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1903 Indian Head Penny Error List & Value

1903 indian head penny value

Many people are curious about the 1903 Indian Head Value and why it is such a valuable coin. Although 85 million coins were minted, the figure is lower when compared to other years in which more than 100 million coins were minted.

The truth is that this coin was created during the height of the industrial revolution. There are few well-preserved specimens today, and those that do exist are very expensive.

In this article, we will go over all of the details that will allow you to fully understand this coin and why it is so valuable.

1903 Indian Penny Value Chart

Mint Mark and Color XF45 MS 60 MS 65 MS 66
1903 (P) Indian Head Penny, Brown $20 $54 $150 $550
1903 (P) Indian Head Penny, Red, and Brown $275 $1,250
1903 (P) Indian Head Penny, Red $750 $1,850
PR 60 PR 63 PR65 PR67
1903 (P) Proof Indian Head Penny, Brown $130 $225 $575
1903 (P) Proof Indian Head Penny, Red, and Brown $150 $475 $675 $8,250
1903 (P) Proof Indian Head Penny, Red $500 $1,250 $3,250
1903 (P) Proof Indian Head Penny, Cameo $2,250 $15,000

The Indian Head is a coin with a long history, and it was in continuous production for many years until 1909, when it was replaced by the Lincoln Penny, which is still legal tender today.

The Indian Head of 1903 occurred during a period of economic expansion in the United States. It was the time of the industrial revolution, and the country enjoyed a prosperous economy.

These coins were originally the size of a dollar coin, but they underwent various changes over time. The rise in the price of gold on the market caused the price of copper to rise as well, so mint officials had to figure out how to keep the coin profitable.  So they decided to shrink it.

The reverse of the coin underwent several changes over the years, but the obverse with Lady Liberty wearing a feathered tiara remained unchanged.

The coin was designed by James Barton Longacre, and the design of the coin has always been a mystery. Some claim he based the design on his daughter, but the artist claims it was inspired by a Venus statue.

There are letters from officials denying this information to his superiors and assuring that the design is not based on any real person, indicating that the rumor was quite strong.

Critics claim that this coin lacks artistic merit and that its design is quite simple and common, but for some reason, it was appealing to the majority of citizens.

The Indian Head has become a must-have for any serious collector, and it is one of the most popular coins in American history. It was the first coin to earn the American people’s love and acceptance.

1903 (P) Brown Indian Head Penny Value

1903 (P) Brown Indian Head Penny Value
Image Credit: PCGS

The coin was named after Lady Liberty, the protagonist of many early American coins, who is wearing a tiara of Indian feathers on the obverse.

This was a design that everyone adored. However, some people believe that this coin contains some irony or contradiction because it depicts a Caucasian woman wearing a tiara reserved for the tribe’s head.

This coin is a great rarity that every collector desires to have in their collection. It is a coin that still has value and is in circulation, but finding one is difficult because people who know their value keep them in the hope of selling them at a good price.

Coins that have been in circulation and are still in good condition can be easily found, and a good copy can cost you around $20 or $30.

The Indian Head becomes expensive and difficult to obtain because of coins that have not been in circulation. It is extremely fortunate to have inherited or received one. So, if you have one of these specimens, it is best to treat it as if it were gold.

Only one mint produced the 1903 Indian Heads. In 1903, the main coinage headquarters in Philadelphia struck 85,092,703 coins.

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The coins are 95% copper with 5% tin and zinc. The presence of copper causes the coins to acquire interesting tones over time. As a result, the 1903 Indian Heads are classified into three types.

Reddish-colored coins have retained their luster and have not been heavily exposed to other materials. When exposed to light, these coins retain their intense luster.

Then there are the brown coins, which have aged to a nice chocolate-brown color. In general, these coins have been subjected to more environmental exposure and contact with other elements.

Finally, we have the brown/red coins, which are a hybrid of the previous two coins. Because all three types of coins were minted in the same facility, no 1903 Indian Head has a mint mark.

Furthermore, test coins were minted, which also have the three shades and differ in price, with more expensive and exclusive pieces being more expensive.

Obverse

1903 penny Obverse
Image Credit: eBay

James Barton Longacre proposed the design of Lady Liberty in profile, facing left, with a feathered tiara on her head and a pearl necklace around her neck for the coin’s obverse and reverse.

At the time, no one questioned the use of a native element on the face of a white woman. It was also important to remember that the feathered tiara was reserved for the tribe’s chief.

However, at the time, they saw it as a gesture of reconciliation with Native Americans who had a bloody history with the colonists, the future founders of the American nation.

The feather tiara was chosen by the artist because it represented power, but more importantly, freedom. If the message is not clear enough, the word LIBERTY can be seen on the feathered tiara.

The top edge of the coin bears the words UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, and the bottom edge bears the minting date. This coin was only minted in Philadelphia, so no mint marks are required.

Usually, mintmarks are small initials that help identify which minting house produced the coin. No mintmark was marked on this coin because Philadelphia was the main house. So if you see a coin without a mintmark, you know it was made in Philadelphia.

Reverse

1903 penny Reverse

The reverse of the coin is more sober and straightforward. It is an oak crown with a shield and an olive branch in the center.

There are also a group of arrows at the bottom of the crown. Another irony of the coin is the presence on the same side of the coin of an olive branch, which represents peace, and a handful of arrows, which represents the power and warlike force of a group or nation.

The coin concludes with the word ONE CENT in the center.

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Value

Because of their unusual composition, Indian heads are unique coins. They are 95% copper with the remainder being tin and zinc. This gave the coins a very intense shine when they were new, which is why these coins were once known as Nicks.

However, most coins age to a dark brown color and are the most plentiful on the open market. However, don’t be fooled by a dull and dull coin; if it’s in good condition, you can still get a good amount of money.

Coins that have been in circulation but are in excellent condition can be valued at around $20 each.  To give you an idea of good condition, your coin should not have major scratches or heavy wear on the front and back.

Prices begin to rise incredibly from coins that have not been in circulation. You should keep in mind that these are very old coins, dating back more than 100 years, so a copy that has not been in circulation can be worth a lot of money.

The most affordable coins start at $50. MS 65 coins in pristine condition can be purchased for around $200.

The most valuable brown Indian heads ever recorded are worth $600.

1903 (P) Red and Brown Indian Head Penny Value

1903 (P) Red and Brown Indian Head Penny

Brown Indian heads with a reddish hue are next on the collectible list. In general, these coins have had less contact with the environment.

However, it is very difficult to find many specimens of this type.

Value

It’s difficult to find coins of this type that have been in circulation, but if you do, they’re the same price as brown coins.

Uncirculated copies are worth at least $75, while MS 65 coins can fetch up to $300 and MS 66 coins can fetch up to $400.

However, something strange happens because gem quality MS 66 or higher grade pieces can sell for up to 1300 dollars.

The true value of this coin is unknown today because it is extremely rare and rarely for sale in that state of preservation.

1903 (P) Red Indian Head Penny Value

1903 (P) Red Indian Head Penny Value

Coins that have retained their red glow are considered uncirculated, which makes them expensive and in high demand. These coins are not graded lower than Uncirculated, and there is only one record of these coins from MS 62.

Value

Each of these uncirculated coins in MS 62 condition costs at least $120. For each new higher ranking, values are doubled. An MS 64 coin will set you back around $400, while an MS 65 coin will set you back around $800.

MS 66 coins will always have four digits. An MS 66 copy can cost up to 2,000 dollars, while an MS 67 coin can cost up to $10,000.

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The most expensive MS 67 coin was sold in 2021 for $15,000, and the same coin today is estimated to cost around $20,000.

1903 (P) Proof Indian Head Penny Value

1903 (P) Proof Indian Head Penny Value

The Philadelphia mint also produced proof coins. Proof coins were frequently made for later sale to collectors or as gifts to people associated with the day’s government or mint.

These are the most valuable and finest coins in the collection. They were coins that were meticulously prepared, using specially selected dies and plates, and then polished to ensure that the image on the obverse and reverse was completely sharp.

These coins are also classified into three colors: brown, red, and reddish brown. However, in addition to the coin’s distinctive coloration, the proof coins feature a very striking and frosted contrast.

Value

Proof coins of the highest quality cost at least $100. Many don’t even go below $130.

Coins with a quality higher than MS 67 have yet to be registered, but one of these copies can easily cost over USD 15,000. The most expensive coin of this type was 16 thousand dollars.

1903 Indian Penny Grading

The 1903 Indian Heads are easy to identify because they lack mintmarks and were all printed on the same coinage. They are, however, classified by color, and the colors are determined by the copper composition over time as well as the coin’s wear and tear.

As a result, it is critical to understand coin grades and their monetary value. We will leave you a video that explains everything about the value of the 1903 Indian Head so that you always have the information at your fingertips.

Rare 1903 Indian Penny Error List

The most common errors in the 1903 Indian Head were listed below.

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1903 (P) Indian Head Penny Broad Struck

The error of this coin is due to not having the planchet in the right place. This makes the coin design look off-center. These bugs are very rare and one can rarely be found in good condition.

A few years ago a copy was found in very poor condition that had been in circulation for a long time. Still, someone bought it for 50 bucks.

1903 (P) Indian Head Penny, Flipover Double Struck

This error happens every time the coin is minted twice. Nor have many copies like these been found and the few that have arrived are not classified as out of circulation. However, that copy sold for 275 dollars.

1903 (P) Indian Head Penny, Double Struck, Second Strike Off Center

These coins are very similar to those with an offset problem. But this type of coin has a deviation of 65 degrees while the Flipover Double Struck has a deviation of 180 degrees.

This is the only copy that has been able to be obtained as gem 63 and 900 dollars was paid for this coin.

1903 Indian Penny FAQ

What makes a 1903 Indian head penny rare?

Indian heads from 1903 are rare because they are so rare and hard to find. Although 85 million coins were minted, it was a very low number compared to other years.

Is a 1903 Indian head penny worth anything?

They are very valuable coins that can cost about 50 dollars in good condition, but from coins that have not been in circulation, you can find them from 70 dollars for the lower quality ones and prices for gem-quality coins can cost thousands of dollars.

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