Table of Contents
- 1893 Indian Head Penny value Chart
- History of the 1893 Indian Head Penny
- 1893 Indian Head Penny Types
- Features of the 1893 Indian Head Penny
- 1893 Indian Head Penny Value Guides
- 1893 No Mint mark Indian Head Penny Value
- 1893 Indian Head Penny Value (proofs)
- 1893 Indian Head Penny Grading
- Rare 1893 Indian Head Penny Errors List
- FAQ about the 1893 Indian Head Penny
The first Indian Head pennies appeared in 1859, and their minting lasted for fifty years when the Lincoln cents replaced them in 1909. These coins became the lowest-value American currency after the US Mint stopped with half-cent production in 1857.
Unlike first cents minted during the Civil War, later sets were lighter and made of a different alloy. Their uniqueness directly affects the 1893 Indian Head penny value on the market. The fun thing is that these cents are still official currency.
1893 Indian Head Penny value Chart
|Condition||1893 No Mint mark penny|
History of the 1893 Indian Head Penny
The first American pennies appeared in 1793 (Flowing Hair pennies with a chain) and were made of 100% copper. These Large Cents weighed 208 grains (13.48 g/0.475 ounces), and their size was impractical for everyday use.
1893 Indian Head Penny Types
|Philadelphia||1893 No Mint mark penny||46,640,000|
|Philadelphia||1893 No Mint mark penny proof||2,195|
In 1856, the US Mint started Small Cents production, and the Indian Head pennies appearing in 1859 were the second type in the row. They were also the last with an imaginary portrait on the obverse since the following cents depicting Abraham Lincoln started the new era of American coinage.
The 1893 pennies appeared at the beginning of the Panic of 1893, resulting in a drastic reduction of the mintage in the following year. Only a third of total production this year was struck in 1894.
Also read: 12 Most Valuable Lincoln Penny Worth Money
Features of the 1893 Indian Head Penny
Even though Indian head pennies are the world’ and America’s oldest coinage that is still officially current, no one actually uses them in everyday transactions. Most have been melted at one point, heavily worn out, or saved as collectibles. Almost all pennies in current circulation are Lincoln cents, regardless of the minting year.
The obverse of the 1893 Indian Head Penny
The 1893 Indian cents have a simple design with Lady Liberty in the central position. This Caucasian woman wears a headdress entirely inappropriate for her gender and race, with LIBERTY written above her forehead.
The remaining inscriptions include the date (1893) and the State’s name surrounded by a denticle rim. While most survived coins from the set are somehow dull, proofs are beautiful, with lovely red-purple hues on the surface.
The reverse of the 1893 Indian Head Penny
Longacre re-designed the reverse look after the first minting year, and coins from 1893 have an oak wreath along the rim instead of the one made of laurel. Besides, you can see a shield above the rest of the composition.
In those times, you can find only the denomination on this coin side, without two mottos included later by law. None of these coins have the mint mark because only the mint in Philadelphia issued them in 1893.
1893 Indian Head Penny Details
|Face value||One cent ($0.01)|
|Compound||An alloy of 95% copper with traces of zinc or tin|
|Coin thickness||1.47 mm (0,05787 inches)|
|Coin diameter||19.05 mm (0.75 inches)|
|Coin weight||3.11 g (0.10970 ounces)|
Other features of the 1893 Indian Head Penny
The 1893 Indian pennies are significantly lighter than the first pieces minted during the Civil War from 1859 to 1864. Even their alloy is different, and you can expect these pieces to contain more copper (95%) without nickel.
Each coin weighs 3.11 g (0.10970 ounces) and has a diameter of 19.05 mm (0.75 inches), which is standard for this coin type. You can expect them to be thinner than specimens from the early sets, only 1.47 mm (0,05787 inches).
Also read: 13 Most Valuable Wheat Penny Worth Money
1893 Indian Head Penny Value Guides
The mint in Philadelphia was the only one to issue the 1893 Indian pennies. The total mintage of 46,642,195 included one-cent coins from regular strikes and over two thousand collectible proofs. Their value depends on the luster and toning.
1893 No Mint mark Indian Head Penny Value
The Philadelphia mint released a surprisingly high mintage of 46,640,000 No Mint mark pennies into circulation in 1893. You can find them in three toning, from the lowest appreciated brown to the most collectible red.
Circulated brown pieces are available for at least $1.75, while those in the About Circulated grade are assessed at almost $40. Besides, you can count on the price range from $42 to $102 for cents in MS 60 to MS 63 grades.
The best brown pennies typically cost from $127 to $560, except for rare exceptions. For instance, one such 1893 Indian cent in AU 50 grade reached $2,990 at Bowers & Merena held in 2001.
The 1893 red-brown pennies are estimated at $100 (MS 64 grade) to $1,500 (MS 66 grade). The auction record achieved in 2018 is within this price range. One collector paid $1,440 for the coin ranked MS 66.
Finally, red specimens are proverbially the most expensive. The estimated price range is impressive for coins with such a low denomination. Their expected value is approximately:
- $220 to $300 for MS 63-graded 1893 pennies
- $360 to $500 for MS 63-graded 1893 pennies
- $800 to $1,200 for MS 63-graded 1893 pennies
- $1,700 to $2,800 for MS 63-graded 1893 pennies
However, nothing can compare with the 1893 MS 67 Indian pennies. Their assessed value is from $20,000 to $25,000, but the reached auction record in 2009 is about twice as high, 43,125 dollars.
1893 Indian Head Penny Value (proofs)
Besides regular coins, you can find proofs minted in Philadelphia in 1893. They are also without the mint mark, and only some of the 2,195 produced pieces have survived until today.
You can expect these pennies to cost differently, primarily based on color. For instance, the lowest collectibles are brown, with a price range from $120 for PR 60-graded ones to almost $1,000 necessary to buy one such coin with a PR 66 rating.
Expectedly, the most sought-after pennies are those in the PR 67 grade, with estimated prices from $1,700 to $2,040. The auction record for one 1893 PR 66 brown Indian Head cent won in 2006 was significantly higher, $6,325.
Red-brown pieces minted in 1893 are rarer and more beautiful, so you shouldn’t be surprised with their price range. It is necessary to set aside at least $150 for one of these coins in PR 60 grade, while those ranked PR 66 are worth more, $1,000 to $1,300.
The best-graded PR 67 pennies are assessed at $2,200 to $2,640, but the auction record exceeds expectations given that the costliest 1893red-brown penny is in PR 66 grade. One collector purchased it for $2,400 in March this year (2023).
If you want to add one red 1893 Indian Head penny proof to your collection, you should count on the following price range:
- PR 60-graded cents are estimated at $220 to $264
- PR 61-graded cents are estimated at $240 to $288
- PR 62-graded cents are estimated at $260 to $312
- PR 63-graded cents are estimated at $300 to $360
- PR 64-graded cents are estimated at $440 to $528
- PR 65-graded cents are estimated at $875 to $1,050
- PR 66-graded cents are estimated at $1,400 to $1,680
- PR 67-graded cents are estimated at $3,100 to $3,720
The second costliest 1893 cent minted this year is one PR 67-ranked proof. Its auction price in 2008 was $12,650.
1893 Indian Head Penny Grading
The only way to estimate the genuine value of such old coins, like the 1893 pennies, is to grade them with particular attention. Since most of these specimens are highly valuable, your best shoot is to have them professionally evaluated.
You can rely on experts working in reputable grading companies, like PCGS or NGC, and increase your penny price since most collectors appreciate certified coins. You can also do the job yourself, but it is an option only for low-graded pieces if you want to get the best possible price for your specimen.
Rare 1893 Indian Head Penny Errors List
The list of the 1893 Indian cent errors is pretty short compared to other pennies from this series. The Philadelphia mint did a great job this year, but it is bad news for collectors who prefer imperfect coins. That makes existing errors highly collectible.
Since punching the date was done manually at the end of the 19th century, pennies with re-punched dates were common error coins. Collectors consider these pieces sought-after and are prepared to pay serious sums for them at auctions.
The costliest such an imperfect specimen is the red 1893 Indian cent in MS 64 grade. One collector added this coin to their set after purchasing it on eBay in 2019 for $1,200.
Struck-through is not a standard coin error but occurs occasionally when the die hits the planchet through a foreign object. Such pennies have an odd imprint on the surface with a visible item’s contours.
Some imperfections are microscopic when the object is a grain of dust, which never affects the coin’s value. On the other hand, when the item is sizable, it ruins the design. Estimating such a penny is strictly individual because there are no two equal pieces to make some comparison.
The misalignment die strikes are a nightmare for mints, particularly in the past. The result of this problem was a slightly moved design on one coin side.
Never mix this imperfection with off-strike error because it affects only one coin side, while the off-center appears on both obverse and reverse. You can expect to pay about $10 for such a specimen.
Also read: 11 Most Valuable Wheat Penny Errors
FAQ about the 1893 Indian Head Penny
What makes 1893 Indian Head Penny rare?
Believe it or not, these cents are still the official currency in the US, making them the oldest coinage in use in the world. You can expect their number to be high on the market, but only several pennies with this design exist in the best possible condition. They are sought-after among numismatists and can be considered rare.
Which 1893 Indian Head Penny is worth a lot of money?
- The red Indian cent in MS 67 grade, minted in 1893, sold at $43,125 at Heritage Auctions on 04-01-2009
- The red Indian proof cent in PR 67 grade, minted in 1893, sold at $12,650 at Heritage Auctions on 07-01-2008
- The CAM Indian proof cent in PR 66 grade, minted in 1893, sold at $10,350 at Heritage Auctions on 07-31-2009
- The brown Indian proof cent in PR 66 grade, minted in 1893, sold at $6,325 at Heritage Auctions on 04-26-2006
- The brown Indian cent in AU 50 grade, minted in 1893, sold at $2,990 at Bowers & Merena on 06-28-2001
- The red-brown Indian proof cent in PR 66 grade, minted in 1893, sold at $2,400 at Stack’s Bowers on 03-29-2023
- The red-brown Indian cent in MS 66 grade, minted in 1893, sold at $1,440 at Heritage Auctions on 04-29-2018
- The red RPD Indian error cent in MS 64 grade, minted in 1893, sold at $1,200 on eBay on 07-24-2019
- The brown RPD Indian error cent in MS 63 grade, minted in 1893, sold at $240 at Heritage Auctions on 02-13-2019
How much is the 1893 Indian Head Penny (No Mint mark) worth?
The 1893 penny prices depend on their condition and color, so you should pay the least for brown circulated pieces, up to $40. Those in the mint state cost $42 to $560, while red-brown specimens are estimated at $100 to $1,500.
The luckiest collectors possess one of the red 1893 Indian cents. These valuable pieces are the rarest in the set and can be worth $220 to $2,800, while the scarce pennies in MS 67 grade are rarely available on the market. Their assessed prices range from $20,000 to $25,000.
What is the priciest Indian Head Penny?
The most expensive Indian cent was one error coin (with an L On Ribbon) minted in 1864. This proof sold in 2011 reached $161,000 at an auction. The costliest specimen from regular strikes was one 1877 cent in MS 66 grade. Its auction record from 2007 was $149,500.