Like most Indian Head Pennies, the one from 1884 has its value driven up due to the fact that so few have survived the years. The ever-growing nature of these coins’ scarcity is something that really forces collectors to get their hands on these coins whenever they can. Unfortunately, it is uncommon to find an 1884 Indian Head in pristine condition, which is why a well-preserved piece tends to go for a lot more money than its more worn counterpart.
Being more than 100 years old, these coins are an important part of American history and a perfect addition to any coin collector’s collection.
Indian Head Pennies, by nature, are typically quite old when compared to many other coins from the US Mint. Millions of these pennies were minted in 1884, but because they were used by citizens so frequently, their being constantly exchanged meant that some were lost and heavily damaged over the years. When judging these coins today, the way by which condition is judged is known as the coin’s grade.
Though professional grading services exist, you can use the specifications below to determine what qualities a coin of a certain grade will display.
Uncirculated: An Uncirculated 1884 Indian Head will be one that shows no signs of wear. This is because the coin was taken immediately from production and kept in a safe place…where it remains today. These coins are perfect in every way, though some of the mint’s original luster will have diminished due to aging.
Extremely Fine: An Extremely Fine 1884 Indian Head was openly and freely exchanged only for a short period of time. These coins will have all of the raised imagery and inscriptions intact with even the small engravings or inscriptions able to be read. Apart from some light scratching, these coins are in mostly pristine condition.
Fine: A Fine Indian Head is one that saw its fair share of circulation through the years. The coin’s shine will have been almost entirely eliminated, but the imagery present on the faces of the coin will be fairly easy to be made out. Some of the raised texture of the coin will have survived, but a lot will have worn away over the years.
Good: A coin in this condition will be heavily worn and is one that saw well over one or two decades in circulation. The coin’s images and inscriptions will still be there, but they will be slightly difficult to make out with the naked eye and much, if not all, of the texture will have been worn away. Seen by its highly affordable price, this type of 1884 Indian Head is the most commonly found.
Pricing these coins is as easy as looking at the condition the coin is in. In rough shape, the 1884 Indian Head does not carry a large price at all. With that said, however, the price of the coin rises dramatically as the condition of the coin improves. By using the chart below, you can get a good idea of what you will pay for an 1884 Indian Head, given its grade.
1884 Indian Head Penny
|1884||$5.50||$10||$27||$40||Source: Red Book|