Though they are a necessary addition to any complete Indian Head collection, versions of the coin from the 1890s are not nearly as rare as some of their older counterparts. Because coins such as the 1892 Indian Head were minted during the later years of the Indian Head’s production, quite a few have survived the years.
With that being said, however, most collectors only want to get their hands on versions of the coin that have been well-preserved; this is not such an easy feat. As time moves forward, finding these coins in pristine condition will only become increasingly difficult.
For Indian Head Pennies, or any other coin that is more than 100 years old, the price you will pay can be directly correlated with the condition the coin is in. In collector’s terms, the process of assessing the condition of a coin is known as grading. Under normal circumstances, grading is done by a professional company that utilizes the opinions of experts.
Though you may not be able to give your coin(s) an official grade, you can utilize the specifications below to determine the qualities of coins of a certain grade.
Uncirculated: Uncirculated 1892 Indian Head Pennies never saw any time exchanging hands and were kept in a safe place immediately after being minted. These coins will show no signs of wear and will have retained all of their original imagery and texture. The one small flaw with most Uncirculated 1892 Indian Heads is that the mint’s original luster will have worn away with the years.
Extremely Fine: An Extremely Fine 1892 Indian Head Penny will have been in circulation for some period of time, but not for very long. These coins will show almost no signs of wear other than a few scratches or other small blemishes. The mint’s original luster will be almost completely gone, but the raised aspects of the coin and imagery in general will have been maintained through the years.
Fine: A coin deserving of this grade is one that saw a good amount of time in circulation. These coins will show ample scratching and other signs of wear, but the Indian on the front and wreath/inscriptions on the back will be able to still be easily deciphered. Due to the exchanging of hands over the years, some of the coin’s texture will have been worn away.
Good: An 1892 Indian Head Penny in Good condition is one that was circulated for longer than any other coin. Scratching, bending, and chipping are commonly found as most of the textured imagery and inscriptions have given way to a smoother surface. The coin’s images will also be quite difficult to make out simply because the coin itself has been so badly tattered.
For any coin that is more than 100 years old, collectors will immediately look at the grade in order to determine the price they will pay for the coin. Because the 1892 edition of the Indian Head Penny is one of the later versions minted, the price you will pay for these is not nearly as much as it is for Indian Heads from the 1860s or 1870s. By way of the chart below, you can gain a good idea of what you can expect to pay for an 1892 Indian Head given its grade.
1892 Indian Head Penny
|1892||$3||$5||$20||$30||Source: Red Book|