Coin Specifications

Category: Indian Cents (1859-1909)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 36,400,000
Obverse Designer: James B. Longacre
Reverse Designer: James B. Longacre
Composition: Copper-Nickel
Weight: 4.6700g
Diameter: 19mm
Edge: Plain
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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.

GRADE SUMMARY

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Price Guide

Last Updated: 5/9/2016

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

1859 1C MS
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ 14.00 18.00 25.00 45.00 110 180 200 230 240 280 340 510 800 1600 3700 8850 34500 - - -
$ - - - - 250 - 375 550 950 1850 4400 24500 - -

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Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 2263
Low Grade: PrAg
Average Grade: 60
High Grade: 67


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Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
2/3/2010 NGC MS 64   Heritage Auctions 2010 February Long Beach, CA Signature US Coin Auction #1137, 1137/Lot# 7101 $1,035.00
2/13/2011 PCGS XF 40   Teletrade Auction 3013, 3013/Lot# 1016 $92.00
3/17/2011 NGC MS 65   Heritage Auctions 2011 March Sacramento Signature ANA US Coin Auction Session(1), 1153/Lot# 3060 $3,220.00
2/28/2012 NGC MS 65   Stack's Bowers The March 2012 Baltimore Auction, 135/Lot# 1374 $2,300.00
5/27/2012 NGC Details UNC Details  Goldberg May 27-31, 2012 The May Pre-Long Beach Auction, 69/Lot# 432 $299.00
2/3/2013 NGC Details AU Details  GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 02/03/2013, 60/Lot# 98990 $84.70
5/11/2014 NGC MS 62   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet Auction # 803, 812/Lot# 816 $350.00
12/5/2014 NGC MS 63   Stack's Bowers iAuction 3511, 6080/Lot# 20016 $646.25


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