Coin Value Finder » 1901 Indian Penny Value: are No mint mark worth money?

1901 Indian Penny Value: are No mint mark worth money?

If you want to find out almost everything there is to know about the 1901 Indian Head Penny, you have come to the right place. Its value, value chart, grading, history, errors, frequently asked questions…The list goes on. So do not waste any more time and start reading!

1901 Indian Penny Details

1901 Indian Penny

Indian Head Pennies are some of the most interesting coins you can find in America, not only because of their appearance but also the stories related to their design.

Although this coin is called Indian Head, the obverse actually shows a Caucasian Lady Liberty wearing the traditional Native American headwear with bird feathers.

Part of the headpiece on the Indian penny is also a headband with the legend LIBERTY written on it.

It is a term that symbolizes widespread freedom in the United States and represents a deeply held principle upon which the country was founded and that the country as a whole strongly embraces that until today.

When this penny first appeared, there were rumors that the lady depicted on the obverse was Longrace’s twelve-year-old daughter. Allegedly, he got the inspiration for the coin’s design when one day, he observed her trying on traditional Native American headwear in a shop.

But this rumor stayed only a rumor since, at the time of the coin’s creation, she was 30 years old. In fact, according to Longacre, he based the features of the Lady Liberty on a statue of “Crouching Venus”, which was borrowed from the Vatican and located in Philadelphia.

Indian Head Pennies were created and entered into circulation in 1859, which is interesting because, at that time, Native American tribes were losing their lands and were being transferred and relocated to reservations.

Lady Liberty is surrounded by the inscription UNITED STATES on the right side and OF AMERICA on the left. On the bottom rim is written 1901, representing the year this series of Indian Head Penny was minted.

When it comes to the reverse side of the 1901 Indian Head Penny, ONE CENT is written in the center of the coin, representing its denomination.

The coin’s top rim features a shield, while the inscription ONE CENT is surrounded by two oak wreaths on the sides. On the bottom rim of the coin, you can see a bow ribbon that ties the two wreaths and three arrows pointing to the right.

The 1901 Indian Head Penny is a relatively slim and light coin with a thickness of 0.03938 inches (1 mm) and a weight of 0.1097 ounces (3.11 g). It has three compounds, out of which copper is the heaviest, with 95%, while the other 5% is made of zinc and tin.

  • Type: Indian Head Penny (1859 – 1909)
  • Edge: Plain
  • Shape: Round
  • Mint Mark: No Mark
  • Place of Minting: Philadelphia
  • Year of minting: 1901
  • Face Value: One cent ($0.01)
  • Melt Value: $0.0269 (12/2/2023)
  • Quantity produced: 79,611,143
  • Designer: James B. Longacre
  • Composition: 95% copper, 5% tin, and zinc
  • Mass: 0.1097 ounces (3.11 g)
  • Thickness: 0.03938 inches (1 mm)
  • Diameter: 1.75 inches (19 mm)

1901 Indian Head Penny Value Chart

Condition No Mint Mark 1901 Indian Head Penny
Good $3
Very Good $3.30
Fine $5
Very Fine $6.65
Extra Fine $12
AU $22
Mint State 60 $43
Mint State 63 $65
Proof 63 $160

1901 Indian Head Penny Value And Varieties Guide

The 1901 Indian Head one-cent coin was minted only at the main Mint in Philadelphia. In 1901, 79,611,143 specimens of this coin were produced. Only a little less than 2,000 of them, which were proof coins, were kept.

It has been more than 120 years since these coins were put into circulation, which, on the one hand, increased their value since they are relatively old, but on the other hand, it also decreased as there was a lot of opportunity and time for them to wear out and get damaged.

Precisely because of this, their value depends on the condition, which means that only well-preserved 1901 Indian Head Pennies can fetch big money.

No Mint Mark 1901 Indian Head Penny Value

1901 No Mint Mark Indian Head Penny

  • Type: Indian Head Penny
  • Edge: Plain
  • Shape: Round
  • Mark Category: No Mint
  • Place of Minting: Philadelphia
  • Year of minting: 1901
  • Face Value: One cent ($0.01)
  • Price: $1 -$33,600
  • Quantity produced: 79609158
  • Designer: James B. Longacre
  • Composition: 95% copper, 5% tin, and zinc
  • Mass: 0.1097 ounces (3.11 g)
  • Thickness: 0.03938 inches (1 mm)
  • Diameter: 1.75 inches (19 mm)

None of the 79,611,143 Indian head pennies minted and produced at the main mint in Philadelphia features a mint mark (‘P’). As we have already said, they have been on the market for a long time, which is why their value is usually between $1 and $30.

When it comes to coins that were not in circulation, are not severely damaged, and do not have special features, i.e., colors, which we will explain in more detail below, they are not worth a pretty penny and can be found in the range from $30 to $155.

This range primarily refers to Indian Head Pennies that feature a brown shade.

If you own a 1901 Indian head penny with red-brownish hues, you can consider yourself somewhat lucky because selling one would make you a profit from $50 to $600. Moreover, if your coin is in pristine condition and you would like to “get rid” of it, you should know that on sales by bid, they go for as much as $2000.

The last group of Indian Head Pennies minted in 1901 from the regular strike feature a glossy red sheen and are, of course, the most valuable ones. The minimum is around $80, while the maximum is hard to define because you never know how much certain people value them.

It is not uncommon to see prices in the hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

As recently as January of 2023, one specimen was sold at Heritage Auctions for $21,600. But that is not the highest one of these coins went for. In January 2021, an Indian Head Penny MS67+RD was sold for $33,600 at the Heritage Auctions.

1901 Indian Head Proof Penny Value

1901 Indian Head Proof Penny

  • Type: Indian Head Penny
  • Edge: Plain
  • Shape: Round
  • Mark Category: No Mint
  • Place of Minting: Philadelphia
  • Year of minting: 1901
  • Face Value: One cent ($0.01)
  • Price: $110 – $49,938
  • Quantity produced: 1,985
  • Designer: James B. Longacre
  • Composition: 95% copper, 5% tin, and zinc
  • Mass: 0.1097 ounces (3.11 g)

Only 1,985 Indian Head proof pennies were produced in 1901, making them extremely valuable. Even those in lousy states, which are only brown, can be sold for a minimum of $110, while the upper limit is around $2,000.

If you have 1901 Indian Head proof pennies that feature a red-brown toning, you can expect anywhere between $140 and $2,500, depending on where you decide to auction it.

As is the case with coins from the regular strike, the most valuable and, therefore, the most expensive are reddish-proof pennies. Of course, they are also the hardest to obtain, which is why you can rarely find an example for less than a few hundred dollars.

Prices from $300 to several thousand dollars are most common. Still, some specimens went for much more than that, such as one that cost almost $50,000 (PR67+CAM) sold in January 2020 and one that was sold for nearly $24,000 (PR++ CAM) in February 2019.

Also Read: Top 15 Most Valuable Indian Head Penny Worth Money

1901 Indian Head Penny History

The story of the 1901 Indian head penny began long before it was put into circulation. Between 1793 and 1857, one-cent coins were produced from copper and were almost the same size as the half-dollar coin.

However, in 1848 gold was discovered, which started the famous gold rush in California and made some 300,000 people search for this precious metal.

As more and more gold appeared on the market, prices, including copper prices, began to rise. Since the cent was one of the few coins that actually brought profit to the mint, people started looking for other solutions that regarded its composition.

Several steps were taken in this process. First, the Flying Eagle Cent was created and put into circulation in 1857.

Even though it was smaller than its predecessor and had a smaller diameter, it was still a bit heavier and thicker. Also, the composition was changed from 100% copper to 88% copper and 12% nickel.

But as the design of this coin made its production difficult, the US Mint once again decided to change something. That task was given to James B. Longacre, the Mint’s 4th Chief Engraver and the person in charge of creating the Flying Eagle Cent.

Many ideas and patterns were thrown around and tested in the coming period, including a Columbus, eagle, and Indian head.

The decision was made in favor of the Indian head mostly because this coin had low relief and was expected to be minted without problems. That was one of the difficulties the Mint encountered in producing the Flying Eagle Cent.

The Indian Penny started circulating in 1859, featuring a Caucasian Lady Liberty, the words UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and the year of mintage on the obverse, and the central words ONE CENT surrounded by laurel wreaths tied with a ribbon.

However, in 1960 laurel wreaths were replaced with oak wreaths. On the top rim of the reverse, a shield was added, while on the bottom, three arrows pointing to the right were incorporated with the ribbon tie.

From then until 1909, when this coin was replaced by the Lincoln or Wheat Cent, as it is also called, its design did not change.

However, in 1964, its composition was changed from 88% copper and 12% nickel to 95% copper and 5% tin and zinc.

The vast majority of series produced between 1859 and 1909 Indian Head Pennies were minted in large quantities, especially in the last ten years, because a lot of services cost one cent. The 1901 series is one of the largest, with 79,611,143 specimens produced.

Also Read: Top 20 Most Valuable Old Pennies Worth Money (Penny Collection)

1901 Indian Head Penny Grading

A picture is worth a thousand words, right? Well, what about a video? Millions? Billions? Who cares. Grading a 1901 Indian Head one-cent coin is kind of hard to do.

By hard, we mean it takes a lot of words to describe everything that goes into grading. That is why we have included a video that will help you find out the value of your 1901 Indian head penny.

1901 Indian Head Penny Errors

The vast majority of 1901 Indian head pennies were produced without errors and are famous as a high-quality series. However, rare issues that are imperfect contain one of the three following errors.

1. 1901 Indian Head Penny Longacre Doubling

One of the most well-known errors on Indian Head Pennies is Longacre doubling, which can be identified by doubled letters and date.

This error is not considered a true doubled die but is believed to have been caused by the master die hubbing process. It is appealing to some enthusiasts, which is why coins with Longacre doubling can be pretty valuable.

2. 1901 Indian Head Penny Off-Center

1901 Indian Head Penny Off-Center

A small number of these pennies feature an off-center error that is rarely in the double digits in terms of percentage points. Unfortunately, specimens of this kind are mostly not in mint condition. If, however, you do happen to own one, know its price can go as high as $500.

3. 1901 Indian Head Penny With Croaking

The last of the errors is the one you can see near Lady Liberty’s chin and was caused by an internal malfunction of the die used in the minting process. It is also one of the rare mistakes, making coins that have it highly sought after by collectors and potentially easy to sell.

You can also watch this video to find out even more about these errors.

1901 Indian Head Penny FAQ

What makes a 1901 Indian Head Penny rare?

The rarest 1901 Indian Head Pennies are proof pennies since only 1,985 of them were minted. When it comes to pennies from the regular strike, those with an appealing red shine and no signs of wear and tear or damage are the rarest and most valuable ones.

How can you tell if a 1901 Indian Head Penny is uncirculated?

The 1901 Indian head penny is considered uncirculated if the mint luster on the high points remains intact. In case there is damage or any wear present, it can not be classified as uncirculated.

Where is the mint mark on a 1901 Indian Head Penny?

1901 Indian head pennies were minted in Philadelphia but did not have a mint mark.

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