standard coins.Auction winner in MS 64 grade bought for $700 (2019)
Misaligned Die ClashThis happens as a result of the hammer and anvil dies being significantly out of alignment, either horizontally or vertically, leaving surface imperfections in the coin.Sold for $900 (2019)

Design of 1890 Indian Head Penny

This 1890 Indian Head Penny obverse design is designed by the Longacre.



It turned out that the coin's obverse featured a Caucasian woman, despite Longacre's original plan to design it with an Indian girl. Her headdress, an Indian chief's, is somewhat out of place on her, and it looks odd worn with a pearl necklace.

The year 1890 is displayed below her effigy, with the “United States” on her left and “of America” on her right. The word LIBERTY is emblazoned on the ribbon that was inserted into her hair.



The reverse of the 1980 Head penny is tastefully simple with few decorations. It displays a shield-topped denomination in the middle.

All subsequent pennies, such as this one from 1890, had an oak wreath around the rim, in contrast to the original specimens from 1859, which had a laurel wreath. Three arrows tied at the bottom and a bow were used to secure them.

Other 1890 Indian Head Penny Details

The 1890 Indian Head pennies were 1.47 mm (0,058 inches) thick and composed of a 95% copper alloy. Their diameter was 0.75 inches/19.05 mm, and their weight was 0.10970 ounces/3.11 g.


More than just a coin, the 1890 Indian Head Penny is a piece of American history that illustrates numismatic artistry and economic recovery. The 1890 penny provides an exciting window into a bygone era, whether you're an experienced collector or simply interested in learning more about it. Every feature, from its elaborate design to its value and rarity, contributes to its appeal.

So, the 1890 Indian Head Penny is a treasure worth discovering, whether you're fortunate enough to find one in your collection or just want to admire its history.

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