From 1859 to 1909, the United States Mint produced fine cents based on James B. Longacre's designs. Since all coins were minted in Philadelphia at the time, the value of the 1901 Indian penny was largely determined by its condition.
After more than a century in circulation, most surviving pieces are of poor quality, making the rare mintage valuable. Most collectors love to collect these coins for their beauty and historical significance.
1901 Indian Penny Value Chart
|situation||Unminted 1901 pence|
|New condition 60||$43|
|Mint State 63||$65|
*According to U.S. coin books
The History of Indian Pens Since 1901
thisJames B. Longacre, Fourth Chief Engraver, United States Mint, creating one of the most inspired coin designs in the history of the United States Mint. The Philadelphia Mint, which began minting by Indians in 1859, was the only mint to produce these cents until 1909.
The San Francisco Mint struck many cents with the S mintmark on the reverse only in the final year of minting. After that year, the famous Lincoln dime replaced this beautiful old coin.
Unlike the cents you see today, the first coins minted from 1793 to 1857 were larger than half dollars. At the time, it was very profitable for the U.S. Mint to produce cents and half cents, but things changed in 1850.
In 1848, James W. Marshall discovered gold and the famous California Gold Rush caused many problems for the US Mint until the end of 1855.
About 300,000 people came to the country in search of gold, which increased the amount of this precious metal on the market. One of the consequences is an increase in copper prices, making it necessary to find alternative solutions to secure future revenues.
The result was a modified and reduced size Minute coin in 1857. Another step was to change its composition and start producing cents that were only 88 percent copper with nickel added.
The first minute piece was the Flying Eagle dime minted in 1857-1858, but was quickly superseded. The alloy was used for the first Indian Head pennies until 1864, when coins again began to contain 95 percent copper.
Interestingly, Longacre changed the reverse of the coin the following year, replacing the laurel wreath with an oak wreath. The second step is to add a guard on top between the cornice edges.
1901 Indian Fine Penny
|Philadelphia||1901 No Mint Pennies||79.609.158|
|Philadelphia||1901 pence receipt||1.985|
Since the 1901 Indian pennies were minted eight years before the end of the series, they are considered a late release. As with other Indian pennies of later times, this was quite high for its time.
Experts believe the reason lies in the abundance of penny-for-penny services in the early 20th century. That's why this little coin is so vital to the lives of ordinary Americans.
Related Posts: The 15 Most Valuable Coins in Circulation
Features of 1901 Indian Head Penny
The U.S. Mint produced the fine Indian Head penny from 1859 until 1909, when it was replaced by the Lincoln penny. However, all coins in the series are collectible and many collectors prefer to seek out the best preserved coins.
Obverse of 1901 Indian Head Penny
Despite its common name, the "Indian Head Penny," the obverse of the coin depicts a fictional white Lady Liberty wearing an Indian headdress. Ironically, the Longacre carver made this design at a time when Native Americans were migrating to reservations after losing their land.
The headband features "Liberty" printed in the center surrounded by "United States of America" with the year of mint added to the lower edge.
Back of 1901 Indian Head Penny
The 1901 Indian Penny bears the ONE CENT denomination on the reverse, with an oak wreath engraved around the edge of the coin. A ribbon tied in a bow connects two branches, and an arrow is located at the bottom of the composition.
The central upper part is reserved for the shield. This design differs from the original design, which was altered in 1858, by not having a shield, but instead having an oak wreath around the denomination.
1901 Indian Fine Penny
|face value||Penny ($0.01)|
|the diameter of the coin||1.75 inches (19mm)|
|compound||Copper alloy with added zinc and tin (95%)|
|coin thickness||0.03938 inches (1 mm)|
|coin weight||0.1097 oz (3.11 g)|
Additional Features of the 1901 Indian Head Penny
The face value of the Indian penny in 1901 was one cent. This zinc and tin copper coin has flat edges and is 1.75 inches (19 mm) in diameter. It weighs 0.1097 ounces (3.11 grams) and is 0.03938 inches (1mm) thick.
1901 Indian Head Penny Value Guide
In 1901, only the Philadelphia Mint produced Indian penny heads. Of the 79,611,143 coins minted, all but less than 2,000 were released immediately.
Today, most coins wear out over the years on the open market, so prices for such ancient coins are low. Only the best preserved and highly collectible coins are worth money in the current market.
Unminted 1901 Indian Head Penny
image:US coin book
In 1901, the Philadelphia Mint regularly struck 79,609,158 Indian pennies, but none bore mint marks. Since they're often in poor condition after decades of circulation, you can find one for $1 to $30.
Even the unmined coins are relatively cheap, with brown coins typically selling for $30 to $155.
Unminted Mark 1901 Indian Head Worth Pennies
|situation||1901 BN penny||1901 RB pennies||1901 RD Penny|
|OK||$1 to $1.50||/||/|
|very good||$1.55 to $2||/||/|
|until||$2 to $2.50||/||/|
|very good||$3 to $4||/||/|
|additional suffix||$6 to $12||/||/|
|African Union||$18 to $28||/||/|
|Ms. 60||$33 to $40||/||/|
|lady 61||$35 to $45||$50 to $63||$80 to $100|
|lady 62||$45 to $58||$63 to $78||$105 to $131|
|lady 63||$60 to $78||$81 to $100||$135 to $170|
|lady 64||$81 to $100||$140 to $175||$245 to $300|
|Ms. 65||$125 to $156||$225 to $280||$525 to $615|
|lady 66||/||$485 to $575||$1,100 to $1,450|
|lady 67||/||$1,600 to $2,000||$4,200 to $6,000|
*Author gray form
The more valuable reddish-brown coins are more expensive, ranging from about $50 to $575 a coin. However, top-quality samples can sometimes fetch $1,600 to $2,000 at auction.
As expected, the most expensive are sharp-cut pieces with a desirable sheen and red tint. They typically cost between $80 and $600, but collectors are willing to pay $1,000 to $6,000 for the top grades. In an unexpected twist, one of the beautiful coins fetched $33,600 at the 2021 Heritage auction.
1901 Indian Head Proof Penny
In addition to the regular coins, the Philadelphia Mint struck a proof piece of the 1901 Indian Penny in 1985. Such a low mintage makes these pennies quite expensive, with even the most unpopular brown coins fetching between $110 and $2,000.
Pieces in reddish-brown tones, however, are better value, as they range from $135 to $1,200, depending on how well preserved they are. Diamonds with a grade of PR 67 can sometimes fetch $2,000 to $2,400 at auction.
1901 Indian Head Proof Penny Worth
|situation||1901 BN penny||1901 RB pennies||1901 RD Penny|
|PR 60||$110 to $133||$135 to $163||$205 to $240|
|PR 61||$124 to $150||$175 to $205||$225 to $270|
|PR 62||$144 to $175||$200 to $240||$250 to $300|
|PR 63||$170 to $205||$235 to $275||$285 to $335|
|PR 64||$235 to $275||$335 to $400||$460 to $550|
|PR 65||$340 to $400||$455 to $540||$1,100 to $1,320|
|PR 66||$700 to $880||$1,025 to $1,230||/|
|PR 67||$1,650 to $1,980||$2,000 to $2,400||/|
*Author gray form
It is virtually impossible to find red pennies minted this year above grade MS 65. So the price range for existing coins is $200 to $1,320. In 2006, a collector set an auction record by purchasing a rare, high-quality 1901 red Native American penny for $17,250.
This is not the most expensive 1901 Indian penny ever to come on the market. The auction record winner, a cameo-contrast coin, fetched an astounding $49,938 in 2020.
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1901 Indian Head Penny Error
The 1901 Indian Penny Collection is known for its exceptional quality and rare errors. As such, you can expect that existing coins with minor flaws are not particularly valuable.
double the acre
One of the most recognizable mistakes in the Indian penny is the Longacre double. You may notice that such coins have double the date and letters, forming so-called lips or shoulders on either side of the design element.
This defect is not a true double mold, but occurs due to the center of the main mold. Although no one is sure exactly what caused the error, many collectors value the coins, increasing their value.
outside the center
A small number of 1901 Indian pennies have off-center flaws, but these rarely exceed 10%. However, it is nearly impossible to find such an intact coin, and existing coins can be worth as much as $500.
These rare 1901 coins have error CRK-001 visible below the chin of Statue of Liberty.
This is the result of an internal die failure and you can make out some feathers and forehead jewels as seen on coins minted in other years. Some collectors consider this crackle exotic and collectible, so you can find a buyer quickly.
1901 Indian Head Penny FAQs
What makes the 1901 India fountain pen so rare?
Despite their age, most Indian head pennies are common and affordable in the current coin market. However, you may find high-quality coins with an attractive red hue very rarely. Also, some bugs may be rare and require a fee.
Which 1901 Indian Penny is more expensive?
- A 1901 PR 67+ CAM Indian Head penny set an auction record at the 2020 Legendary Rare Coin Auction for $49,938.
- A 1901 MS 67+ RD Indian Head Penny set an auction record at $33,600 at the 2021 Heritage Auctions.
- A 1901 PR 68 RD Indian Head penny set an auction record at the 2006 Heritage auction for $17,250.
- A 1901 PR 67* RB Indian Head Penny set an auction record at $9,988 at Heritage Auctions in 2012.
- A 1901 6.6 billion Indian Head penny set an auction record at the 2006 Heritage auction for $3,220.
- A 1901 MS 67 RB Indian Head penny set an auction record at $2,185 at Heritage Auctions in 2004.
- A 1901 AU 58+ BN Indian Head Penny set a record price of $1,404 at the 2013 Great Collections auction.
- In 2016, a 1901 AU 50 RPD FS-301 S-19 BN Indian Head Penny set an auction record on eBay for $150.
How much is an unmintmarked 1901 Indian Head penny worth?
1901 Indian pennies typically cost $1 to $30, but those with the desired hue can fetch $30 to $6,000, depending on condition. However, you can always expect a few surprises. For example, one of the most beautiful coins sold at auction in 2021 for $33,600.
What is the most expensive Indian rupee?
One collector paid $161,000 for an 1864 PR 65 L Indian penny ribbon head, the most expensive in the collection. However, the most expensive regular minted coins are:
- An 1877 MS 66 fountain pen sells for $149,500
- 1902 MS 68 RD Penny Sold for $144,000
- An 1872 MS 66 fountain pen sells for $126,500
- 1899 MS 68 RD Penny Sold for $108,000
- 1897 PR 67+ DCAM fountain pen sells for $108,000
- 1909 S MS 67 Fountain Pen $97,750
- 1877 67p sold for $97,750
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Condition. 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.Is there a mint mark on a 1901 Indian head penny? ›
1901 Indian head pennies were minted in Philadelphia but did not have a mint mark.How much is a 1901 Indian head United States penny worth? ›
USA Coin Book Estimated Value of 1901 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.Is a 1901 penny rare? ›
As part of American minting history, the 1901 Indian Head draws attention from a lot of collectors. Because of this, these coins are becoming increasingly scarce with each passing year, so it is important to get your hands on them while you can.What's the rarest Indian Head Penny? ›
|1877 Indian head penny||$149,500|
|1900 Gold Indian cent||$141,000|
|1872 Indian head penny||$126,500|
|1899 Indian head penny - MS68||$108,000|
The most valuable Indian Head Penny is the one that has a date of 1877. Nevertheless, they're all valuable in their own right and any collector would be lucky to have one.How much is a 1900 Indian Head penny worth with no mint mark? ›
The 1900 Indian Head penny is worth around $2.50 in good condition. In very fine condition the value is around $6.50. In extremely fine condition the value is around $10. In uncirculated condition the price is around $40 for coins with an MS 60 grade.How can you tell if an Indian Head penny is uncirculated? ›
Tilt the coin from side to side under a good light. If the mint luster on the high points is unbroken, then the coin is uncirculated. If there is wear, then it is not uncirculated. As mentioned earlier, some Indian Head pennies were difficult to strike up properly.Are coins from 1901 worth anything? ›
The 1901 silver dollar with no mint mark is worth around $85 in very fine condition. In extremely fine condition the value is around $200. In uncirculated condition the price is around $4,500 for coins with an MS 60 grade.What year is the most valuable penny? ›
Here's a list of the top 10 most valuable pennies for 2023: 1) 1944 Steel Wheat Penny - $408,000. 2) 1943 Copper Wheat Penny - $250,000. 3) 1856 Flying Eagle Penny - $25,000.
Bottom Line: 1877 Indian Head Penny
This is the rarest Indian Head penny. Due to an economic slump that began in 1873, only 852,500 were made.
1943 Wheat Penny (back)
There was still material left in the mint presses from the 1942 production so they accidentally made one batch out of copper. Only about 20-40 of those pennies are out there. A used one, as most are, can net you from $100,000 – $500,000.
Since the bronze composite 1877 Indian Head Penny is so hard to come by, it's in the top five of the most valuable Indian Head pennies. A good quality penny is worth $1,003, while a proof coin is worth nearly $3,000. If you somehow have a brilliant uncirculated mint condition copy, expect to earn $5,000.How much is a 1901 coin worth? ›
USA Coin Book Estimated Value of 1901 Morgan Silver Dollar is Worth $72 in Average Condition and can be Worth $4,623 to $376,661 or more in Uncirculated (MS+) Mint Condition. Proof Coins can be Worth $4,370 or more. Click here to Learn How to use Coin Price Charts. Also, click here to Learn About Grading Coins.What makes an old penny rare? ›
Watch for low mintage years like 1955-S, 1939-D, 1933-D, and 1931-S. Depending on condition, rarer pennies are worth more. Look for all-copper pennies. Old pennies made before 1982 are 95% copper, which gives them an inherent metal value.What makes a 1902 Indian Head Penny rare? ›
The other factor is production quality. Minting errors of all sorts can add value to a 1902 Indian Head Penny. The final value of any 1902 Indian Head Penny is usually a combination of the rarity of any errors and its overall condition: an error-free, a proof copy can fetch the highest value.What makes a penny rare and valuable? ›
Qualities such as color (red pennies are worth more than red-brown or brown ones), wear and rarity (including smaller numbers minted or mistakes) impact a coin's grade. For most pennies, those minted in recent years are worth, well, a penny.