1904 was an interesting year for US coins. This is the first time an outside artist has been invited to redesign a coin, as President Theodore Roosevelt wanted more artistic value in our hard currency. This decision started the death loop of Indian heads and barber coins. Let's look at the value of Indian pennies in 1904.
Chart of the Value of Indian Pennies in 1904
|like mark||Good G 4||until|
english book 40
|O not in circulation|
|Not circulated MS 60||Mint|
|PR/PF 65 certificate|
|The value of a penny to an Indian in 1904||$2.28||$5.13||$11||$23||$42||$63||$160|
The History of Indian Fountain Pens Since 1904
Early in our nation's history, we used British coins from British colonists and Spanish coins from our neighbors in Mexico. But starting in 1792, we started minting our own money, mostly gold and silver. We had copper pennies, twopence and threepence for postage, but these were for domestic use only and did not become legal tender until 1864.
At the time, engravers at the Mint were responsible for designing the coins. Because they already work for the government, their ideas don't get additional credit. Yes, they are allowed to sign their work, but they usually place a barely visible initial on the edge of the portrait or hidden somewhere in the artwork. Indian Head Penny is a good example.
Designer James B. Longacre did not put his initials on the coin until it became legal tender in 1864. He hid it in the hair of the Statue of Liberty, so unless you don't know where to look, you can't even spot it! Instead, outside artists put their initials on some visible parts of the background and still do! Makes sense - they need to start a...
But this seemingly innocent move caused conflict between the Mint and outside artists, and the issue affected many coins, including Lincoln cents, Mercury horns, and even the 1999-2008 50 US Quart piece! However, in 1864, due to the scarcity of 1864-L pennies, the appearance of the L and L coins increased prices substantially.
The Last Times of the Indian Head Penny
However, these issues still affect the 1904 Indian Head Penny. Elsewhere, the Mint's chief engraver, Charles Barber, joined Roosevelt's favourites, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, James Earl Fraser Earle Fraser versus Victor David Brenner. The three artists worked in the same studio, M. Saint-Gaudens as the boss and the other two as assistants.
Saint-Gaudens was a personal friend of Theodore Roosevelt, and the president asked the Mint to hire him. He was tasked with decorating US coins, starting with $2.50, $5, $10, $20 and 1c coins. He died before finishing the job, and the above-mentioned assistant took over. They later produced Buffalo Nickel and Lincoln Cent.
Meanwhile, the Indian Head Penny continued to exist until it was replaced by the Lincoln Penny in 1909. The coin depicts a younger version of the Statue of Liberty, adorned with a headdress of pearls and Native American feathers. It was cast from 1859 to 1909, during which five years the blacksmith mastered the process of forging it and honed it to perfection.
This is probably why the 1904 Indian Head Penny has only one error listed in the Cherry Pickers Guide - FS 301 - although we'll get to that later. But the lack of minting errors could also be due to a lack of interest in the coin. It was in circulation for 50 years, so numismatists take it for granted and don't consider it a collectible. Today, however, investors are getting curious!
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1904 Head Indian Penny Features
When reading about coins, you may come across some unfamiliar terms, so let's demystify some of them first. Coins are made from white discs called planchets, which are stamped from sheet metal. The pucks are punched using a blind hole machine, and each plate has a metal composition specified based on the desired size and price.
The front or side of a coin is called heads and the back or side of a coin is called tails. Thin edges are called edges. The words on the coins are called mottos or legends, the images are called utensils, and the background or background is called fields. Coins may have smooth or flat edges, but they may also have reeds and some inscriptions.
Face of the 1904 Indian Head Penny Coin
The obverse (head side) of the 1904 India fountain pen depicts a young Lady Liberty. She wears a string of pearls around her neck and a Native American headdress. The words "America" were in front of her, and the words "America" were in the back of her head. The date is on the bottom of the coin. The letter L in her hair is the signature of designer James B. Longacre.
1904 Indian Head Penny Reverse
The obverse (tail) of the 1904 Indian penny has its face value, one cent, in the center of the coin. The text is surrounded by a garland of oak tree branches tied with ribbons. A ribbon secures the three arrows at the bottom of the coin. The coin is topped with an oak wreath between the crests of the shield. It has teeth on the front and back edges.
Other Features of the 1904 India Fountain Pen
The 1904 Indian Head Penny is a copper coin, sometimes called a French copper coin. It is made of 95% copper and the remaining 5% is a mixture of tin and zinc, although sometimes pure tin or pure zinc. The coin weighs 3.11 grams and has a diameter of 19.05 mm, which is one of the small cents. For reference, early cents were larger, usually 28 to 29 mm in diameter.
1904 Indian Head Penny Value Guide
Mint marks can sometimes add added value to a coin's price. But in 1904, these coins could only be minted in Philadelphia, so there was no mint mark. Therefore, you may see them listed as coins (P). But because it is a copper coin, it is classified by color, RD stands for red, the best quality, then reddish-brown RB, and finally brown BN.
The value of a penny to an Indian in 1904
image:american coin book
In 1904, the Philadelphia Mint minted 61,326,198 Indian pennies, including just under 2,000 pennies. In March 2021, a brown Indian head penny sold for $810. It's not in great shape and can only be rated as genuine, but it still costs close to a thousand dollars! MS 65 billion usually costs $165. Meanwhile, the MS 66 RB is $760 in December 2021.
But taking things a step further, in August 2019, a 1904 Indian Head penny marked MS 67 RD fetched an auction record of $33,600. However, that price has dropped significantly. In January 2021, the MS 67 RD can be had for just $11,400, a fraction of that price. To date, PCGS has graded 13 coins MS 67 RD, but only one coin has been graded MS 67+ RD. So the discovery of MS 68 will be quite expensive!
1904 Indian Head Penny Worth
Proof coins are high-quality coins that have been uniquely struck to make them sharper and finer in detail. They were originally made for test dies prior to mass production of commercial strikes, also known as normal strike or circulation coins. Once the proof coin confirms that the die is accurate, a copy will be sent to the archives for filing.
More coins can then be produced and sold to collectors at a premium, making more money for the mint. There are three types of test coins - matte, mirror and reverse. Matte proofs have a grainy feel and no reflections. The mirror has a reflective field and a frosted device. Reverse printing has a frozen field and a mirror device.
The mirrors are achieved by rolling the plates between stainless steel balls for an extra shine and then rinsing them. The matrix is also sanded with a horse hair brush. For the icing, you can pickle the molds in acid or engrave them with an electronic laser. But some sharpeners wear out after every hit. The first brightest coin is the Deep Cameo or Ultra Cameo.
Matte proofs and mirror proofs
Today, proof coins have a mirror finish, which was the case before 1900. But thanks in part to Theodore Roosevelt's coin beautification work, some coins have more rounded designs. This made adequate polishing more difficult, so from about 1909 to 1917 the Mint began producing matte proofs using a technique developed by the Mint of Paris.
These matte prints were not popular at the time, but are sought after by collectors today. Instead of using standard reflectors and molds, matte patterns are made with high quality molds and then sandblasted for a matte finish. These coins were then deposited on silk paper coated with sulfur. Paper prevents darkness, but causes irritation!
In 1904, the Philadelphia Mint printed 1,817 Indian pennies with heads. In January 2019, the 65 billion PR hit a record $1920. A few years ago, a PR 67 RB CAC was $6463 in October 2014. Five years earlier, the PR 67 RD was $29,900 in April 2009. But the PR 66 CAM dropped to $7800 in August 2019. $9,000.
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1904 Indian Head Penny Error
The coin was originally an 8-inch prototype made of plaster, rubber, and epoxy. They go into the reducer to make the steel main hub, and then hit the steel formwork to make the main mold. These matrices form work nodes, and work nodes form work matrices. The working die strikes the die to shape the coin. All of these stages involved at least two strikes inside outdated coin presses.
If the target moves between hits, you may miss two or three times, increasing the value of the coin. Other minting errors include wrong denominations, mixed metal combinations, impurities pressed into the coin, clogged feeders and die covers for funnels, or coins from other countries. Let's look at some bugs that can be monetized.
1904 Wrong Indian Head Penny RPD FS-301
The 1904 Indian Head Penny doesn't have many obvious flaws, but RPD is easy to spot under a microscope with a jeweler's lens or coin acceptor. First of all, FS stands for First Strike and refers to bugs discovered, confirmed, and recorded within the first 30 days of the coin's existence. Therefore, it should be evaluated and documented within a month of publication.
RPD stands for Perforated Date and FS-301 is a double date error. This happens at the die stage, as the die moves between the hub hits, you can see the inside of the 9 and the top edge of the 0 and 4 doubling. In May 2018, this bug was sold in MS 64 BN for $501 and in MS 64 March 2022 in RB for $550. Only one red penny has been graded so far.
1904 Indian Penny head 10% off center
Sometimes, if not securely seated, the position of the platens shifts between contractions. If this happens before the first shot, you may have an off-center error, leaving parts of the slab unmarked. This minting error is so obvious that it can be seen without a coin microscope. This off-center 10% Indian dime sold for over $250 in MS 63.
1904 Indian Head Penny FAQ
How much is my 1904 Indian Head coin worth?
In the mid-mint states, a 1904 Indian Head Penny can cost around $1,000, but the MS 67+ RD can go for over $10,000, as PCGS has so far only done one sample rating. The MS 66 and MS 66+ are readily available for around $2,000. About 100 of them are known.
Which year was the rarest Indian penny?
Only 852,500 were cut that year, of which only 3 were sold. However, some consider the 1909-S to be the rarest, as it had the fewest number issued - just 309,000. But if you combine that with 1909 (P), about 14.6 million Indian pennies were made that year, still less than in 1877. Also, older coins are rarer.
Related articles on Rob Paulsen Coin:
- 1977 Penny Value Guides (rare errors, "D", "S" and no mintmark)
- 1970 Penny Value Guides (rare errors, "D", "S" and no mintmark)
- 1959 Wheat Penny Value Guide (rare error, "D" and no mintmark)
- 1940 Wheat Penny Value Guide (rare errors, "D", "S" and no mintmark)
1904 Indian Head Penny RPD FS-301 Error
RPD means re-punched date, and the FS-301 is a doubling error on the date. It happened at the die stage when the die moved between hub strikes, and you can see the doubling inside the 9 and on the upper edges of the 0 and 4.
1922 no-D Lincoln Penny
1922 pennies without the D mint mark are plain cents or plain pennies. An uncirculated 1922 plain penny with a high grade can be worth $12,000 or more.
USA Coin Book Estimated Value of 1904 Indian Head Penny is Worth $3.38 in Average Condition and can be Worth $46 to $75 or more in Uncirculated (MS+) Mint Condition. Proof Coins can be Worth $292 or more. Click here to Learn How to use Coin Price Charts. Also, click here to Learn About Grading Coins.What is a 1903 Indian head penny with no mint mark? ›
1903 Indian Head Penny History
The Indian Head Penny was minted in Philadelphia with no mint mark and featured an obverse side that showed a profile portrait of an American Indian with the word “LIBERTY” written across the top of the coin.
"Double die pennies are highly sought after by coin collectors because they are considered a rare and valuable error. The double image on the coin makes it unique and highly prized among collectors."What are the rarest Indian head pennies? ›
|1905 Gold Indian cent||$253,000|
|1859 Double-headed Indian cent||$195,500|
|1864 L on ribbon Indian head penny||$161,000|
|1877 Indian head penny||$149,500|