The 1873 Indian Head Penny is one of the first versions of the coin produced with a 95% copper alloy. Like most coins made in the early 1870s, this particular coin was heavily circulated such that very few survived to today. Those that did survive are often found in poor condition too. Still, despite their condition, these coins are a prize for any collector who can get their hands on them.
Something that separates the 1873 Indian Head from most other editions is that the number “3” on the coin’s date appears one of two ways. On some coins, the three is just a few millimeters away from being completely closed while the other versions boasts a more open “3.” Depending on what coin you have, the value will vary depending on what type of “3” is present.
For anyone looking to determine the value of his or her 1873 Indian Head, the biggest determining factor is the condition of the coin in question. Though the fact that few of these coins exist means that they are inherently valuable in the eyes of the collectors, the better the condition, the more valuable the coin will be.
In order to determine a more exact value, you must find out what the grade of your coin is. The specifications below will help you determine the exact grade of your coin, though this is done most accurately by a professional grading service. Still, you can use the specifications below to gain a rough idea of what grade your coin is.
Uncirculated: An Uncirculated coin is one that never exchanged hands and was never used to pay for goods or debts. The coin itself will have retained most of its original shine, though some of it will have faded through the years. The coin’s overall texture remains perfectly intact such that every image and inscription can be made out without any trouble.
Extremely Fine: An Extremely Fine 1873 Indian Head will show some signs of wear, but overall will look mostly pristine. The coin’s shine will have faded somewhat, but all in all the coin itself is incredibly attractive and looks great for being more than 100 years old. These coins are incredibly difficult to find simply because very few in great condition made it to today.
Fine: An Indian Head deserving of a Fine grade will show a good amount of wear, but will have retained most of its imagery and texture. While the year on the Indian’s headband and some of the inscriptions will have been worn down, the coin itself is still in decent shape. The coin’s face will be quite dull, and this is due to the thousands of times the coin has changed hands.
Good: An 1873 Indian Head coin will be in fairly rough shape. The coin will have significant signs of wear and tear, including scratching, wearing down of the raised imagery, and other blemishes. The coin itself will have lost much of its shine through many years of circulation.
When it comes to determining a price for the Indian Head, it all comes down to condition. The better the coin looks, the more valuable it will be in the eyes of a collector. On top of that, whether you have an open or closed “3” in the coin’s year will also go a long way in determining the value of the coin. Below is a list of 1873 Indian Heads and their prices as it pertains to their grade and type.
1873 Indian Head Penny
|1873 Closed 3||$25||$65||$185||$235|
|1873 Open 3||$22||$50||$160||$190||Source: Red Book|