Because of extreme demand from collectors, the value of the 1879 Indian Head is pushed upwards even if the coin is in poor condition. Being that any Indian Head coming from the 1870s is considered to be part of the coin series’ early years, it goes without saying that only a select few coins were able to survive the 100+ year journey to the modern day.
In order to determine just how much you can expect to pay for an 1879 Indian Head, the first thing you must do is assess the coin’s condition. After all, when it comes down to it, condition is everything for collectors.
In order to come up with a value for a given 1879 Indian Head, you must look no further than the condition the coin is in. Because most of the surviving issues were circulated for years and years on end, the condition of these coins varies dramatically.
In order to come up with an appropriate valuation for an Indian Head, you must first determine what grade the coin in question is. Typically, grading a coin requires sending it away to a professional company, but by way of the specifications below, you can give your coin(s) a rough grade based on the condition.
Uncirculated: An Uncirculated Indian Head is one that never made it into circulation and was put into safekeeping almost immediately after being minted. Coins deserving of this grade will show no imperfections and will have all relevant imagery and texture intact. Of course, due to the length of time these coins have existed, some of their luster may have faded with the years.
Extremely Fine: An Extremely Fine Indian Head is one that shows almost no signs of wear at all. Though these coins were circulated, the imagery has barely been altered and the raised aspects of the coins are still exactly that—raised. The coin will appear significantly less shiny than its Uncirculated counterpart, but will still have some decent luster.
Fine: A Fine coin shows a good amount of wear from being exchanged hundreds of thousands of times throughout the years. You will be able to see a good amount of scratching and some of the raised imagery will have been worn down. The coin’s shine is almost nonexistent as it was lost due to the wear of constantly being exchanged.
Good: Coins in this condition are found more often than coins in any other condition. These pieces have seen many years of exchange and show it. The raised imagery will have been worn down completely to the point where the images themselves are difficult to make out with the naked eye. Despite their poor condition, these coins are a prize for most every collector.
To determine an accurate price for the 1879 Indian Head Penny, you must look no further than the grade. Coins in great condition will sell for more than a similar coin in poor condition, it really is as simple as that. By using the chart below, you can gain a good idea of how much you can expect to pay for an 1879 Indian Head Penny once you are given its grade.
1879 Indian Head Penny
|1879||$8||$20||$70||$80||Source: Red Book|