As we near the end of the Indian Head Penny-era, the coins become easier to find. The 1891 Indian Head Penny fits this mold and is not the priciest of all Indian Heads. Still, the coin is a crucial part of any complete collection and is one every collector would like to get their hands on. Of course, collectors prefer that these coins are in extremely well-preserved condition, of which very few are.
Unlike Indian Heads from the 1860s, later editions were more readily kept and therefore more survived the years. Still, finding these coins in great condition is no simple task.
The condition of coins as old as the 1891 Indian Head Penny means everything to collectors. Though this edition is one that is needed in order to complete any collection, it is always preferred that the coin added to your specific collection is one that has been kept in pristine condition over the years.
An official way of judging the condition of an 1891 Indian Head Penny is known as grading. Grading is typically executed by a professional service, but through the specifications below you can help gain a rough idea of what coins of a certain grade will look like.
Uncirculated: Uncirculated 1891 Indian Head Pennies are the best of the best. These coins were never exchanged and instead were kept in a safe place throughout their entire existence. As such, the images on both sides of the coin have been perfectly preserved, so too has the texture of the coin. The one flaw you will find more often than not is that the coin’s luster will have worn away a bit due to aging.
Extremely Fine: A coin of this grade was circulated, but its time in circulation was minimal and so too are the signs of wear and tear you will see. While some scratching will be present, it is only visible upon close examination. The coin’s texture will have been mostly maintained, though the luster will be nearly non-existent at this point.
Fine: An 1891 Indian Head in Fine condition saw a good amount of time in circulation, but is relatively well-preserved. Plenty of scratching is able to be seen, but the coin’s images are still there and can be made out without too much trouble. Coins of this grade will have had some of the texture worn away, and the shine will be no more.
Good: An 1891 Indian Head in Good condition is one that was heavily circulated through the years. It will show ample signs of wear and tear which can include anything from chipping, to scratching, to even a combination of the two. Some of these coins will be bent and almost all of them will have smooth faces due to many years of exchanging hands.
If you would like to know how much you could expect to pay for the 1891 Indian Head, look no further than the condition the coin is in. As is typically the case, the better the condition the more a collector will pay for the coin. With newer (“newer” being a relative term) Indian Heads, however, the price you will pay for one in pristine condition is nowhere near that of a pristine coin from earlier years. The chart below will give you a bit more of an accurate idea as to what you might pay for an 1891 Indian Head Penny.
1891 Indian Head Penny
|1891||$3||$5||$15||$30||Source: Red Book|