As opposed to its extremely rare 1877 counterpart, the 1878 Indian Head Penny is not as much of a hot-ticket item for collectors. With that being said, this is still a great coin to own and a crucial part of any complete Indian Head collection. Though you may be able to find these coins for a decent price, the value of the coin will rise dramatically if the condition has been preserved.
Like most coins over one hundred years old, the 1878 Indian Head is a spectacle to behold. The fact that any of these coins have survived to today is mind boggling, but that does a good job of explaining why investors are so eager to get their hands on one, even in terrible condition.
To grade a coin is to have an expert look at the coin’s condition and assign a grade accordingly. While you may not be an expert, you can use the appearance and texture of your coin(s) to determine a rough grade. Though the grade you give your coin may not be official, it can do a lot in the way of helping you determine the coin’s value. Below are a few grade as well as the specifications that help you better understand why that coin received that grade. Use this list to help you gain a more accurate idea of what coins of certain grades look and feel like.
Uncirculated: An Uncirculated 1878 Indian Head is one that was never used to buy goods. The coin was produced and very shortly thereafter placed into safekeeping and preserved. The appearance of the coin itself is none too different than the day it was made. With that said, some of the original luster will have worn off over the years.
Extremely Fine: An Extremely Fine Indian Head Penny is one that saw only a short period of time in circulation. These coins appear pristine, but under further inspection will show some signs of wear and tear, including the wearing away of the original luster. Still, the texture of the coin has survived the years and remains intact.
Fine: A Fine Indian Head Penny has seen plenty of time in circulation and will show plenty of signs of wear. Though some of the texture will have been worn away from years of exchanging hands, the coin’s imagery remains mostly intact.
Good: A Good coin is one that has seen heavy circulation and was exchanging hands well into the 20th Century. The coin’s texture will have been worn down such that the faces feel quite smooth. Additionally, much of the imagery will be difficult to make out with the naked eye.
In order to know what you will pay for this type of Indian Head, you must know the coin’s grade. When it comes down to it, the simple formula is that you can expect to pay more for the better-graded Indian Head Pennies. With regard to this year’s edition though, the price you will pay pales in comparison to what you will pay for some other, earlier editions. The chart below will give you a list of prices determined by the coin’s grade.
1878 Indian Head Penny
|1878||$35||$60||$200||$275||Source: Red Book|