Indian Head Penny Mintages

Detailed Mintage Records for Indian Head Cents

Close Up of an Indian Head Penny
The United States Indian Head Penny. Image Courtesy of: Heritage Auction Galleries, www.ha.com

Background and History

The Indian head penny was created to replace the Flying Eagle cent because the United States Mint was having problems uniformly striking the Flying Eagle cent. Under direction from Mint Director James Ross Snowden, James B. Longacre designed the replacement. The reverse design stayed the relatively the same while the obverse was replaced with an allegorical figure of Lady Liberty wearing an Indian headdress.

Longacre first used this allegorical figure idea on the 1854 one dollar gold piece.

Rumors first circulated that Longacre used his little daughter Sarah as a model while she was playing with a toy Indian war bonnet. But, numismatic researchers have found that Longacre had many different drawings in his sketchbook of a white female wearing an Indian headdress dating 10 years before this design was first used in 1854 on the one dollar gold piece. Since this was before his daughter's birth, she could never have been a model for him.

The reverse design was very similar to the preceding Flying Eagle reverse. In the first year (1859) the reverse had a laurel wreath surrounding the words ONE CENT. In 1860, the wreath on the reverse side was changed to a wreath made of oak leaves with the Union Shield at the top of the wreath.

Due to the rising cost of raw materials during the Civil War, the composition was changed midway through 1864 from a mixture of copper and nickel to a bronze alloy.

Additionally, the weight was reduced from 4.67 grams to 3.11 grams. Production of these cents continued through 1909 when it was replaced with the Lincoln cent that commemorated the 100th anniversary of his birth. 

Coin Values and Prices:

Mintage Figures

The following table lists mint production figures as recorded for the number of Indian Head pennies produced at each mint facility.

Where possible, production numbers by strike type are noted. Although production figures are a very good indication of "rarity," they are not 100% definitive. Rarity is more directly correlated with survival rate. In other words, how many coins of a particular year, mint and variety/type have survived being melted, destroyed or removed from circulation. 

YearMintMint MarkMintageNotes
Reverse: Laurel wreath, no shield    Composition: Copper-Nickel
1859Philadelphia 36,400,000 
1859 ProofPhiladelphia 800 
Reverse: Laurel wreath, no shield    Composition: Copper-Nickel
1860Philadelphia 20,566,000 
1860 ProofPhiladelphia 1,000 
1861Philadelphia 10,100,000 
1861 ProofPhiladelphia 1,000 
1862Philadelphia 28,075,000 
1862 ProofPhiladelphia 550 
1863Philadelphia 49,840,000 
1863 ProofPhiladelphia 460 
1864Philadelphia 13,740,000 
1864 ProofPhiladelphia 370 
Composition: Bronze
1864Philadelphia 39,233,714 
1864 ProofPhiladelphia 150No "L" on ribbon
1864 ProofPhiladelphia 20"L" on ribbon
1865Philadelphia 35,429,300 
1865 ProofPhiladelphia 500 
1866Philadelphia 9,826,500 
1866 ProofPhiladelphia 725 
1867Philadelphia 9,821,000 
1867 ProofPhiladelphia 625 
1868Philadelphia 10,266,500 
1868 ProofPhiladelphia 600 
1869Philadelphia 6,420,000 
1869 ProofPhiladelphia 600 
YearMintMint MarkMintageNotes
1870Philadelphia 5,275,000 
1870 ProofPhiladelphia 1,000 
1871Philadelphia 3,929,500 
1871 ProofPhiladelphia 960 
1872Philadelphia 4,042,000 
1872 ProofPhiladelphia 950 
1873Philadelphia 11,676,500 
1873 ProofPhiladelphia 1,100 
1874Philadelphia 14,187,500 
1874 ProofPhiladelphia 700 
1875Philadelphia 13,528,000 
1875 ProofPhiladelphia 700 
1876Philadelphia 7,944,000 
1876 ProofPhiladelphia 1,150 
1877Philadelphia 852,500 
1877 ProofPhiladelphia 900 
1878Philadelphia 5,797,500 
1878 ProofPhiladelphia 2,350 
1879Philadelphia 16,228,000 
1879 ProofPhiladelphia 3,200 
1880Philadelphia 38,961,000 
1880 ProofPhiladelphia 3,955 
1881Philadelphia 39,208,000 
1881 ProofPhiladelphia 3,575 
1882Philadelphia 38,578,000 
1882 ProofPhiladelphia 3,100 
YearMintMint MarkMintageNotes
1883Philadelphia 45,591,500 
1883 ProofPhiladelphia 6,609 
1884Philadelphia 23,257,800 
1884 ProofPhiladelphia 3,942 
1885Philadelphia 11,761,600 
1885 ProofPhiladelphia 3,790 
1886Philadelphia 17,650,000 
1886 ProofPhiladelphia 4,290 
1887Philadelphia 45,223,500 
1887 ProofPhiladelphia 2,690 
1888Philadelphia 37,489,800 
1888 ProofPhiladelphia 4,582 
1889Philadelphia 48,866,000 
1889 ProofPhiladelphia 3,336 
1890 ProofPhiladelphia 2,740 
1891 ProofPhiladelphia 2,350 
1892Philadelphia 37,647,100 
1892 ProofPhiladelphia 2,745 
1893Philadelphia 46,640,000 
1893 ProofPhiladelphia 2,195 
1894Philadelphia 16,749,500 
1894 ProofPhiladelphia 2,632 
1895Philadelphia 38,341,600 
1895 ProofPhiladelphia 2,062 
YearMintMint MarkMintageNotes
1896Philadelphia 39,055,400 
1896 ProofPhiladelphia 1,862 
1897Philadelphia 50,464,400 
1897 ProofPhiladelphia 1,938 
1898Philadelphia 49,821,300 
1898 ProofPhiladelphia 1,795 
1899Philadelphia 53,598,000 
1899 ProofPhiladelphia 2,031 
1900Philadelphia 66,821,300 
1900 ProofPhiladelphia 2,262 
1901Philadelphia 79,609,200 
1901 ProofPhiladelphia 1,985 
1902Philadelphia 87,374,700 
1902 ProofPhiladelphia 2,018 
1903Philadelphia 85,092,700 
1903 ProofPhiladelphia 1,790 
1904Philadelphia 61,326,200 
1904 ProofPhiladelphia 1,817 
1905Philadelphia 80,717,000 
1905 ProofPhiladelphia 2,152 
1906Philadelphia 96,020,500 
1906 ProofPhiladelphia 1,752 
1907Philadelphia 108,137,000 
1907 ProofPhiladelphia 1,475 
1908Philadelphia 32,326,400 
1908 ProofPhiladelphia 1,620 
1908San FranciscoS1,115,000 
1909Philadelphia 14,368,500 
1909 ProofPhiladelphia 2,175 
1909San FranciscoS309,000 

Suggested Books on Indian Head Penny (i.e. Indian Head Cents)

  • Walter Breen's Complete Encyclopedia of U.S. and Colonial Coins; Walter Breen; Publisher: Doubleday; 1 edition (May 1, 1988); ISBN-13: 978-0385142076
    Compare Prices
  • The Cherrypickers' Guide to Rare Die Varieties, 5th Edition, Volume 1; Fivaz, Bill and J.T. Stanton; Publisher: Whitman Publishing, Atlanta (2009); ISBN-13: 978-0794822859
    Compare Prices
  • Flying Eagle & Indian Cents; Snow, Richard; Eagle Eye Press; 1992
  • A Guide Book of Flying Eagle & Indian Head Cents; Snow, Richard; Whitman Publishing, Atlanta; 2009; ISBN-10: 0794828310; ISBN-13: 978-0794828318
    Compare Prices
  • The Flying Eagle and Indian Cent Attribution Guide Hardcover – Unabridged, 2014 by Richard E. Snow; Eagle Eye Rare Coins, Inc.; 3rd edition (2014) Language: English ISBN-10: 9703750699 ISBN-13: 978-9703750696
    Compare Prices
  • The Flying Eagle & Indian Cent Attribution Guide 1859-1869; Snow, Richard; Eagle Eye Rare Coins; Tucson, AZ; 2005; ASIN: B000VK2IAY
  • The Flying Eagle & Indian Cent Attribution Guide 1870-1889; Snow, Richard; Eagle Eye Rare Coins Tucson, AZ; 2007; ASIN: B000VK7PP2
  • The Flying Eagle & Indian Cent Attribution Guide 1890-1909; Snow, Richard; Eagle Eye Rare Coins Tucson, AZ; 2009; ISBN-10: 0970375050; ISBN-13: 978-0970375056
  • A Buyer's and Enthusiast's Guide to Flying Eagle and Indian Cents; Q. David Bowers; Bowers and Merena Galleries (1996); ISBN-10: 0943161681; ISBN-13: 978-0943161686
    Compare Prices
  • Flying Eagle & Indian Cents; Snow, Richard; Eagle Eye Press; First printing edition; 1992; ASIN: B0006OXI2W
  • The Finders report: A Comprehensive Guide To Selected Rare Flying Eagle and Indian Cent Die Varieties; Larry R Steve; Nuvista Press; 1st edition (1995); ISBN-10: 0964585022; ISBN-13: 978-0964585027
    Compare Prices

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