This was the first year that Indian Head pennies were minted. Before 1859, every cent was large in size. 1859 was the first year that small cents were introduced. The 1859 Indian Head pennies have value as numismatic coins. Keep reading to learn more about these one cent coins.

1859 Indian Head Penny

Specifications

Type: Indian Head Penny
Year: 1859
Face Value: $0.01
Composition: 88% copper, 12% nickel
Total Weight: 4.67 grams

There is no mint mark on this coin. Each coin was minted in Philadelphia.

Series Location Quantity Minted
1859 Philadelphia 36,400,000
1859 Proof Philadelphia 800

Value

The 1859 Indian Head penny is worth around $15 in good condition. In very fine condition the value is around $55. In extremely fine condition the value is around $110. In uncirculated condition the price is around $285 for coins with an MS 60 grade. Uncirculated coins with a grade of MS 63 can sell for around $700.

The 1859 Indian Head proof penny is worth around $1,650 in PR 63 condition.

Rare Oak Wreath Coins

In 1860 the design changed slightly on both the obverse and reverse sides of the coin. The new design, known as type 2, has an oak wreath and a shield on the reverse side of the coin. A small number of 1859 pennies have this design. There were 1,000 of these coins minted but they were never released into circulation. Currently there are estimated to be around 200 known to exist.

The 1859 Indian Head penny with the oak wreath and shield reverse is worth around $1,100 in uncirculated conditon with a grade of MS 63.

Grading System

Good- The word "LIBERTY" inscribed on Liberty's headband is not visible.

Very fine- The word "LIBERTY" inscribed on Liberty's headband is visible but there is slight wear.

Extremely fine- The word "LIBERTY" inscribed on Liberty's headband is sharp. The other details on the coin are also sharp. There is slight wear on the end of the ribbon.

MS 60 uncirculated- There are no signs of wear. The coin has luster, but there may be a few stains, abrasions, or surface marks.

MS 63 choice uncirculated- In the major focal areas there are some blemishes or contact marks. The coin's luster might not be as prominent.

PR 63 proof- This coin has reflective surfaces and only a few blemishes away from the major focal points. There are no major flaws.

 

Sources:

The Red Book


See also:

1860 Indian Head Penny
1861 Indian Head Penny
1862 Indian Head Penny