HomeUS Coins1872 Indian Head Cent : A Collector's Guide

1872 Indian Head Cent : A Collector’s Guide

1872 Indian Head Cent. Image: David Lawrence Rare Coins.
1872 Indian Head Cent. Image: David Lawrence Rare Coins.

By Charles Morgan and Hubert Walker for CoinWeek Notes …..

The United States Mint at Philadelphia produced over four million business strike Indian Head cents in 1872. Many did not circulate long and were likely redeemed and melted pursuant to the Act of March 3, 1871, which saw cent redemption continue through 1881. The U.S. Treasury Department redeemed and melted 5,635,999 bronze cents and 5,751,073 copper-nickel cents in 1872.

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Market Data and Noteworthy Specimens of the 1872 Indian Head Cent

In an ad published in the July 1964 issue of Numismatic Scrapbook Magazine, Oklahoma dealer Roy L. Baker offered a Brilliant Uncirculated 1872 Indian Head cent for $255 USD.

Top Population: PCGS MS-66RD (2, 2/2024). NGC MS-66RD (1, 2/2024). CACG MS-65RD (7:0 stickered:graded, 2/2024).

1872 Indian Head Cent, Bold N

(PCGS MS66RB, Population 9; PCGS MS-66RD finest, pop 1, 8/2012- 5/2015)

  • PCGS MS-65RD #84287375: David Lawrence Rare Coins, September 10, 2023, Lot 4013 – View.
  • PCGS MS-65RD CAC EAPS #83008401: “The Silver Springs Collection”, Stack’s Bowers, August 17, 2021, Lot 4018 – $44,400. Pale copper color. Lightly spotted. Spot to the left of the top left serif of the F in OF. Spot on lips.
  • PCGS MS-65RD #20242043: “The ESM Collection”, Stack’s Bowers, August 15, 2018, Lot 1077 – $7,800.
  • PCGS MS-65RD #25010123: Stack’s Bowers / Sotheby’s, May 20, 2015, Lot 44 – $17,625. Fingerprint on obverse.
  • PCGS MS-65RD: Stack’s Bowers, August 7, 2012, Lot 11241 – $15,275.

1872 Indian Head Cent, Shallow N

The N of the word ONE is less defined than the N on the Bold N reverse hub. The Mint officially made the change in 1870, but continued to use some Shallow N dies through 1872. Shallow N is scarcer than Bold N.

  • PCGS MS65RD #10007905: “The Anne Kate Collection”, Stack’s Bowers, August 15, 2018, Lot 1078 – $3,600.

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Coin Specifications

Country: United States of America
Year Of Issue: 1872
Denomination: One Cent (USD)
Mint Mark: None (Philadelphia)
Mintage: 4,042,000
Alloy: .950 Copper, .050 Tin and Zinc
Weight: 3.11 g
Diameter: 19.00 mm
Edge: Plain
OBV Designer: James Barton Longacre
REV Designer: James Barton Longacre
Quality: Business Strike


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CoinWeek Notes
CoinWeek Notes
CoinWeek Notes presents expert analysis and insights from Charles Morgan and Hubert Walker, the award-winning editors of CoinWeek.com.

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