Welcome to our blog, coin collectors and history enthusiasts! If you own a 1905 Indian head penny, we’re here to share fascinating facts about this penny. This particular coin is part of a series of Indian head pennies minted between 1901 and 1909, known for their popularity among collectors.
This article will explore its history, physical attributes, known errors, and most importantly, the 1905 Indian Head Penny value.
1905 Indian Head Penny Value Chart
1905 Indian Head Penny Value
|1905 No Mint Mark Indian Head Penny Value||
|1905 Proof Indian Head Penny|
|1905 No Mint Mark Proof Indian Head Penny Value||
1905 No Mint Mark Indian Head Penny Value
The 1905 Indian Head penny is a copper-based 1-cent coin minted in Philadelphia in 1905 without a mint mark to indicate its origin. You may notice in the table chart above that it has only two variations from Philadelphia: mint state and proof. However, different varieties of it can be distinguishable by its surface colors.
In addition, the 1905 Indian Head Penny is a small, round coin about the size of a quarter, with a diameter of 19 mm and a weight of 3.11 grams. It has a beautiful bronze color due to its 95% copper, 5% zinc, and tin composition. This combination gives it a unique hue that is highly sought after by collectors.
On the obverse, we can see a striking profile of Lady Liberty, who is depicted wearing a Native American headdress. The words “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” and the year “1905” are engraved around her image. James B. Longacre, a prominent artist, and engraver created this design during his time. The coin’s reverse side features the words “ONE CENT” surrounded by a laurel wreath, with a shield in the center. This design was also created by Longacre.
This 1905 penny was produced for general circulation, so it’s not a special commemorative issue or anything like that. The mintage for this particular coin was 80,717,011, making it common and easy for collectors to find. This design was actually used on penny coins between 1864 and 1909 when it was eventually replaced by the Lincoln cent design.
According to the 1905 Indian Head Penny value chart, this penny is most valuable when in mint state (MS) 66 condition and can sell for as much as $618. The least valuable version of this coin is in MS62 condition, worth $78. Since these coins were made in large numbers and were commonly used, it’s not unusual to find lower-grade versions of them.
For example, an Indian Head penny value in Almost Uncirculated (AU) 50 condition is currently at $27.54. On the other hand, a penny in a much lower grade like AG3 would only cost you $1.07.
So, the most valuable 1905 Indian Head penny ever sold at auction was graded as MS65 RD. This means it was in mint state condition with a vibrant red luster, which is quite rare for these coins. The auction took place on June 16, 2022, and was sold by Stack’s Bowers auction house for $960! This sale actually surpassed the previous highest recorded sale of a 1905 Indian Head penny, which happened on May 12, 2015, at Heritage Auctions for $411.
Well, these are not actually the most valuable 1905 Indian pennies. Two other variations of this cent in mint state condition are worth mentioning—the red-brown and the red color. The red-brown 1905 Indian Head Penny value is at around $68.00 to $618, while the red 1905 Indian head penny can be worth anywhere from $108.00 to $22,500!
Absolutely correct! In fact, the 1905 Indian Head Penny that had the highest sales in 2013 was the one that had a red-brown color and sold for $1,528. This particular coin was given a grade of MS66 by the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS).
Now, the other highest-selling 1905 Indian penny in red color, according to Heritage Auction, was sold for a jaw-dropping $19,975 back in 2013, and it was graded as MS67. MS67 is an even higher grade than MS66, indicating that the coin is in nearly perfect condition.
Interestingly enough, the same coin with the same grade was sold in 2021 at Stack’s Bowers for $14,400. This fluctuation in 1905 Indian Head Penny value could be due to some factors, such as changes in the market demand, the availability of the coin, or simply a difference in auction circumstances.
1905 No Mint Mark Proof Indian Head Penny Value
Proof Indian Head pennies were coins produced at the Philadelphia Mint between 1859 and 1905 using special tools and polished dies. These coins were made in limited numbers, ranging from 1,000 to 3,000 pieces, and are considered rare. In particular, those with a frosted appearance are especially sought-after by collectors.
The 1864 “With L” bronze proof and the 1877 Proof penny are believed to be the rarest and most difficult to find of all proof coins. These coins were produced in very small numbers, and it is estimated that only a few dozen of each may still exist today.
Interestingly, some proof Indian Head pennies are more commonly found in proof condition than in a mint state, like the 1905 Indian Head, meaning they were better preserved after production. These particular proof cents only have a mintage of 2,152, all meant for collectors, so it’s difficult to find them in circulation these days.
The 1905 Indian Head penny value (proof) is influenced by its color, similar to its mint state counterpart. The 1905 Proof Indian Head penny was struck in different colors, including BN (Brown), RB (Red-Brown), and RD (Red). The BN color variant of the 1905 Proof Indian Head penny value is between $156.00 to $2,550, while the RB color variant ranges from $195.00 to $3,300.
However, the RD color variant, which is the most coveted and rarest, commands a higher value, ranging from $286 to $6,900. This discrepancy in the 1905 Indian Head Penny value can be attributed to the coin’s condition and color, with the vibrant red hue of the RD color indicating a well-preserved coin with minimal oxidation, thus making it more valuable to collectors.
It’s no surprise that a vibrant red 1905 Indian Head Penny, graded as PR67, commanded a staggering $11,750 at Stack’s Bowers auction in 2014. Fast forward to 2022, and another exquisite specimen of this rare coin, also graded as PR67, fetched a respectable sum of $4,560 at Heritage Auctions, solidifying its status as a sought-after numismatic gem among collectors.
Meanwhile, the market for the red-brown variety of this coin with the same grade saw its highest recorded sale of $5,405 in 2018 at Legend Rare Coin Auctions. Even back in 2009, the brown version of the 1905 Indian Head Penny commanded a significant value of $2,990. Clearly, these iconic proof 1905 cents have stood the test of time and have continued to capture the attention and admiration of collectors and enthusiasts alike, commanding impressive prices at prestigious auctions.
1905 Indian Head Penny Grading
Grading the 1905 Indian Head Penny value is important in determining its worth for collectors and dealers. Watch this video to understand how this coin grading works. Uncirculated coins have a full luster and no wear, while Extremely Fine coins show slight wear on high points.
Fine coins have moderate wear but retain some detail, and Good coins are heavily worn with minimal details remaining. Despite wear, some scarce dates are highly valued by collectors. Grading involves assessing the condition of both the obverse and reverse sides of the coin, including details such as the headdress, hair, letters, and wreath.
Rare 1905 Indian Head Penny Errors Lists
1. 1905 Indian Head Penny Off-center Error
A 1905 Indian penny with off-center errors are rare coin minted with a misaligned planchet and die, causing the design to be improperly positioned on the coin. When the planchet and die are not properly aligned during the minting process, it can result in a coin with an off-center design, meaning it is not positioned correctly on the coin’s surface. This can result in a portion of the design being missing or cut off by 30% to 50%.
In the case of a 1905 Indian Head penny with an off-center error, if the error is noticeable and the date is clearly visible, it can potentially command a price of $460 or higher in the coin-collecting market.
2. 1905 Indian Head Penny Clipped Planchet Error
The clipped planchet error in a 1905 Indian Head penny occurs during the coin minting process when the metal strips used to create circular planchets are not aligned properly. As a result, the edge of the 1905 Indian Penny may be inaccurately cut, with the punch used to create the edge overriding the planchet and causing a chip or clip in the coin.
The clip type varies depending on the angle of the cut, but the value of these errors generally remains relatively stable. So, a 1905 Indian Head penny with error, depending on the clip’s appearance, will have a value of around $89 to $100.
3. 1905 Indian Head Penny Strike Through Error
A strike-through error in the 1905 Indian Head Penny refers to mistakes when debris or residues get caught between the die (the engraved stamp used to strike the 1905 penny) and the planchet (the blank coin disc) during the minting process. This debris or residue can cause a partial or complete design to be missing on the resulting coin, leading to a unique and noticeable error.
The 1905 Indian Head Penny value with a strike-through error, like any other coin, depends on the extent or severity of the error. Retained strike-through errors, where the debris or residue remains on the coin, are generally considered more valuable than those where the debris or residue is removed.
As a rough estimate, a 1905 Indian head penny with a strike-through error could be worth around $20 to $30, but the actual value may vary based on the error’s severity.
4. 1905 Indian Head Penny Double Die Error
The 1905 Indian Head Penny with a die crack error on the reverse side is a coin with a noticeable crack or split in the metal caused by a defect in the die used to strike the coin. A die is a hardened metal stamp used to impress the design onto the coin during the minting process.
The die crack error on the 1905 Indian Head Penny would be visible on the reverse side of the penny, which features an image of a wreath with a bow at the bottom. The die crack may appear as a raised or sunken line running across the coin’s surface, indicating a break or split in the die used to strike the 1905 Indian penny.
If the coin is in good condition and the die crack is prominent and well-defined, it may be worth around $45 or more to collectors specifically interested in mint errors.
Beyond these errors, Rare 1905 Indian Head Pennies are not limited in number, and more varieties can be found. To get a better idea of their appearance, you can refer to this video.
1905 Indian Head Penny FAQs
Q1: What’s a 1905 Indian head penny worth?
The 1905 Indian Head Penny from Philadelphia comes in three different colors: BN (Brown), RB (Red-Brown), and RD (Red).
In mint state, the 1905 Indian Head Penny value (BN) is between $0.85 and $447, while the 1905 RB is worth $68.00 to $618, and the 1905 RD is worth $108.00 to $22,500.
For Proof 1905 Indian Head Penny, which are specially struck for collectors, the 1905 BN Indian Head Penny is valued at $156.00, the 1905 RB is worth $195.00 to $3,300, and the 1905 RD is worth $286 to $6,900.
Q2: How do you clean a 1905 Indian head penny?
To effectively clean 1905 Indian Head pennies, start by soaking them in distilled water overnight. In the morning, carefully rinse them with more distilled water. However, if the penny’s surface was altered after, do not proceed further. Attempting to clean ancient or valuable coins can be risky and may cause damage. It’s best to seek professional assistance to ensure the safety and preservation of the coin.