Coin Specifications

Category: Indian Cents (1859-1909)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 36,400,000
Catalog: KM-87
Obverse Designer: James B. Longacre
Reverse Designer: James B. Longacre
Composition: Copper-Nickel
Weight: 4.67 Grams
Diameter: 19mm
Edge: Plain
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
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1859 1C MS obverse 1859 1C MS reverse

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Description & Analysis

The production of cents was quite high in 1859, as the Mint sought to fully retire the old coppers, as well as the assorted foreign coins that had been legal tender in the USA until 1857.

Appearing first as a series of pattern coins dated 1858, the new design which debuted in 1859 was well received by the public. More importantly, perhaps, is that it struck up better than the troublesome Eagle Cents. James B. Longacre had been careful to avoid placing the main design elements directly opposite one another on obverse and reverse, and this facilitated the smooth flow of planchet metal into the die cavities.

This issue is common in all grades short of MS-65, and it is especially popular with type collectors due to the fact that the wreath employed in 1859 was replaced for 1860, making this a one-year-only design. The wreath did, however, find a new life 15 years later on the copper-nickel three-cent piece.

Several die-punching varieties are known for this date, and the most popular ones have been included in The Cherrypickers' Guide to Rare Die Varieties. NGC recognized the three listed at left under its VarietyPlus Service.


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Price Guide

Last Updated: 4/21/2015

Click on a price to see historical prices, comparison charts and trends.

1859 1C MS
Base $ 13.00 17.50 24.00 50.00 100.00 170 190 210 225 330 490 775 1700 3900 8850 38500 - - -
$ 110 - 200 215 240 365 550 850 2100 5500 30500 - -

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Total Graded: 2147
Low Grade: PrAg
Average Grade: 60
High Grade: 67

Upcoming Auctions

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Sale / Lot
12/6/2015 MS 63   Heritage Auctions 2015 December 3 - 6 Houston Money Show US Coins Signature Auction - Houston Session(4), 1227/Lot# 7079

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
1/13/1997 PCGS XF 45   Teletrade Auction 0910, 910/Lot# 1010 $76.30
2/11/2007 PCGS MS 65   Goldberg February 11-14, 2007 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 39/Lot# 926 $3,220.00
2/28/2012 NGC MS 65   Stack's Bowers The March 2012 Baltimore Auction, 135/Lot# 1374 $2,300.00
2/3/2013 NGC MS 61   Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(1), 131307/Lot# 26024 $258.50
7/11/2013 NGC MS 61   Heritage Auctions 2013 July 11 - 14 US Coins Signature Auction - Orlando Session(5), 1187/Lot# 7211 $336.05
8/31/2014 NGC   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 08/31/2014, 189/Lot# 190244 $65.00
1/11/2015 PCGS AU 50   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet Auction # 838, 847/Lot# 259 $150.00

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