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: 11/19/2019

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

1859 1C MS
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ 15.00 23.00 38.50 61.00 120 195 200 215 250 300 345 475 700 1300 2200 6400 30000 - - -
$ - - - - 270 - 375 550 900 1450 3500 20000 - -
1859 1C MS PL
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ - - - - - - - - - - - 600 925 - - - - - - -

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Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 2409
Low Grade: PrAg
Average Grade: 60
High Grade: 67

The chart showing PrAg series, G series, VG series, F series, VF series, 40 series, 45 series, 50 series, 53 series, 55 series, 58 series, 60 series, 61 series, 62 series, 63 series, 64 series, 65 series, 66 series, 67 series.
NGC CENSUS DETAIL Last Updated: 11/19/2019 1859 1C MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base671615107142197100871461909106269349497153101---2407
-----------------------
--------------121-----4
-----------------------
Total671615107142197100871461909106269350499154101---2411
 0 %0 %1 %1 %4 %6 %8 %4 %4 %6 %8 %0 %4 %11 %15 %21 %6 %0 %0 %--- 
1859 1C MS PL
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base-------------11-------2
-----------------------
-----------------------
-----------------------
Total-------------11-------2
 -------------50 %50 %------- 

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
9/10/2001 PCGS MS 65   Teletrade Auction 1481, 1481/Lot# 1005 $2,247.00
2/28/2012 NGC MS 65   Stack's Bowers The March 2012 Baltimore Auction, 135/Lot# 1374 $2,300.00
3/23/2014 PCGS Genuine G   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 03/23/2014, 178/Lot# 180573 $10.00
8/5/2014 PCGS MS 64   Heritage Auctions 2014 August 5, 7 & 9 ANA US Coins Signature Auction - Chicago Session(5), 1208/Lot# 7087 $2,115.00
9/22/2014 PCGS AU 58   Goldberg September 22-25, 2013 September Pre Long Beach, 75/Lot# 488 $207.00
11/2/2014 PCGS MS 92   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet Auction # 828, 837/Lot# 10433 $42.00
11/9/2015 NGC AU 58   Stack's Bowers November 2015 Baltimore, 6110/Lot# 24629 $199.75


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