The 1870 Indian Head is part of the earlier series of coins that used a 95% copper alloy. These coins were heavily circulated for many years and, because of that, few have survived to today. Knowing this, it should come as no surprise that the 1870 edition carries a bit of a higher price tag than most other editions, regardless of quality. With that being said, however, 1870s that are in especially good condition will carry quite a hefty price.
When you are talking about coins that are over one hundred years old like the Indian Head, the value of the coin can be directly tied to the condition in which the coin is in. Condition, in terms of coin collecting, can more accurately be defined as the grade which the coin carries. Grading is typically done by experts from a professional grading service, but by carefully assessing the condition of your coin(s), you can give it a rough grade that will help you in the process of valuing or selling the coin.
By way of the specifications below, you can derive a somewhat accurate grade of the coin(s) in your collection.
Uncirculated: Easily the rarest of all 1870 Indian Heads, Uncirculated versions are those that never went into circulation. Because of this, these coins have retained much of their original shine with all of the raised imagery and inscriptions still intact. Though its appearance may have dulled a bit over the years, this coin is still in absolutely perfect condition, free of scratches and other blemishes.
Extremely Fine: Extremely Fine Indian Heads have seen some circulation, but overall are in great condition. One of the most notable aspects of an Extremely Fine 1870 is the fact that it appears significantly duller than its Uncirculated counterpart. Other than that and some small signs of wear, these coins are in exceptional condition.
Fine: For an 1870 Indian Head to receive a Fine grade, you can see noticeable signs of wear and tear. While the imagery is still able to be easily deciphered, many of the raised parts of the coin have been worn down a bit due to heavy circulation. Though not in the most perfect condition, these coins have still been relatively well-preserved.
Good: These are the most commonly found types of 1870 Indian Heads and are the coins that show the most wear and tear. It is rare to find the raised imagery still intact as the heavy circulation over the years effectively wore most of it down. These coins appear in pretty rough shape, but because so few have made it through the years, they are still heavily sought after by collectors.
As is the case with most Indian Head Pennies, the price will be directly determined by condition. With this year’s coin, you will see that, as the condition of the coin improves, the price of it jumps dramatically upward; more so than most other years. The chart below can give you a good idea of what you can expect to pay for 1870 Indian Heads of a certain condition.
The 1870 Indian Head technically has two different varieties—one that has a bold “n” in the “One Cent” inscription, and one that has a thinner, or shallow “n.” The prices of the specific types will vary. The chart below can give you a good idea of what you can expect to pay for 1870 Indian Heads of a certain condition.
The 1870 Indian Head technically has two different varieties—one that has a bold “n” in the “One Cent” inscription, and one that has a thinner, or shallow “n.” The prices of the specific types are as follows:
1870 Indian Head Penny
|1870 Shallow N||$80||$220||$400||$500|
|1870 Bold N||$55||$200||$375||$450||Source: Red Book|