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What is an 1877 Indian head penny?

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Quick Answer

An 1877 Indian head penny is a one-cent coin minted in the United States, showing the head of an Indian on one side and "one cent" stamped on the reverse side. Depending on its condition, an Indian head penny can be very valuable.

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Full Answer

The 1877 Indian head penny is a much sought-after coin by collectors. As of August 2014, even a coin that shows wear and tear can bring as much as $600. Some 1877 Indian head pennies still exist in uncirculated condition, in which the luster of the original mint is intact and surfaces are unscratched. These coins are worth an estimated $3,000 to $4,000 each. In August 2014, eBay listed one 1877 penny for sale at $52,500.

The owner of an 1877 U.S. Indian head penny would be wise to have the coin authenticated and its value estimated by a professional numismatist. The value of collectible coins can vary greatly depending on their condition. Scratches, worn surfaces, discoloration and loss of mint luster all affect a coin's value. The Professional Coin Grading Service and Numismatic Guaranty Corporation offer analyses of what coins are worth in the market place. They can authenticate the coin and estimate its market value for a fee.

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