A fairly popular coin, the 1888 Indian head penny value is prized among collectors due to its interesting history and unique features. The penny is seen as a relic from U.S. history and is one of the most sought-after coins. Keep reading to learn about the 1888 Indian Head Penny Value, its varieties, the reported errors, and the relevant information you need.
1888 Indian Head Penny Value Chart
|Mint Mark||Uncirculated||Fine||Extremely Fine||Good|
|1888 Indian Head Penny No Mint Mark value||$290||$6.8||$85 to $175||-$4.6|
|1888 Indian Head Pennyv No Mint Mark (8 over 7) value||N/A||$5251||$40,010 to $74202||-$1898|
1888 Indian Head Penny No Mint Mark Value
In this section, we’ll explore the penny’s value, the features that make it unique, the design, and a quick peek through the 1888 Indian head penny history. Higher-graded pennies sell for more than the coins in circulation. The Indian head penny without the mint mark was minted in the Philadelphia mint. Although the coin has a face value of $0.01, its current price ranges from $4.6 to $290.
The value can even go higher, depending on the penny grade. Exactly 37,489,832 pennies were minted in the Philadelphia Mint. The mint state pennies sell between the range of $15,000 to $63,000, but these prices can vary. The proof coins minted using specialized dies are valued at $300 and have a mirror finish.
Before reading more about the 1888 Indian penny no mint mark 8 over 7 variety, let’s review the coin’s history and the story behind its design. During the years after the war, the production of cents was reduced to a minimum as the hoarding of coins had reduced.
However, small coins during the 1870s were not being redeemed. The act of March in 1871 allowed these small coins to be redeemed in lots of $20. After the passing of this act, millions of Indian Head and Flying Eagle pennies were redeemed, which were melted by the Mint to produce coins.
Around fifty-five million coins were redeemed, which Mints re-issued for commercial usage requests and lowered the production of new coins. With the discontinuation of the two and three-cent silver coin in 1873, the three-cent nickel and one-cent were the two coins left with a denomination under five dollars.
The three-cent was also abolished in 1890 due to low demand. As a result of the decreasing demand for low-value coins, the cents, and five-cent nickels were not minted from February 1885 to 1886. At the time, mints used specialized dies which didn’t have the coin year date. The year could be punched later on like mints punched the mint mark.
The Chief Engraver at the time, Charles E. Barber slightly modified the design to remove the outlines between letters, and some other changes. These design changes led to the minting of two types of pennies. The design Barber modified the lowest feather of the portrait which extends to the space between the letters I and C in America. However, in the original design, the lowest feather extends to the space between C and A.
The Indian head pennies replaced the Flying Eagle coins which were only minted from 1856 to 1858. The Indian head pennies remained in circulation from 1859 to 1909. The 1888 design was made by a mint engraver, James Barton Longacre. His Indian head penny design is one of the most collected coins in history. On the obverse side, the coin has a portrait of Lady Liberty wearing a Native American-style headdress.
The facial features of Lady Liberty were kept simple, whereas the headdress and feathers had fine details. The phrase United States of America is struck along the coin’s rim. The phrase is divided into two parts, where the United States is written on the left of the portrait, whereas the remaining phrase is written on the right rim. The date 1888 is struck at the coin’s bottom curve.
On the reverse side, the penny features its denomination, one cent, struck at the coin’s center. The denomination is surrounded by an oak wreath which is tied with a ribbon at the bottom and has a shield at the top ends. The ribbon also holds a few arrows, depicting strength and courage. The oak wreath covers the coin’s rim with the arrows and ribbon being the most prominent.
1888 Indian Head Penny Grading
Collectors are always in search of the 1888 head pennies in uncirculated condition, as they are worth a lot of money and will increase in value as time passes. When evaluating a coin’s value, it’s imperative to know the coin’s grade or its condition.
The higher the grade, the better the coin is preserved. As these pennies were meant for circulation, you’ll find several coins with varying grades of wear. Here’s a video about the different coin grades and the areas to look for when coin grading.
Rare 1888 Indian Head Penny Error Lists
Not many errors are reported on the 1888 Indian head penny as the coin was minted more than a century ago and most coins in circulation were also redeemable for new currency. Here are a few reported errors you might want to know.
1888 Indian Head Penny Double Strike Error
No matter the coin type, coins are minted when the die is struck on a planchet or a blank metal sheet. However, during the minting process, if the same coin is struck two times, it creates a double outline and is known as a double strike error. The lettering and some details of the portrait can be seen as having a double outline. Due to the scarcity of these pennies, most errors are not reported.
1888 Indian Head Penny Eight Over Seven Error
While the Philadelphia Mint only produced the Indian head pennies that year, this variety surfaced due to mismanagement while minting the coins. The year 1888 in these coins was struck over 1887, which made the number eight appear above the seven. The overlapping numbers cannot be seen with the naked eye and require a magnifying glass or a coin microscope. A part of the number seven is seen extending from Figure eight at its left lower side.
However, at the top, you might see the number seven above eight. These coins were circulated but the exact coinage is unreported. Some collectors see this penny as another variety while some categorize this rare penny as an error. While no one knows the exact quantity, these coins are hard to find and the price starts from thousands of dollars.
An 1888 penny with this eight-over-seven variation in good condition is valued at $1900, which is higher than the value of the regular 1888 pennies. Likewise, the pennies graded as fine start selling at a price of $5400.The extremely fine condition pennies are worth $8900, whereas uncirculated coins are valued between $40,000 to $75000 or more.
1888 Indian Head Penny Rim Strike Shift Error
The rim strike shift error occurs during the minting process when the die is not striking the coin planchet and there is insufficient die approximation. When a poorly-angeled die hits the planchet, it can create a slightly shifted image. The strike shift error is the most evident on the coin rims.
1888 Indian Head Penny Die Crack Error
When minting coins, consistent use of the die can result in cracks. These cracks can get imprinted on the coin surface, leaving behind a distinct cud or groove. The coin might be missing some parts of the lettering or imprint a rugged image instead of a sharp one. The size of the die crack and the area it covers on the coin determines the penny value.
1888 Indian Head Penny Die Cap Error
During the coin minting process, if the coin ejector fails after successfully striking the coin, it results in additional in-collar strikes. The striking pressure from the dies causes the coins to get thinner and eventually start squeezing up and out of the collars. These strikes deform the coin, creating a cup or thimble shape. Sometimes, these cup-shaped coins can get attached to the hammer die, resulting in a die cap.
1888 Indian Head Penny Off-Center Error
During the normal coin minting process, the planchet is placed on the collar die which fastens the planchet to receive a strike. After one strike, the coin chamber ejects the minted coin. However, in an off-center error, the coin from the chamber fails to eject, ending up landing partially on the collar die.
As the minting continues, this partially placed coin gets additional off-center strikes before getting fully ejected. Sometimes, the die hitting the planchet at the wrong angle can also create an off-center impression. The value of the off-center coin will depend on how much off-center the impression is made. The higher the off-center percentage, the higher the value will be.
1888 Indian Head Penny FAQs
What is the composition of the 1888 Indian Head Penny?
The penny has 95% copper, and a mix of 5% tin, zinc, and bronze. However, the composition of pennies has changed over time.
How can I determine the value of my 1888 Indian head penny?
The first thing you must do is to identify whether the coin is the regular minted penny or the Indian head penny with eight over seven errors. While the regular pennies sell for a few hundred dollars in uncirculated condition, the eight over seven variety sells in a range between $1200 to $7000 and upwards.
Now that you have determined the penny variety, use the Sheldon grading scale and try grading your coins. Well-preserved coins have the most detailed features and are graded higher, whereas circulated pennies are sold at a lower price. Lastly, if you think you have a valuable coin, use an authentic coin grading service to grade your coin.
What is the most expensive coin reported?
The flowing-hair silver dollar is considered the most expensive coin and is valued at $13,311,850. It was the first silver dollar minted from 1794 to 1795. Other grades of the coin are also sold for thousands of dollars.
What is type one and type two Indian head penny?
The types resulted from the design modifications made by the Chief engraver at the time. In the type one design, you’ll see the lowest feather on the headdress extending between the I and C, whereas, in type two, the feather is seen between the C and A of the word America. The modified design penny is known as the type two Indian head penny and is not common.
Are all Indian head pennies made of copper?
The Indian head pennies were minted from 1859 to 1909 and were mainly composed of copper. In 1859, the penny was composed of 88 percent copper and twelve percent nickel which changed to 95% copper and 5% tin, starting from 1864. Throughout the minting years, the composition of these pennies is copper.