How Much is a 1905 Indian Head Penny Worth (Price Chart)

The US Mint produced Indian pennies in two series from 1859 to 1864 and changed their composition and size in 1864. A group of coins minted from 1900 to 1909 is highly collectible, but it is challenging to find one in decent condition. Therefore, the 1905 Indian head penny value increases slightly with its age.

Even though such penny type is considered abundant in low grades, highly preserved pieces are less available and more desirable. That is a reason for the wide price range. For instance, you can purchase one for about $2, while rare red specimens can reach over $15,000. Let’s take a look.

1905 Indian Head Penny History

Engraver James Longacre designed a new Indian head penny in 1859 to replace the Flying Eagle. Despite its name, the image on the obverse wasn’t based on an American Native but represented Lady Liberty wearing a headdress on her head.

1905 Indian head penny

Location Year Minted
Philadelphia 1905 80,717,011
Philadelphia 1905 proof 2,152
Total / 80,719,163

Initially, a new penny contained 88% copper with added nickel, but the US mint changed the composition in 1864. That year, a new coin version with reduced weight and a changed alloy appeared. This coin type contained 95% copper with added zinc and tin.

1905 Indian head penny

Face value $0.01 (one cent)
Compound 95% copper with an alloy of 5% tin and zinc
Coin weight 0.10970 ounces (3.11 g)
Coin diameter 0.74803 inches (19 mm)
Coin thickness 0.03937 (1 mm)
Shape Round
Edge Plain

The penny obverse shows a beautiful Lady Liberty wearing a headdress with the word LIBERTY over the ribbon holding her hair. You can also see the inscription UNITED STATES OF AMERICA along the coin rim and the date below the Lady’s neck.

Besides the piece from 1859, all later Indian head pennies contained a shield on the reverse. The US Mint also replaced a laurel wreath with an oak wreath the same year.

The denomination ONE CENT is placed in the center, surrounded by the wreath and three arrows tied with a ribbon at the bottom. You can notice a rim with tiny denticles decorating both coin obverse and reverse.


1905 Indian Head Penny Types

The 1905 Indian head penny is a pretty common and widely available coin on the current market. Most collectors look for them as an affordable part of this desirable series, but some highly preserved pieces can be incredibly pricey.

1905 Indian head penny

1905 Indian head penny

The Philadelphia mint struck 80,717,011 Indian head pennies in 1905, besides proofs. They are typically worth about $3 to $25 in average condition, but you can count on $40 to $65 for pieces in the mint state.

1905 Indian head penny value*

Quality 1905
Good $2.3
Very good $3.3
Fine $5.1
Very fine $6.6
Extra fine $11
AU $23
MS 60 $42
MS 63 $63
Proof 63 $160

*by USA Coin book

Rare specimens in an MS 66 grade will be costly, and you can find one for $250 to $1,500, depending on color.

The most expensive pieces are red pennies with an MS 67 rating with a price of $15,000 to $17,250. One perfect specimen in this grade reached an auction record of $19,975 in 2013.

1905 proof Indian head penny

1905 proof Indian head penny

Precisely 2,152 proof Indian head pennies were minted in Philadelphia in 1905. They are typically scarce nowadays, particularly pieces in gem condition and with cameo contrast.

1905 proof Indian head penny value*

Quality 1905 BN 1905 RB 1905 RD
PR 60 $110 to $132 $135 to $162 $200 to $230
PR 61 $125 to $150 $170 to $195.50 $225 to $258.75
PR 62 $145 to $174 $200 to $230 $250 to $287.50
PR 63 $170 to $195.50 $230 to $264.50 $280 to $322
PR 64 $225 to $258.75 $325 to $373.75 $450 to $517.50
PR 65 $325 to $373.75 $440 to $506 $900 to $1,035
PR 66 $700 to $850 $900 to $1,050 $1,400 to $1,610
PR 67 $2,750 to $3,250 $3,250 to $3,750 $3,800 to $4,370

*by Greysheet

You can expect to pay $100 to $250 for specimens in PR 60 grade, depending on their color. That price significantly raises for a PR 66 piece. Therefore, you should set aside at least $700 for a brown penny. On the other hand, the one with a red surface will be worth over $1,600.

As expected, the most pricey are rarities in PR 67, with a price of $2,800 for a brown specimen and $4,500 for the red-shaded coin. One such piece reached an impressive $23,000 at auction in 2009.


1905 Indian Head Penny Rarities

The 1905 Indian head penny has no known rarities or intriguing errors. In most cases, collectors buy this coin to fulfill their sets. The complete with circulated coins typically costs about $2,000, while the one containing pennies in the mint state can reach $14,000.

Market Analysis

Market Analysis

Without silver and gold in their composition, the 1905 Indian head pennies’ value won’t depend on the precious metals market. Therefore, only historical significance and demand among collectors determine their price.

Be aware that Indian head pennies from 1905 are a part of highly appreciated sub-set collectibles minted from 1900 to 1909. The most costly are pieces with the fully readable date and letters in inscriptions.

Since many collectors appreciate these small American pennies, the market is permanently active. You can expect high-grade coins to be valuable, while rare red pieces can be pretty expensive.


1905 Indian Head Penny Grading

1905 Indian Head Penny Grading

As is always the case with over a century old coins, the 1905 Indian head penny value primarily depends on its condition. Most collectors will pay more for a piece in high grades, but they require professional estimation.

However, you can check your specimen and roughly determine whether it is economically justified to send it to PCGS or NGC for assessment.

Uncirculated – Collectors always appreciate such a piece without the slightest signs of wear, especially when it comes to an old coin. Depending on copper toning, you can find red and red-brown types on the coin market.

Such color changes are expected due to aging, so you should be only concerned about whether the design is untouched.

1905 Indian head penny value*

Quality 1905 1905 RB 1905 RD
G 4 $1 to $1.2 / /
G 6 $1.20 to $1.44 / /
VG 8 $1.50 to $1.8 / /
VG 10 $1.55 to $1.9 / /
F12 $1.75 to $2.1 / /
F 15 $2 to $2.40 / /
VF 20 $2.50 to $3 / /
VF 25 $2.75 to $3.3 / /
VF 30 $3 to $3.60 / /
VF 35 $3.25 to $3.9 / /
XF 40 $5 to $6 / /
XF 45 $10 to $12 / /
AU 50 $17 to $20.4 / /
AU 53 $18 to $21.6 / /
AU 55 $20 to $24 / /
AU 58 $22 to $26.4 / /
MS 60 $30 to $36 / /
MS 61 $34 to $40.8 $45 to $54 $70 to $84
MS 62 $44 to $52.8 $55 to $66 $90 to $108
MS 63 $58 to $69.6 $75 to $90 $130 to $156
MS 64 $70 to $84 $125 to $150 $240 to $288
MS 65 $110 to $132 $200 to $230 $565 to $673
MS 66 $260 to $312 $360 to $414 $1,320 to $1,540
MS 67 / / $15,000 to $17,250

*by Greysheet

Extra fine – It can be tricky to distinguish such a coin from the one in the mint state. In most cases, only an expert can give you a precise estimation after observing a coin with a magnifying glass.

Since signs of wear are minimal, a piece rating that way is highly desirable among collectors. When evaluating your penny, always check whether the headband is well-defined with the clearly visible word Liberty.

Fine – This coin was pulled from circulation after months or years of use, leaving it with numerous scratches and stains on the surface.

You can see that Liberty’s face and hair are still separated, but the highest design points are now without delicate details. Inscriptions are typically flattened but still legible.

1905 Indian head penny value*

Year Quality
Good Fine Extra fine Uncirculated
*by JM Bullion
1905 $2 $4.5 $10 $20
*by CoinStudy
1905 $1.2 $1.9 $5 $30

Good – Coins with this rating are abundant nowadays since most of them spent years in circulation. You can see numerous stains and scratches on their surface, while most imagery parts are compromised without original texture.

Such a worn-out piece has a flattened Liberty’s portrait without a separated headband and hair. Since this penny is over a century old, it will be collectible even in this condition when the date is still visible.



Since the US Mint produced more than 80 million Indian head pennies in 1905, they are considered pretty standard, particularly pieces in low grades. On the other hand, you can earn a little fortune with a rare specimen with an MS 67 rating. Such an old coin will be a lovely addition to your collection.

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