How Much is a 1899 Indian Head Penny Worth? (Price Chart)

Total Indian head penny production was 1,849,648,000 specimens from 1859 to 1909. After 1864, the US Mint changed these coins’ composition. As a result, all 53,598,000 regular pieces and 2,031 proofs the Philadelphia mint struck in 1899 contained a higher copper percentage than originals.

Interestingly, the 1899 Indian head penny value is not high despite unbelievable popularity among collectors. However, you can still get more money for it than the face value struck on the reverse. They exist in most grades, with the price that depends on their condition and color.

1899 Indian Head Penny History

The Indian head penny is a one-cent coin equaling one-hundredth of a US dollar. This piece became the lowest-value American currency since the half-cent was canceled in 1857.

Engraver James Barton Longacre created the Indian head penny and probably based Lady Liberty’s image on his daughter’s face. The new design became official in 1859 as a replacement to the Flying Eagle. The US Mint started producing this coin type in January that year and continued until 1909.

1899 Indian head penny

Location Year Minted
Philadelphia 1899 53,598,000
Philadelphia 1899 proof 2,031
Total / 53,600,031

When looking at the 1899 Indian head penny obverse, you will see Lady Liberty wearing an Indian headdress. The favorite American word LIBERTY is struck on the ribbon on her head. A tiny letter L is the sculptor’s initials appearing on this coin in 1864.

She is surrounded by the inscription UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and the date. Plus, you can notice tiny denticles along the coin rim, which is crucial for determining the coin grade since there is no reeding.

1899 Indian head penny

Face value $0.01 (1 cent)
Compound 95% Copper plus zinc and tin
Coin weight 0.10970 ounces (3.11 g)
Coin diameter 0.74803 inches (19 mm)
Coin thickness 0.05905 inches (1.5 mm)
Edge Plain
Shape Round

The reverse is relatively simple, with the denomination ONE CENT in the center. Two oak branches rise along both coin sides tied with a bow, plus you can see three arrows on the bottom.

Oak wreath replaced a laurel wreath in 1860, and arrows became the design part the same year. Finally, you can see a shield with 13 stripes at the very top, symbolizing the original US states.

1899 Indian head penny value*

Quality 1899
Good $3.3
Very good $3.9
Fine $5.7
Very fine $9.1
Extra fine $17
AU $28
MS 60 $45
MS 63 $74
PR 63 $169

*by USA Coin Book

Following the law, only the Philadelphia mint produced this one-cent bronze coin by 1906. An Act of Congress provided these denomination minting in other mints that year.

However, the 1899 Indian head penny was minted a few years before that moment. As a result, you can find only pieces without the mint mark.

 

1899 Indian Head Penny Types

1899 Indian head penny

1899 Indian head penny
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As I have already mentioned, all mintage of 53,598,000 Indian head pennies struck in 1899 came from Philadelphia. Even though these coins are over a century old, they are not rare on the coin market. Therefore, you can find pieces in circulated conditions for $2 to $30.

1899 Indian head penny value*

Quality 1899
Good $1.65
Very good $2.4
Fine $3.8
Very fine $4.75
Extra fine $12.4
Uncirculated $33.25
BU brown $160
BU red-brown $215
BU red $665

*by Hobbizine

Most specimens in the mint state will cost you a modest $40 to $150. According to PCGS, one beautiful 1899 MS 66 Indian head penny was sold for $17,825 in 2006, making an auction record.

1899 proof Indian head penny

1899 proof Indian head penny
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Besides regular coins, the Philadelphia mint struck 2,031 proof Indian head pennies in 1899. As expected, their price is higher, and you should set aside $260 to $5,500 for a piece in the mint state.

One collector paid $1,880 for 1889 AU 55 BN Indian head penny in 2017 at Heritage auctions, which is a pretty high rate. When it comes to specimens in uncirculated conditions, you can find information for two coins with an unusually high price.

1899 proof Indian head penny value*

Quality 1899 proof red 1899 proof brown
PR 60 $260 to $300 $110 to $132
PR 61 $300 to $345 $125 to $150
PR 62 $350 to $402.5 $145 to $174
PR 63 $400 to $460 $170 to $195.5
PR 64 $800 to $920 $225 to $259
PR 65 $1,900 to $2,185 $325 to $374
PR 66 $3,600 to $5,500 $700 to $850
PR 67 / $2,750 to $3,250

*by Greysheet

Keep in mind that red pieces are always more appreciated and costly than those with a brown shade over the surface. Auction records will show how significant color can be in this case.

The 1899 PR 67 BN Indian head penny reached $2,700 in 2021. On the other hand, the most expensive specimen is the 1899 PR 66 RD Indian head penny paid $9,400 in 2015.

 

1899 Indian Head Penny Variations

1899 Indian Head Penny Variations

The Philadelphia mint produced numerous coins in 1899 without significant rarities, errors, or key dates. However, you can determine these pennies’ value by their color since it is possible to recognize specimens in red, red-brown, and brown shades.

Such toning is expected on copper coins, but it significantly affects their value. Collectors typically prefer red pieces since they haven’t been exposed much to air after minting. As you can guess, they are the most expensive on the coin market.

This bright red coloring starts darkening over time, and coins become browner when copper-oxide forming begins on their surface. Be aware that these brown specimens are not damaged, but their color is different and a bit darker.

You can even find red coins with partial toning, depending on storage conditions. This type is in a group of red-brown pennies, with a higher price than an entirely brown specimen.

 

Market Analysis

As you know, Indian head pennies are not made of precious metals, so their value depends only on the date and condition. These coins’ price is always related to demand on the market, and they will only cost as much as collectors are willing to pay for them.

The positive side is that precious metals’ price fluctuations never affect their value. Plus, many collectors look for these pieces, making the market pretty active. Therefore, there is no indication that demand for Indian head pennies will decrease in the future.

 

1899 Indian Head Penny Grading

1899 Indian Head Penny Grading

Uncirculated – No one ever used this particular 1899 Indian head penny, so it is still in the mint state. In other words, it retained its original luster, and its texture is untouched.

Red coins are the most appreciated. Unfortunately, some pieces have been toned over time and got a brown shade, decreasing their value.

1899 Indian head penny value

Year Quality
Good Fine Extra fine Uncirculated
1899 Indian head penny (JM Bullion)
1899 $3 $6 $15 $26
1899 Indian head penny (COIN HelpU)
1899 $1 / / $32
1899 Indian head penny (CoinStudy)
1899 $1.2 $2 $7 $31

Extra fine – This 1899 Indian head penny spent a limited period in circulation, but you can barely notice any difference in their appearance.

You can see light signs of wear only when thoroughly inspecting its surface with a magnifying glass. Always look closely at the headdress and the word LIBERTY since they are the first to lose their sharpness and delicate details.

Fine – In this case, you will notice visible signs of wear as a result of long-term use. Even though fine details haven’t been entirely merged, the highest points are smooth and a bit dull.

The Liberty’s hair and ribbon behind her neck are separated but flattened. Numerous scratches all over the coin surface diminish its beauty.

1899 Indian head penny value*

Quality 1899 1899 red 1899 red-brown
Good $1 to $1.45 / /
Very good $1.5 to $1.85 / /
Fine $1.75 to $2.5 / /
Very fine $2.5 to $3.9 / /
Extra fine $5 to $10 / /
AU $17 to $26.5 / /
MS 60 $30 to $36 / /
MS 61 $34 to $40.8 $70 to $84 $46 to $54
MS 62 $44 to $52.8 $90 to $108 $55 to $66
MS 63 $58 to $69.6 $130 to $156 $75 to $90
MS 64 $70 to $84 $240 to $288 $125 to $150
MS 65 $110 to $132 $540 to $648 $200 to $230
MS 66 / $1,200 to $1,400 $450 to $517.5
MS 67 / $5,250 to $6,250 /

*by Greysheet

Good – The 1899 Indian head penny in this condition is barely collectible. It spent years in circulation, and its surface is scratched, fine details are lost, and the date and lettering are now in shallow profile. If you can’t see bending or denting, you can add this inexpensive piece to your collection.

 

Summary

The Indian head penny series is top-rated among collectors. The coin minted in 1899 is not expensive but is a desirable and collectible piece thanks to its age and historical significance. Always thoroughly examine your specimen to estimate its preservation level before trading.

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