The US mint produced Indian head pennies over a century ago. This means that getting Indian head pennies in fine or extremely fine condition is difficult. As the coins become rarer, coin collectors are more willing to pay top dollar to own them, especially if they are in good condition.
Although collecting 1901 Indian head pennies can be rewarding, it is vital to ensure you collect good-quality coins. To ensure you get value for your money, collect graded 1901 Indian head pennies.
You should answer various questions before buying a 1901 Indian head penny. What makes the 1901 Indian head pennies rare? How do you know the coins you purchase are of good quality? Is collecting 1901 Indian head pennies worth your time? Let’s find out!
Table of Contents
- 1 History of the Indian Head Penny
- 2 Factors Affecting the Value of the 1901 Indian Head Penny
- 3 1901 Indian Head Penny on eBay
- 4 1901 Indian Head Penny Errors
- 5 1901 Indian Head Penny No Mint Mark
- 6 1901 Indian Head Penny Collectibles-Colour Brown
- 7 1901 Indian Head Penny Value: FAQs
- 8 Final Thoughts
Indian Head Penny Overview
Metal Composition: 95$ copper, 5% Tin, and Zinc
Minted at: Philadelphia (No mint mark)
Diameter: 19 mm
Weight: 3.11 grams
Designer: James B. Longacre
Thickness: 1 mm
Indian Head Penny Design
On the obverse side of a 1901 Indian head penny is the image of a Caucasian Lady Liberty. She has the headgear for native Americans, which has bird feathers, and the term Liberty is on the headband at the base of the headpiece. The inscription United States of America surrounds Lady Liberty, and the year 1901 is at the bottom of Lady Liberty’s image.
Image by Usacoinbook
On the reverse of the Indian penny, the words ‘ONE CENT’ are at the center, showing the face value of the coin. At the top rim of the coin is a shield, and two oak wreaths surround the inscription one cent. At the bottom of the coin, we see a bow ribbon that ties the two wreaths together and three arrows pointing right.
Image by Usacoinbook
History of the Indian Head Penny
Engraver James B. Longacre was responsible for designing the Indian head pennies. Contrary to what the name may suggest, the image on the coin is not of American Indians but of Native Americans. Instead, the image is of a Caucasian Lady Liberty with a feathered headdress that is almost similar to those the natives used to wear.
The American mint produced the Indian head pennies from 1859 to 1909. The government tasked the Philadelphia mint with the minting of the Indian head penny. The Philadelphia mint released millions of Indian head pennies into circulation.
You may think Indian head pennies are worthless because so many were produced. This cannot be further from the truth because collectors have paid thousands to acquire rare Indian head pennies. Over the 50 years that the US mint produced the Indian head pennies, they made various changes to the design.
The 1859 Indian head pennies differed from those that followed in that they had no shield on the reverse. Coins from 1860 and onward had a wreath and shield on the reverse. The composition of the coins also changed from time to time due to scarcity or the high cost of the metals.
In 1864, they changed the composition from 88% copper and 12% nickel to 95% copper, 5% tin, and 10% zinc. Some 1864 Indian head pennies have an “L” for Longacre on a ribbon near Lady Liberty’s headdress.
Related: 1899 Indian Head Penny Value
Factors Affecting the Value of the 1901 Indian Head Penny
Over 76 million Indian head pennies came out of the Philadelphia mint in 1901. This means that these coins may be more common than others that collectors are interested in. However, this does not mean that your 1901 coin collection is worth less.
To understand the value of 1901 Indian head pennies, it is vital to know the factors that affect their value. These include the condition, rarity, and historical significance of the coin.
1901 Indian head pennies were in circulation for a long time. Although being over a century old makes the coins valuable, it also means that it is hard to find a coin in good condition. Most of these coins are worn out due to tear and wear, making their features almost unrecognizable. Coins in good condition or high-grade coins fetch good prices on the market.
The rarer the 1901 Indian head pennies in your collection, the more buyers will be willing to pay for them. The Indian head penny was only made at one mint in 1901, unlike other coins that were made in places like New Orleans, Carson City, and San Francisco.
That means there is no rarity due to mint marks, as they all have none. However, the Philadelphia mint produced 1901-proof coins. This makes proof coins rare, and they are highly demanded by collectors. You can get between $140 and $2500 for 1901 Indian-head penny-proof coins, which is not the highest amount you can get.
Historical Significance of the Coin
The 1901 Indian head pennies are an indication that the native Americans are as much a part of America’s history as any other people. So, the Indian Head series is a favorite among coin collectors who are interested in how coins have changed over time.
Image by Usacoinbook
1901 Indian Head Penny on eBay
When looking for buyers or if you are interested in buying 1901 Indian head pennies, eBay is an excellent place to start. The site is a good marketplace where sellers can post their coins, and you can see them and decide whether they are a good catch.
1901 Indian Head Penny Errors
Designer Longacre outdid himself and designed coins known for their beauty and perfection. That is why errors on these coins are rare, and when coin experts discover errors, the 1901 Indian head penny becomes more appealing and collectible.
Here are a few errors you can notice on these rare 1901 Indian head pennies:
Less than 10% of the 1901 Indian head pennies contain an off-center error. Therefore, this is an extremely rare error. Collectors are usually ready to pay more if a coin contains this error.
Coins that have this error have doublings on dates and letters, creating lips or shoulders on both sides of the coin. This error is rare, and thus, when collectors know of an existing coin, they try to outbid each other to take it home.
1901 Indian Head Penny No Mint Mark
The Philadelphia mint was the main mint in the USA, and all the coins produced bore no mint mark. They produced the 1901 Indian Head penny at this mint, and thus, it followed the no-mint design. So, don’t check your Indian head penny searching for a mint mark.
1901 Indian Head Penny Collectibles-Colour Brown
When collecting coins, it is important to note the coin’s condition. One indicator is whether the color is pleasing to the eyes. Circulated 1901 copper coins turn different shades of brown, depending on wear and tear.
So, look at the coin’s color! If it is not a beautiful shade of brown, it may not attract buyers ready to pay well.
1901 Indian Head Penny Value: FAQs
How Much Is a 1901 Indian Head Penny Worth?
Indian head pennies’ prices vary depending on condition and rarity. You can get between $1 and $30 for your 1901 Indian head penny. However, if you have well-preserved coins or rare errors, they can fetch a few thousand dollars. So if you have rare 1901 Indian head pennies in your collection, keep them safe, and they may fetch a significant amount in the near future.
What Indian Head Pennies Are Rare?
The 1909 Indian head penny had a very low mintage, making it rare and attractive to coin collectors. The 1877 Indian head cents are also rare because the US mint produced only 852,500 coins.
What Year Is the Rarest Indian Head Penny?
The 1909 S Indian head penny is the rarest, and coin collectors are ready to pay huge sums to attain these coins and add them to their collections. Due to the rarity of these coins, they are highly collectible, and if you sell them to the highest bidder, you will walk away with a few thousand dollars.
Where Is the Mint Mark on a 1901 Indian Head Penny?
1901 Indian head pennies were minted at Philadelphia, and thus they do not have a mintmark. So do not look for one; instead, study other features such as the headband, headdress shield, and wreath and make sure they are visible.
Related: 1909 S VDB Penny Value
The US mint produced beautiful Indian head pennies between 1859 and 1909. For coin collectors, 1901 Indian head pennies have both a financial value and an impressive US minting history.
If you want to collect coins to sell later, 1901 Indian head pennies are a good place to start. As long as they are in good condition, your Indian pennies can fetch a good price, especially at auctions or other coin markets.
Do not hesitate to get the coin appraisal services of professional graders to make the right choice. This way you can be sure of what your coin’s grade and approximate value are. It is also important to seek professional grading before buying 1901 rare Indian head pennies. Grow your coin collection by buying high-quality 1901 Indian head pennies because the rarer they become, the more their prices will shoot up.