How Much is a 1893 Indian Head Penny Worth? (Price Chart)

Indian head pennies are one-cent coins the US Mint produced from 1859 to 1909, based on the James Longacre design. You can find two types of different weights. The first pieces minted from 1859 to 1864 weighed 0.16473 (4.67 g).

A modern version struck from 1864 to 1909 was lighter, making them the first US small cents. The 1893 Indian head penny value is not exceptionally high since it is widely available on the current coin market. However, each specimen in decent condition is a valuable part of this historical series, making it collectible.

1893 Indian Head Penny History

The US Mint Chief Engraver Longacre designed the Indian head penny, the first US small cent produced from 1864 to 1909. Initially, this coin weighed 0.16473 (4.67 g), but it was changed in 1864. That year, the coin’s weight was reduced to 0.10970 ounces (3.11 g).

However, that was not the only change. Besides wreath modification, the US Mint added a shield to the coin reverse in 1860 as the first variation. Plus, coins produced before 1864 contained 88% copper with nickel, but all pieces struck after that period was made of 95% copper with added tin and zinc.

1893 Indian head penny

Location Year Minted
Philadelphia 1893 46,640,000
Philadelphia 1893 proof 2,195
Total 46,642,195

The 1893 Indian head penny has a beautiful obverse with Lady Liberty in the center. Lady? Not an Indian warrior? Yes! Regardless of the coin name based on the headdress that Lady Liberty wears on her head, James Longacre created it without thinking about Native Americans.

1893 Indian head penny

Face value $0.01 (one cent)
Compound 95% copper – 5% tin and zinc
Coin weight 0.10970 ounces (3.11 g)
Coin diameter 0.74803 inches (19 mm)
Shape Round
Edge Plain

Lady’s image is surrounded by the country name and the date, making the design relatively simple. The coin reverse is lovely, with the denomination ONE CENT placed centrally.

An oak wreath goes along the rim with lower ends fastened with ribbon and three arrows. A shield with 13 strips is proudly placed on the top.

1893 Indian head penny value

Quality 1893
Good $3.3
Very good $3.9
Fine $5.7
Very fine $9.1
Extra fine $23
AU $31
MS 60 $67
MS 63 $91
Proof 63 $169

(USA Coin book)

Unlike contemporary American coinage, you can’t find the inscription IN GOD WE TRUST and the motto E PLURIBUS UNUM struck on the surface. In those times, they weren’t a mandatory part of the law-based design like nowadays.

Indian head penny is one of the longest-running series in the US that includes at least one key date and numerous semi-keys and varieties.

If you are a dedicated collector, you can purchase the entire series for $2,500 to $14,000, depending on the coins’ condition and added proofs and varieties.

 

1893 Indian Head Penny Types

1893 Indian head penny

1893 Indian head penny
Image

The Philadelphia mint produced 46,640,000 Indian head pennies in 1893, besides proofs. Although these coins are over a century old, they are still abundant, particularly in low grades.

As a result, you can find such a piece for $1.5 to $3, depending on the dealer. On the other hand, you can buy those in uncirculated conditions for $40 to $60. Then, the prices go mad.

1893 Indian head penny value

Year Quality
Good Fine Extra fine Uncirculated
1893 $3 $5 $20 $30

(JM Bullion)

While brown coins with an MS 66 rating can reach $550, red-brown pieces are a bit more expensive. You need to set aside up to $1,400 for such a specimen.

As expected, the most costly are rare red 1893 Indian head pennies. Some almost perfect pieces in MS 67 grade often reach $20,000 to $25,000.

1893 Indian head penny value

Year Quality
Fine Extra fine AU Uncirculated
1893 $1.49 $3 $8 $30

(CoinStudy)

The most expensive is the 1893 MS 67 Indian head penny that holds an auction record of $43,125. One collector set aside so much money at Heritage auctions in 2009.

1893 proof Indian head penny

1893 proof Indian head penny

The Philadelphia mint used special dies on precisely polished planchets to produce 1,000 to 3,000 proof Indian pennies each year. With 2,195 produced pieces, the 1893 year was average, making these beautiful coins moderately available nowadays.

Their price depends on the color and is minimal for pieces with a PR 60 rating. The least expensive brown specimens will cost you about $110, while precious red pennies can reach $230.

1893 proof Indian head penny value

Quality 1893 proof BN 1893 proof RB 1893 proof RD
PR 60 $110 to $132 $135 to $162 $200 to $230
PR 61 $125 to $150 $170 to $195.5 $225 to $258.75
PR 62 $145 to $174 $200 to $230 $250 to $287.5
PR 63 $170 to $195.50 $230 to $264.5 $280 to $322
PR 64 $225 to $258.75 $325 to $373.75 $450 to $517.5
PR 65 $325 to $373.75 $440 to $506 $900 to $1,035
PR 66 $700 to $850 $900 to $1,050 $1,100 to $1,610
PR 67 $2,750 to $3,250 $3,250 to $3,750 $3,800 to $4,370

(Greysheet)

Typically, collectors look for pennies in a PR 67 grade, but they can be costly. While brown and red-brown coins’ price ranges between $2,750 and $3,750, red specimens won’t be cheaper than $3,800 to $4,500.

The most expensive 1893 PR 66 Indian head penny was paid $6,325 at Heritage auctions in 2006.

 

1893 Indian Head Penny Variations

1893 Indian Head Penny Variations

Despite numerous variations you can find in this series, the 1893 Indian head penny is a pretty standard coin without exciting surprises. The only challenge is to find a piece in the mint state.

However, you can choose among three toning types available on the market. Thanks to the copper property to change color in contact with oxygen, you can find brown, red-brown, and red pieces.

1893 Indian head penny value

Quality 1893 brown 1893 red-brown 1893 red
Good $1.75 to $2.1 / /
Very good $2 to $2.7 / /
Fine $2.50 to $3.6 / /
Very fine $3.50 to $7.2 / /
Extra fine $8 to $12 / /
AU $17 to $36.4 / /
MS 60 $40 to $46 / /
MS 61 $44 to $50.8 / /
MS 62 $54 to $62.8 / /
MS 63 $60 to $72 $100 to $120 $220 to $280
MS 64 $115 to $138 $225 to $258.75 $360 to $500
MS 65 $225 to $258.75 $400 to $460 $800 to $1,200
MS 66 $450 to $550 $1,200 to $1,400 $1,600 to $2,800
MS 67 / / $20,000 to $25,000

(Greysheet)

Brown specimens in the mint state are pretty weird. They look like uninteresting old cents, but it is impossible to find traces of wear on their surface. The only reason for color change is inadequate storage out of the protective bags.

On the other hand, coins stored appropriately and saved away from oxygen are still red. Most collectors want such a piece in their collections, but they can be expensive, with a price tag of several thousand dollars.

 

1893 Indian Head Penny Grading

1893 Indian Head Penny Grading

Once you find a 120-year-old coin, the first thing to check is its condition. Even though you can roughly estimate it yourself, the best option is to have such a specimen professionally inspected.

Uncirculated РIt is highly challenging to come across one of the pieces that survived during the time in the mint state. However, you can hope that miracles are possible. This piece has images with perfectly preserved details and beautiful luster.

1893 Indian head penny value

Quality 1893
Good $1.65
Very good $2.4
Fine $3.8
Very fine $4.75
Extra fine $11.4
UNC $33.25
BU brown $240
BU red-brown $430
BU red $1,330

(Hobbizine)

Extra fine – The 1893 Indian head penny in this grade has sharply defined details with only slight signs of wear over Lady Liberty’s headband. All letters have clearly defining lines and are fully separated. It spent only limited time in circulation, but it was enough to lose the original mint luster.

Fine – After a long period of exchanging hands, this coin’s surface is a bit worn, and you can see numerous scratches. However, images are recognizable, and inscriptions are readable. Lady Liberty’s headdress is worn out, and you can notice that the feathers’ ends are missing.

1893 Indian head penny value

Quality 1893
Good $2
Very good $2.3
Fine $2.3
Very fine $4
Extra fine $5.4
AU $28
Uncirculated

(Numista)

Good – This worn coin with a shallow relief lacks delicate details. Lady’s eye is hardly defined, while the feathers in the headdress are only an outline. The date and most lettering are barely visible, while the coin’s surface is full of scratching due to long-lasting use. Nevertheless, this piece is desirable and collectible, thanks to its age.

 

Summary

Since the 1893 Indian head penny doesn’t contain any precious metals, its crucial value is in its age. Paradoxically, its price is rarely too high since it is actually in a group of the newer Indian Heads generation. As you can guess, many collectors want this beautiful piece of American history in their collections.

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