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Can we still say "Indian head penny"? Numismatists seem to be politically incorrect. No one has proposed calling Indian head US coins Native American coins--possibly because new numismatists are too busy determining what Indian head coins are worth.
Most Indian Head pennies have been handled extensively in circulation. Often, you won't find an Indian Head collectible coin in an uncirculated or mint state. That's not surprising, since the coins were minted between 1859 and 1909.
A coin such as the 1857 Good/Very Goood (G/VG) Indian Head cent United States coin typically has signs of wear although some dealers and appraisers might rate it XF or Extremely Fine, which boosts the coin's value. Several G/VG coins sell for $350 to $650 for this piece of history.
You can tell an Indian head penny by the profile of an Indian head on the obverse and laurel leaves surrounding the words "One Cent" on the reverse.
Why collect Indian head pennies? They are a rare investment in United States coin history. As long as you skip politics and pay attention to grading (VG, XF, AG), you'll have quite a collection.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|