The 1866 Indian Head Penny is not incredibly different from its 1865 counterpart, but even in extremely worn condition this version is of considerable value. For some reason, very few decently preserved versions of the 1866 Indian Head exist and, as such, the value of all that are on the open market today has been driven up considerably.
As part of the post-Civil War era of Indian Heads, the 1866 is the second edition minted with a 95% copper alloy.
As mentioned, very few 1866 Indian Heads have survived to this day. Because of that, those that have survived, and have survived in good condition, are highly sought after by collectors. The grade of this coin is the ultimate determinant of value, and by using the specifications below you can determine a rough grade and value for the coin that you possess.
Uncirculated: This grade is given to versions of the coin that were not circulated and were instead preserved almost immediately after being minted. Very few of these graded 1866’s exist, and their value is far higher than most other Uncirculated Indian Head editions.
Extremely Fine: A coin that receives a grade of Extremely Fine was circulated, but clearly only for a small amount of time. Minor details such as the feathers on the Indian’s headdress and individual leaves present on the reverse’s wreath are able to still be made out without too much trouble. The color of the coin will have faded a bit as a result of its limited circulation.
Fine: Much more heavily circulated than Extremely Fine coins, a Fine Indian Head will show some decent wear and scratching. The color of the coin will have faded quite significantly. Despite this, the imagery and inscriptions remain intact and are able to be discerned.
Good: Most 1866 Indian Heads receive this grade simply because they were used by so many people for such a long period of time. Despite the significant wear, tear, and discoloration, these coins are still quite valuable and rare.
Generally speaking, the 1866 Indian Head carries a larger price than most other years. Because most of the coins are worn and have been heavily circulated—and even they are difficult to find—the price of the whole year has been inflated a bit. The chart below will give you a good idea of what you can expect to pay for an 1866 Indian Head given a specific grade.
1866 Indian Head Penny
|1866||$50||$80||$190||$250||Source: Red Book|