VarietyPlus » Indian Cents (1859-1909)

Indian Cents (1859-1909)

Difficulty in striking up the design fully was the probable reason for replacing the attractive Eagle Cent in 1859. Chief Engraver Longacre modified the same profile he’d used for several coins that decade by simply adding a Native American headdress. The stock wreath used for the previous cent type was replaced in 1860 by an oak wreath with shield and arrows. An alloy of French bronze was substituted for copper-nickel midway through 1864 and retained through the end of the series.

Extremely popular with date collectors, the Indian Cent series features two key dates: 1877 and 1909-S. Otherwise there are no major obstacles to completing a set in circulated grades and in the lower grades of mint state. Fully red gems are scarce for most dates before 1880.

As the number of specialized books for this series suggests, it is rich in varieties. The most popular varieties are recognized by NGC in VarietyPlus. Standouts include 1860 with pointed bust, 1873 with doubled LIBERTY and 1894 with doubled date.

NGC will attribute the Indian Cent varieties listed below. Those included within The Cherrypickers’ Guide to Rare Die Varieties are labeled with Fivaz/Stanton (FS) numbers, while additional varieties employ NGC’s VarietyPlus (VP) numbers. A further selection of varieties may be found within the books listed under References and will be of interest to the specialist.

Denom.MS/PFDateFee*NGC LabelVarietyPlusFivaz-Stanton (OLD)Snow
1CMS1859/1859 $15FS-301 VP-001FS-006.3S-1
1CMS1859/185 $15FS-302 VP-002FS-006.2S-2
1CMS1859 18/18 $15FS-303 VP-003FS-006.35S-3
1CMS1860 POINTED BUST$15  FS-006.4S-1
1CMS1861/61 $15FS-301  FS-006.45S-1
1CMS1862 MPD$15FS-301   S-2
1CMS1862 DDR$15FS-801   S-5
1CMS1863/863 $15FS-301   S-2
1CMS1863 DDR$15FS-801 VP-001FS-006.46S-10
1CMS1864 BRONZE-    
1CMS1864 DDO BRONZE$15FS-1101 VP-001FS-006.47S-4
1CMS1864/864 BRONZE$15FS-1301 VP-005FS-006.48S-2
1CMS1864/864 BRONZE$15VP-010   S-3
1CMS1864 BRONZE$15FS-1401 LATHE LINES   S-11
1CMS1864 L BRONZE-    
1CMS1864/1864 L BRONZE$15FS-2301 VP-002FS-006.7S-1
1CMS1864/186 L BRONZE$15FS-2302 VP-004FS-006.71S-3
1CMS1864/1864 L BRONZE$15FS-2303 VP-003FS-006.72S-4
1CMS1864 L 18/18 BRONZE$15FS-2304 VP-007FS-006.5S-5
1CMS1864/1864 L BRONZE$15FS-2305 VP-006FS-006.55S-2
1CMS1864 L 86/86 BRONZE$15FS-2306 VP-008FS-006.73S-10
1CMS1864/1864 L BRONZE$15VP-009   S-6
1CMS1865 PLAIN 5$15    
1CMS1865/18-5 PL/FANCY 5$15FS-301 VP-003FS-007.3S-1
1CMS1865 18/18 PLAIN 5$15FS-302 VP-004FS-007.45S-4
1CMS1865/1865 PLAIN 5$15FS-303 VP-002FS-007.5S-3
1CMS1865 FANCY 5$15    
1CMS1865/1--5 FANCY 5$15FS-1301  FS-007.3S-1
1CMS1865/186 FANCY 5$15FS-1302  FS-007.55S-4
1CMS1865/1865 FANCY 5$15VP-005   S-13
1CMS1865 FANCY 5$15FS-1401 LATHE LINE   S-14
1CMS1865 DDR FANCY 5$15FS-1801 VP-001FS-007S-2
1CMS1866 DDO & MPD$15FS-101 VP-002FS-007.6S-1
1CMS1866/1--6 $15FS-301 VP-001FS-007.7S-2
1CMS1866 1/1 $15FS-302 VP-003FS-007.9S-3
1CMS1866/66 $15FS-303 VP-004FS-007.8S-9
1CMS1866/66 $15VP-005   S-7
1CMS1866/1--6 $15VP-006   S-10
1CMS1866/18-6 $15VP-007   S-5
1CMS1866 18/18 $15VP-008   S-12
1CMS1867/67 $15FS-301 VP-001FS-008S-1
1CMS1867 18/18 $15FS-302 VP-002FS-008.1S-4
1CMS1867/18-7 $15FS-303   S-2
1CMS1867 18/18 $15VP-004   S-5
1CMS1868 DDO$15FS-101 VP-003FS-008.2S-1
1CMS1868/868 DDO$15FS-102 VP-001FS-008.26S-4
1CMS1868/8 DDO & MPD$15FS-103 VP-002FS-008.25S-5
1CMS1868 MPD$15FS-301  FS-008.23S-8
1CMS1869/69 $15FS-301 VP-001FS-008.3S-3
1CMS1869 18/18 $15FS-302 VP-002FS-008.5S-1
1CMS1869/69 $15FS-303   S-4
1CMS1869/1869 $15VP-004   S-9
1CMS1870/0 DDO$15FS-101 VP-001FS-008.6S-1, -2, -13, -22, -28, -33, -45
1CMS1870/187 $15FS-301  FS-008.81S-4
1CMS1870 MPD & DDR$15FS-302 VP-002FS-008.82S-8
1CMS1870 DDR$15FS-801 VP-003FS-008.7S-2,-3,-14
1CMS1870 REV OF 69$15FS-901    
1CMS1871 7 & 1 TOUCHING$15FS-301   S-2
1CMS1871 REV OF 69$15FS-901    
1CMS1872/1--2 $15FS-301 VP-001FS-008.9S-1
1CMS1872/72 $15VP-002   S-5
1CMS1872/872 MPD$15VP-003   S-4
1CMS1872 REV OF 69$15FS-901    
1CMS1873 CLOSED 3-    
1CMS1873 DDO CLOSED 3$15FS-101 VP-001FS-009S-1
1CMS1873 DDO CLOSED 3$15FS-102 VP-002FS-009.1S-2
1CMS1873 OPEN 3-    
1CMS1873/73 OPEN 3$15FS-1301 VP-003FS-009.3S-1
1CMS1873 MPD OPEN 3$15FS-1302   S-6
1CMS1874 DDO$15FS-101 VP-001FS-009.33S-1
1CMS1875 18/18 $15FS-301   S-1
1CMS1875/1--5 $15FS-302   S-2
1CMS1875 18/18 $15VP-001 EDS   S-3a
1CMS1875 18/18 $15VP-001 LDS   S-3b
1CMS1878 MPD$15FS-301  FS-009.4S-2
1CMS1880 DDO & MDC$15FS-101 VP-001FS-009.41S-1
1CMS1882 MPD$15FS-401 VP-001FS-009.43S-6
1CMS1882 88/88 $15VP-002   S-1
1CMS1883 MPD$15FS-301  FS-009.45S-8
1CMS1883 MPD$15FS-302   S-7
1CMS1883 MPD$15FS-303   S-1
1CMS1883 MDC$15FS-401   S-11
1CMS1883 DDR$15FS-801 VP-001FS-009.46S-6
1CMS1884 MPD$15FS-401  FS-009.48S-1
1CMS1886 TYPE 1-    
1CMS1886 TYPE 2-    
1CMS1887 DDO$15FS-101 VP-001FS-009.5S-1
1CMS1888/7 $15FS-301 VP-001FS-010S-1
1CMS1888 88/88 MPD$15FS-302 VP-002FS-010.7S-2
1CMS1888 18/18 $15VP-003   S-4
1CMS1888 88/88 $15VP-004   S-5
1CMS1888/8 $15VP-005   S-6
1CMS1888 MPD$15VP-006   S-8
1CMS1889/1889 $15FS-301  FS-010.8S-3
1CMS1889/9 MPD$15FS-302   S-4
1CMS1889 DDR$15FS-801 VP-001FS-010.81S-1
1CMS1889 DDR$15FS-802   S-11
1CMS1889 DDR$15VP-003   S-37
1CMS1889 MDC$15VP-004   S-31
1CMS1890 TDO$15FS-101 VP-001FS-010.85S-1
1CMS1890 MPD$15FS-401  FS-010.82S-3
1CMS1890 MPD$15FS-402  FS-010.84S-6
1CMS1891 DDO$15FS-101 VP-001FS-010.88S-1
1CMS1891/1891 $15FS-301 VP-002FS-010.87S-3
1CMS1891 DDR$15VP-003   S-2
1CMS1892/8-2 $15FS-301  FS-010.89S-8
1CMS1892 89/89 $15FS-302  FS-010.9S-1
1CMS1892 "SCARFACE"$15FS-401   S-14
1CMS1893 89/89 $15FS-301  FS-010.95S-2
1CMS1894/1894 $15FS-301 VP-001FS-011S-1
1CMS1894 MPD$15FS-402  FS-011.2S-2
1CMS1895/895 $15FS-301 VP-001FS-011.3S-20
1CMS1895/1895 $15FS-302 VP-002FS-011.31S-9
1CMS1895/895 $15VP-003   S-1
1CMS1895/895 $15VP-004   S-2
1CMS1896/6 $15FS-301  FS-011.4S-1
1CMS1897 MPD$15FS-401  FS-011.5S-1
1CMS1897 89/89 $15FS-402  FS-011.6S-8
1CMS1898 MPD$15FS-401  FS-011.65S-12
1CMS1898 MPD$15FS-402  FS-011.66S-5
1CMS1899/899 $15FS-301  FS-011.7S-1
1CMS1899/1--9 $15FS-303   S-9
1CMS1900/0 $15FS-301  FS-011.751S-1
1CMS1900/9-0 $15FS-302   S-3
1CMS1901/1--1 $15FS-301   S-19
1CMS1901/1901 $15VP-001   S-4
1CMS1903 MPD$15FS-301  FS-011.76S-10
1CMS1903 MPD$15FS-302  FS-011.765S-6
1CMS1903 1/1 $15FS-303   S-7a, -7b
1CMS1903/1903 $15FS-304   S-3
1CMS1904/1-04 $15FS-301   S-10
1CMS1905/5 $15FS-301   S-1
1CMS1906/06 $15FS-301   S-7
1CMS1906 0/0 MPD$15FS-302   S-14
1CMS1906/190 $15VP-001   S-1
1CMS1906 MPD$15VP-002   S-6
1CMS1907/907 MPD$15FS-301   S-1
1CMS1907 90/90 $15FS-302   S-2
1CMS1907/190 $15FS-303   S-20
1CMS1907 90/90 $15FS-304   S-27
1CMS1907 MPD$15VP-001   S-51
1CMS1908 MPD$15FS-301  FS-011.77S-4
1CMS1908 MPD$15FS-302  FS-011.79S-9
1CMS1909 INDIAN-    
1CMS1909 S INDIAN-    
1CPF1864 BRONZE-    
1CPF1864 L BRONZE-    
1CPF1873 CLOSED 3-    
1CPF1886 TYPE 1-    
1CPF1886 TYPE 2-    
1CPF1895/895 $15FS-301  FS-011.3S-20
1CPF1909 INDIAN-    

* In order to have the above varieties requiring the $15 fee designated by NGC, VarietyPlus service must be requested at time of grading. VarietyPlus service is also available for coins already encapsulated by NGC. For coins where the fee column is blank, no VarietyPlus charge is required to have your coin designated during grading. For coins marked $15, a $15 surcharge applies to the tier fee during grading, or a $15 fee applies to have the VarietyPlus designation added to any coin already graded and encapsulated by NGC.
Bowers, Q. David. A Buyer’s and Enthusiast’s Guide to Flying Eagle and Indian Cents. Bowers & Merena Galleries, Wolfeboro, NH, 1996
Fivaz, Bill & J.T. Stanton. The Cherrypickers' Guide to Rare Die Varieties, 5th Edition, Volume 1. Whitman Publishing, Atlanta, 2009
Snow, Richard. The Flying Eagle & Indian Cent Attribution Guide 1856-1858. Eagle Eye Rare Coins. M & G Publications, Tuscon, AZ, undated
Snow, Richard. The Flying Eagle & Indian Cent Attribution Guide 1859-1869. Eagle Eye Rare Coins. Tuscon, AZ, undated
Snow, Richard. The Flying Eagle & Indian Cent Attribution Guide 1870-1889. Eagle Eye Rare Coins. Tuscon, AZ, undated
Snow, Richard. Flying Eagle & Indian Cents. Eagle Eye Press, 1992
Snow, Richard. A Guide Book of Flying Eagle & Indian Head Cents. Whitman Publishing, Atlanta, 2006
Snow, Richard. The Flying Eagle & Indian Cent Attribution Guide 1890-1909. Eagle Eye Rare Coins, Tucson, AZ, 2009
Yeoman, R.S., Kenneth Bressett (editor). A Guide Book of United States Coins, 62nd Edition. Whitman Publishing, Atlanta, 2008