How Much is a 1877 Indian Head Penny Worth? (Price Chart)

Indian head pennies are among the most popular coins in American history, and numismatists go to great lengths to add these specimens to their collections. They are often willing to set aside significant money to purchase one of those pieces of an appreciated Native American heritage.

Now, it is time to discover a scarce piece struck in 1877 you will rarely find on the coin market, principally because of the small mintage. The 1877 Indian Head penny value is atypically high for this coin type, and many counterfeits have emerged over time. Therefore, always consult an expert before buying one to avoid being scammed.

1877 Indian Head Penny History

Engraver James Barton Longacre designed this lovely coin and the US Mint produced it from 1859 to 1909. Then, the Lincoln wheat penny replaced it.

1877 Indian head penny

Location Year Minted
Philadelphia 1877 825,500
Philadelphia 1877 proof 900 to 1,500
Total / 826,400 to 827,000

From 1859 to 1864, the composition of this penny included 12% nickel. However, the percent of copper increased to 95% starting with 1864, followed by weight reduction. By eliminating nickel, the US Mint found a way to reduce the minting costs.

1877 Indian head penny

Face value One cent ($0.01)
Compound 95% copper and 5% tin or zinc
Coin thickness 0.07677 inches (1.95 mm)
Coin weight 0.10970 ounces (3.11 g)
Coin diameter 0.75 inches (19.05 mm)
Shape Round
Edge Plain

This penny became popular, and its production was typically high. For instance, over 100,000,000 coins were minted in 1907, but that wasn’t the case with a piece produced in 1877. In fact, its mintage was surprisingly low.

1877 Indian head penny value*

Quality Price
Good $1,028
Very good $1,226
Fine $1,765
Very fine $2,277
Extra fine $2,812
AU $3,492
MS 60 $4,333
MS 63 $5,126
PR 63 $2,962

*by USA Coin book

The 1877 Indian head penny obverse shows Liberty facing left, with a pearl necklace around her neck. You can see an Indian headdress with nine feathers on her head and a ribbon with the word LIBERTY.

One headband end with a diamond pattern runs over the Liberty’s hair strands that run down her back. In front of her face are words UNITED STATES, while the rest inscription part, OF AMERICA, is placed behind. As usual, you can notice the date below her bust.

The reverse shows an oak wreath that extends along the coin’s left and right rims. The ribbon binds are tied with three arrows at the bottom to keep them together. You can also notice the shield on the coin top between the wreath upper ends and the ONE CENT denomination in the center.

 

1877 Indian Head Penny Type

Only the Philadelphia mint struck the Indian head penny in 1877, and the total minting circulation is nearly 830,000, including proofs.

1877 Indian head penny

1877 Indian head penny
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This mint produced 825,500 Indian head pennies in 1877. These pieces don’t have the mint mark on the reverse below the wreath like most other coins struck there.

1877 Indian head penny value

Year Quality
Good Fine Extra fine Uncirculated
by Coinflation
1877 $325 to $350 $800 to $850 $1,600 to $1,700 $3,000+
by CoinStudy
1877 $401 $630 $1,450 $2,875
by JM Bullion
1877 $900 $1,550 $2,500 $3,100

Experts estimate that only 5,000 copies of this coin have survived to date, which explains its rarity and significant value on the coin market. For instance, you can get an incredible $18,000 for a penny with an MS 66 rating.

1877 proof Indian head penny

1877 proof Indian head penny
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There is some disagreement about how much Indian head penny proofs the mint produced in 1877. Experts estimate that their number ranges between 900 and 1,500.

1877 RD proof Indian head penny value*

Quality Price
PR 62 $3,500 to $4,020
PR 63 $4,380 to $5,030
PR 64 $5,000 to $5,750
PR 65 $11,000 to $12,100
PR 66 $14,400 to $16,800
PR 67 $72,000 to $84,000

*by Greysheet

Interestingly, you won’t have to find this penny, and its price is not so high given how expensive regularly minted specimens are. In most cases, you should set aside around $3,000 for a PR 63 rating piece.

 

1877 Indian Head Penny Rarities and Key Dates

1877 Indian Head Penny Rarities and Key Dates

Atypically, the 1877 Indian head penny had a low circulation, and it seems that there were no errors among minted pieces. It is not surprising if it is true that the entire mintage was struck from one reverse matrix.

According to the data, one matrix circulation without damage is about 100,000 coins. It supports the opinion that significantly fewer pieces than officially noted 825,500 were produced that year.

 

Fake 1877 Indian Head Pennies

Fake 1877 Indian Head Pennies
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As usual, you can find counterfeit 1877 Indian Head penny variants on the market. That often happens when a particular coin is scarce and sought after.

The only way to protect yourself is to know the original penny look. So, it is necessary to pay attention to a few details, including:

  • Any visible signs of an attempt to change the minting date
  • A coin is either heavier or lighter than the original one despite its adequate appearance at first glance
  • A porous look

Finally, it is advisable to rely on the expert’s advice or buy coins from authorized dealers to avoid fraud.

However, you can find fake pennies made for fun and buy them as a souvenir or gift. There is no doubt that a piece you look at is not the original coin in this case. For instance, it is:

  • Either much smaller or much larger than the original
  • Of regular size with the inscription REPLICA or COPY

Even though these specimens are not real, they look very realistic and lovely.

 

1877 Indian Head Penny Grading

1877 Indian Head Penny Grading

Such old coins as the 1877 Indian head penny rarely appear on the coin market. That is why it is best to have an expert appraiser evaluate them. However, you can also rely on the usual guidelines for coin evaluation and do it on your own.

1877 Indian head penny value*

Quality Price
Good $855
Very good $950
Fine $1,425
Very fine $1,900
Extra fine $2,470
Uncirculated $3,990
Brilliant uncirculated brown $7,125
Brilliant uncirculated red/brown $14,250
Brilliant uncirculated red $19,000

*by Hobbizine

Uncirculated – You are unlikely to encounter an old coin like the 1877 Indian head penny in the mint state. Such a piece wasn’t in circulation, so there were no signs of wear or any damage. If you were lucky enough and found one, it would have an original luster with preserved design details.

1877 Indian head penny value*

Good $610
Very fine $1,460
Extra fine $2,315
AU $3,000
MS 63 $4,740
MS 65 $11,780
PR 65 $6,650

*by COIN HelpU

Extra fine – This assessment shows that the coin was in circulation for a short time so that you can see only mild wear signs on its surface. While the penny look is still beautiful, you can notice changes are on the hair curls on the Liberty’s neck, above her eye, and along the Indian headdress.

Fine – The coin with this rating was in circulation for a long time, and that is why you can see clear signs of wear on its surface. Beautiful design parts are worn out and flat.

Changes are most visible on Liberty’s cheek, cleavage, and Indian headdress, while curls on the neck merged into one. The word LIBERTY on the headband is a little bit worn out but still legible.

1877 Indian head penny value*

Quality 1877 brown 1877 red/brown 1877 red
Good $474 to $576 / /
Very good $630 to $934 / /
Fine $960 to $1,210 / /
Very fine $1,220 to $2,160 / /
Extra fine $2,000 to $2,730 / /
AU $2,750 to $4,600 / /
MS 60 $4,060 to $4,670 / /
MS 61 $4,120 to $4,740 / /
MS 62 $4,500 to $5,180 $5,500 to $6,320 /
MS 63 $6,250 to $7,190 $7,810 to $8,980 $11,200 to $12,400
MS 64 $7,750 to $8,750 $10,200 to $11,800 $18,000 to $20,700
MS 65 $10,900 to $12,000 $14,100 to $18,000 $39,600 to $45,500
MS 66 $15,000 to $18,000 $32,100 to $37,200 $126,000 to $144,900

*by Greysheet

Good – The time this coin spent in circulation left visible signs of wear on its surface, and it is smooth without visible relief details. For instance, the hair above Liberty’s eye, curls, ribbons on her neck, and the headband are no longer sharp and separated.

Finally, the word Liberty on the headband is no longer visible. However, even such a piece in poor condition is not abundant on the coin market, and you can expect to set aside at least $500 for it.

 

Summary

The 1877 Indian head penny is a rare high-value coin. It is a favorite piece among collectors who are willing to pay enormous money to complete their collections. If you are lucky and own such a piece, you can sell it for a lot of money, and even the specimen in the worst condition is worth a small fortune.

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