If you got a hold of an Indian Head penny produced in 1905, you may be lucky enough to be able to sell it for a lot of money.
If you are looking to buy one of these pretty coins but you are not sure how much they are worth, you have come to the right place.
Let’s learn all about the 1905 Indian Head penny value, details, errors, grading, and history. Enjoy!
1905 Indian Head Penny Value Details
- Category – Indian penny
- Mint – Philadelphia
- Total mintage – 80 000 000 +
- Obverse designer – James B. Longacre
- Reverse designer – James B. Longacre
- Composition – 95% copper; 5% zinc and tin
- Weight – 3.11 grams (0.10 ounces)
- Diameter – 19 mm (0.7 inches)
Indian Head penny minted in 1905 is a coin that contains 90% copper, which gives it a beautiful red-brown color. It is a small coin only 19 millimeters in diameter and weighing just slightly over 3 grams.
There were more than 80 million coins released into the market in 1905 alone. This means that the Indian Head penny is not rare, per se. However, most of the well-preserved coins are already in the hands of numismatists, so if you do find one, it is likely to be in poor condition.
Unlike many other coins produced during this time, the Indian Head penny from 1905 doesn’t have a value based on precious metals, because it doesn’t contain any.
This coin’s worth is most largely based on its condition, so if yours is shiny and you can see all of the details clearly, it may be worth a lot.
The coins in poor condition can be sold for only a dollar or two, but the ones that are well-preserved and in mint condition can reach prices of thousands of dollars.
Another thing that can increase the price of the Indian Head penny from 1905 is some possible errors that can happen during the minting process. We will talk about that later.
1905 Indian Head Penny Value Chart
Since there were so many Indian Head pennies produced in 1905, their price is not high unless they are in near-perfect condition. However, considering the fact that this coin’s face value was only one cent, you can still most probably sell it for more than that, making it worth your while.
These coins in poor condition are usually worth less than one dollar. Their worth increases with the quality of the penny, with those in fine and better condition being worth $8 to $150. If you are lucky and have a coin in mint state, you can get thousands of dollars selling it.
|1905 Indian Head Penny No Mint Mark Value
|up to $1
|$1 – $2
|$2 – $3
|$2 – $4
|$4 – $6
|$8 – $12
|$20 – $30
|$50 – $75
|$100 – $150
|Mint State (60-63)
|$200 – $900
|Mint State (64+)
|$1 000 +
1905 Indian Head Penny Value & Varieties Guide
The Indian Head penny from 1905 was not minted in several locations, like most of the coins from this time were. This coin was produced only in the Philadelphia mint so this is the only variety that exists out there. Let’s learn more about it.
1905 Indian Head Penny No Mint Mark Value
- Type – Indian head penny
- Edge – plain
- Mint mark – no mint mark
- Place of minting – Philadelphia
- Year of minting – 1905
- Face value – 1 cent
- Price – $1 – $1 000 +
- Quantity produced – over 80 000 000
- Designer – James B. Longacre
- Composition – 95% copper; 5% zinc and tin
- Mass – 3.11 grams
- Diameter – 19 millimeters
The Indian Head penny is a beautiful coin, designed by James B. Longacre. It has a plain edge and a red-brown color thanks to its high content of copper.
The front (obverse) side depicts Lady Liberty wearing a headdress typically associated with the culture of Native Americans, hence the name of the coin. On the left side the words UNITED STATES are engraved and on the right side OF AMERICA. Below Lady Liberty is the year 1905.
The back (reverse) side has a wreath of flowers around the edges of the coin that come together to a shield on the top. Inside the flowers is the denomination – ONE CENT.
Its simple but powerful design makes it one of the more beautiful coins from this era. However, some critics stated the coin was culturally insensitive because the picture does not properly depict Native American culture.
The price of this coin ranges from a couple of cents to several thousand dollars. The exact value is dependent on the condition of the coin, so it’s best to have it professionally evaluated before selling it. It may be worth much more than you expect.
Indian Head penny from 1905 was not minted in any location other than Philadelphia, so there aren’t rare pennies with different mint marks that can be worth more.
However, the mint produced several thousand proof coins – pennies that are the same in design as the regular ones but printed with the highest-quality dies and finishes. These coins are aimed at collectors rather than circulation, which is why their prices are much higher.
If you do stumble upon one or more of these coins, you are very lucky as their value can reach thousands of dollars.
1905 Indian Head Penny History
Indian Head penny’s history starts in 1859 when then Chief Engraver of the US mint came up with the now well-known design. While he did design several other coins during his career, this one is considered one of the finest.
Indian Head pennies’ production ran until 1909, so for fifty years altogether. In most of these years, these coins were produced in different mints, including Philadelphia, New Orleans, San Francisco, Denver, and Carson City.
There were a total of over a billion Indian Head coins produced over the period of those fifty years. A lot of them are rare and very expensive to buy, but the ones made in 1905 don’t belong to this group unless they are in perfect condition.
The ones produced in 1905 were minted only in Philadelphia, which is why they don’t have a mint mark. Since the coins made in 1905 were one of the last in the series, they are popular among collectors.
Throughout the history of the production of this coin, it underwent several changes in design. It replaced a Flying Eagle cent that was in production for only a year before it was discontinued.
The Indian Head penny was replaced with the Lincoln cent, introduced to the market in 1909 to mark the 100th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth.
Overall, this penny stays a part of US history in more than one way. It is a beautiful coin that the collectors love and it represents the Native Americans and their role in the development of the US.
Also, it was used for five decades, so it saw some of the biggest changes in the history of this country, such as the Civil War.
Nowadays, this coin is not worth a lot if it is not graded highly. However, even if you find one in poor condition, it is a very significant and pretty addition to your collection. Who knows, it may be worth so much more one day, so hold onto it!
1905 Indian Head Penny Grading
The grading of an Indian Head penny made in 1905 is based on the overall condition of your coin. The lower grades are poor and fair, then about good, good, very good, fine, very fine, and extremely fine, and the best grades that a coin can get are about uncirculated and mint.
Mint state coins hold the most value and can be sold or bought at high prices.
1905 Indian Head Penny Errors
Factory errors of old coins are not desirable if the coins have just exited the mint. However, once enough time passes, these coins become collectors’ favorites.
This is why you should carefully examine each coin and see if it contains any errors. Here are some of the common ones when it comes to the Indian Head penny errors.
1. 1905 Indian Head penny clipped planchet
A clipped planchet is an error that happens when the dies strike and cuts off a part of the coin because the coin was not placed well in the machine.
This error is very unique and interesting, which is why the coins that were chipped have a much higher value than the regular ones.
The clipped planchet error is the easiest one to spot as well. You won’t need a magnifying glass or any other device to help you with the examination, just look for any missing parts of the coin.
2. 1905 Indian Head penny doubled die obverse
Doubled die on the obverse side of a coin happens when the dies mistakenly strike twice or when the die is engraved with a double image.
This results in a double-stamped coin. This error is sometimes barely noticeable and you will need an expert to examine your coin and confirm it. Sometimes it is severe and you will be able to see it right away.
Keep in mind that this coin is over a hundred years old. Over time, it can get damaged and worn out, so you may mistake the age of the coin for a factory error. Consult a professional before you buy or sell a coin.
3. 1905 Indian Head penny repunched date
Repunched date error happens when the dies that strike the date of the coin (in this case, the reverse side) strike twice.
In the case of this error, you can probably see right away if the date is engraved twice. Sometimes it will be difficult to spot it if the coin is heavily worn out or damaged, but sometimes it is fairly easy to see the double date.
4. 1905 Indian Head penny die breaks
Die breaks are another common error in these pennies. Dies are the machines that stamp the coin on both sides and engrave the design and words in it.
When the dies are used for a long time, they start to lose their ability to effectively transfer the design to the coins. When this happens, the coins can have irregular shapes or missed parts of the picture.
While this error can increase the price of the coin because of its uniqueness, it shouldn’t be too noticeable. If it is severe enough, it can affect the appearance of the coin, so it wouldn’t be worth much anymore.
5. 1905 Indian Head penny off-center strikes
Off-center strikes appear when the coin is not properly placed on the machine when the dies strike. This causes the design to become misaligned, and sometimes parts of the design are missing from the coin altogether.
Coins with this error can be popular among collectors, but only if the error is not too severe. You will need to consult an experienced numismatist to check if your coin is worth more or less due to an off-center strike error.
Is a 1905 Indian penny worth anything?
Indian Head pennies’ worth largely depends on the condition of the coin. While some of the coins that are in poor condition sell for only a couple of dollars, there are mint-condition pennies that can be sold for tens of thousands of dollars.
What do Indian Head pennies symbolize?
Indian Head pennies are believed to represent real-life Native American women, but the identity of those women is unknown. The penny does symbolize a tribute to Native Americans and is a remembrance of major events that happened in the US at the time, such as the Civil War.
How rare is a 1905 penny?
This penny is not rare because a lot of them were made back in 1905. However, most of them are already taken by collectors so it may be difficult to find ones that are worth anything without paying a lot of money.
How do you clean Indian Head pennies?
You don’t! Well, you shouldn’t do it yourself at least. Cleaning the pennies can damage them and significantly reduce their price, so take them for grading first.