Though it is currently the lowest denomination in American coinage, some cent dates & mintmarks are often sought after by collectors and can be worth much more than one cent. Coins like the 1909 VDB Penny and the 1943 Steel Penny have a rich history and a modest value for collectors, enthusiasts, and numismatists alike! Indian Head cents have become very popular coins for collectors to have in their collections.
For example, interest in the 1908 Indian Head Cent – as well as all dates in the Indian Head series that spanned 50 consecutive years – is widespread, and collections that emphasize its rarity and uncirculated condition are often worth, pardon the pun, a pretty penny!
The 1908 Indian Head Cent
The 1908 Indian Head Cent is one such minted coin that would be a very rare find in your change these days. This coin, composed of 95% copper and 5% tin and zinc, has a face value of only $0.01. Yet the true value depends on the rarity, condition, and whether or not it has a mint mark.
History of the Coin
The US Mint produced Indian Head pennies from 1859 to 1909. James Barton Longacre, the Chief Engraver at the Philadelphia Mint at the time, designed the coin, which began circulating a few years before the American Civil War. One change to this coin occurred during the Civil War’s metal shortage when its copper and nickel composition was changed to copper, tin, and zinc. In 1864 the coin’s composition became the 95% copper/5% tin & zinc alloy that would remain the cent composition until decades after the minting of the Victor D. Brenner Lincoln Wheat Penny began.
One cent pieces were only minted in Philadelphia from 1793 until 1908. In 1908 the San Francisco mint started minting cents as well, marking the first time a cent had a mint mark. There are no famous major errors on the 1908 Indian Head cent to look for, so its value is based on just 2 factors: its condition and whether or not it has a mint mark.
The Philadelphia Mint struck more than 32 million 1908 Indian Head pennies with no mint mark, while San Francisco minted about 1 million with an S mint mark. If you find a 1908 Indian Head penny with an S mint mark, it is worth considerably more than one minted in Philadelphia.
What is the Value of an Indian Head Penny?
A 1908 Indian Head penny without a mint mark is likely worth around $1 in good condition, $5 in “fine” condition, $10 in “extremely fine” condition, and at least $30 in uncirculated condition.
The 1908 S Indian Head penny, on the other hand, is valued at around $75 in good condition, $100 in “fine” condition, $150 in “extremely fine condition”, and $200 in uncirculated condition.
Contact Dave About Your 1908 Indian Head Cent
The best way to find out the true worth of your Indian Head penny is to enlist the help of an experienced numismatist like Dave Wnuck! Dave will assess and appraise your penny or collection of pennies and give you a fair and honest valuation. Contact Dave today to schedule an appointment!