How Much is a 1889 Indian Head Penny Worth (Price Chart)

Every Indian head penny is rare, but at what price would you sell it if you one? When you want to buy these coins, how much do you think you’ll you spend?

Keep reading to get the correct prices for these pennies. Here, we’ll tell you about the 1889 Indian head penny value.

The specs on these pennies have a profound message about American history. Some of its features are present in the other ancient US pennies.

This coin’s value will vary with many factors that dwell on the looks. But expect the pennies to sell at a reasonable price for the seller and buyer.

Are you ready? Let’s first understand the meaning of the 1889 head penny.

What is the 1889 Indian Head Penny?

What is the 1889 Indian Head Penny

The 1889 Indian head penny came into the US market in 1859. Its reverse and obverse design came from James B. Longacre.

James was the US’s chief engraver from 1844 to 1869. Also, James pushed the nation to mint the two-cent coin during his reign. It was the first one with the US motto “In God We Trust.”

This penny falls in the Indian head’s third variety of coins. From the 1880s to today, the 1889 Indian head pennies have been a gem to most collectors.

Features of the Penny

Weight, size, and Color

Expect the coin’s weight to be 3.11 grams. It has 95% copper and 5 % zinc and tin. When the penny is in a normal state, the coin has a brown color.

Letter Mark

This Indian head coin doesn’t have any letter marks. Well, it’s because of the firm’s nature not to strike the coins with any letter.


Liberty’s head with an Indian headband is at the center of the coin’s head. The cap is a tag on every Indian head coin.

Remember, the figure represents Miss Liberty. James molded the shape after his daughter. Still, the penny has “LIBERTY” on Liberty’s hat on the head.

Also, you’ll see the code United States of America on top. The year 1889 is at the bottom.


Expect to see the word “ONE CENT” at the center when you look at the coin on reverse. You’ll also find an oak wreath and shield. These specs make the penny beautiful.

Which Mints Struck the Indian Head Penny?

All 1889 Indian head pennies only came from the Philadelphia mint. It was the first mint in the USA.

This firm made the coins without any letter marks. This uniqueness attracts many collectors and thus increases the penny’s value.

The mint made only 48 866 025 Indian head pennies. Also, the mint struck 1889 Indian head Proof pennies, which were only 3 336. Today, these proof coins have a great value.

Reasons for Minting the Indian Head Penny

These Indian head cents came in during the US civil war. Many people were hoarding copper and nickel cents. So, the government made the Indian heads with a copper alloy.

James wanted the coin’s art to spread the nation’s heritage. That’s why it has Liberty’s face on the head.

Also, it was to boost the nation’s economy. So, the US government made them in large numbers.

Factors that Influence the Indian Head Penny’s Value

Factors that Influence the Indian Head Penny's Value

Like the other coins, some aspects determine the penny’s value. These factors revolve around the condition of the 1889 Indian head penny. Please take a look at them.

Grading System

When you look at your 1889 Indian head penny, you can know its grade. The coin can be good, very fine, extremely fine, or uncirculated. Let’s take a look at each grade.

  • Good

Your 1889 Indian head coin will be good when it has many scratches and has lost the most quality specs. Here, the word Liberty on the coin’s head won’t be visible.

Coins under the good grade have passed through many hands. Liberty’s face is faint and maybe separate from the neck. So, the absence of these specs makes the good coins have a low value.

  • Very Fine

As for the very fine grade, your coin will lack some specs and with lesser scratches than the one in the good group. You’ll see the word Liberty with ease.

Still, on the coin’s head, the feathers look faint. Remember, the coin will still look beautiful.

  • Extremely Fine

The coins in the extremely fine class have very few scratches. Also, most features like the word Liberty on the head are super clear. It’s because very few people have touched such coins.

Expect to see some scratches on the headband’s ribbon. But your coin should have in-depth details and be lovely.

  • Uncirculated Grade

1889 Indian head pennies that fall under the uncirculated grade are the best. These coins never passed through many people’s hands.

Since a few people have used the coin, expect it to have close to zero scratches. Most have the original luster on both surfaces.

Under the uncirculated grade, your coin can be in an MS 60 or MS 63. The MS 60 pennies have no wear signs. Luster is still present but with a few stains and marks.

MS 63 coins have some blemishes on the surface’s key areas. Here, there’s lesser luster quality.

You’ll enjoy the looks of the PR 63 Proof coins. Everything on these coins looks new and beautiful.


The US government minted many 1889 Indian pennies, but still, the coins are rare to find. Also, it’s hard to get the 1889 Indian head Proof coins.

Remember, your coin’s grade can determine its rarity. For example, when you have an uncirculated 1889 Indian head penny, know that you have a gem.

If you have the 1889 Indian head Proof coins or the uncirculated ones, expect to sell them at a high price. These other coins in the lower grades have a lesser value.

Care for the Coin

You should take good care of your coins, even when it’s tricky to get a buyer. Remember, no collector will pay much money for a penny that’s not in excellent condition.

So, ensure you keep your coin in a place where it will be free from rust. Also, avoid touching the center of the penny to prevent any possible scratches.

Keeping your coins clean is excellent. But it won’t determine the value of your 1889 Indian head penny. You should never wash the penny because you can scratch it.

The Coin’s Demand

Sometimes, you may want to sell or buy the 1889 Indian Head pennies when it has a high or low market need. Today, many collectors market the ancient US coins like the 1889 Indian head penny.

Remember, there are times when people can sell their coins when they expect an economic fall. So, the need and value for the 1889 Indian head pennies will reduce.

The 1889 Indian head pennies come from a copper alloy. So, its value competes with coins with a silver or gold alloy.

A collector may buy the coin because of its melt value. Expect the price to be lower than other coins with metals like silver when it happens.

Indian Head Penny’s Value

Indian Head Penny’s Value

So, let’s look at the vital matter, the 1889 Indian head penny’s value in today’s market. Whether you are a buyer, collector, or seller, your coin’s value will depend on its present looks.

Also, only the coins with the 1889-year mark can sell. Expect to sell or buy your penny from $1.54 to around $91. Every 1889 Indian head penny has a face value of 0.01 USD.

What you’ll pay or earn depends on the coin’s grade and other factors. If you have the Proof of the 1889 Indian head coin, you’ll sell it for at least $150.

If you are a seller, expect your market to be from collectors who aim to build type sets of coins. Also, you can sell them to numismatists that collect many Indian pennies.

Sometimes, you can sell these coins to people who want to have their collection of classic US coins. So, it would be best if you never worried about the market.

You can get these 1889 Indian head pennies in online coin shops or pawnshops when you want to buy them. These places sell coins that the US made in the 19th and 20th centuries.

When buying these coins from a shop, buy the ones with the pass from the NGC or the U. S mint. If you buy the ones without certification, be sure of the specs on the coin.

Here is a table of the values of different 1889 Indian head pennies.

The Coin’s Condition

Date Good Very Fine Extremely Fine Uncirculated MS 60 Uncirculated MS 63
1889 1.54 USD 3 USD 18 USD At least 60 USD At least 91 USD



The 1889 Indian head pennies have a high value depending on their present condition. Also, some collectors can buy the coin for its metal value. This coin has a copper alloy.

What you’ll pay or get from the sale of this penny mainly depends on the grade. If the coin is under a good grade, know that it has a low value.

You’ll get many dollars if your coin is under the uncirculated grade. Also, when you have the 1889 Indian head Proof coins, you’ll sell them at a high price.

Do you now know how much you’ll earn when you sell your 1889 Indian head penny? Please share with us its possible value.


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