Coin Specifications

Category: Indian Cents (1859-1909)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 10,100,000
Obverse Designer: James B. Longacre
Reverse Designer: James B. Longacre
Composition: Copper-Nickel
Weight: 4.6700g
Diameter: 19mm
Edge: Plain
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1861 1C MS obverse 1861 1C MS reverse

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Description & Analysis

The mintage of cents fell to just over 10 million pieces in 1861, making this date the scarcest issue of the short-lived copper-nickel Indian Cent series. The huge number of small cents coined 1857-59 was sufficient to fill the market demand, and this accounts for the relatively low production in 1861.

The 1861 cent is not a truly rare coin, even in Mint State, due to an unusual situation that developed the following year. With the onset of the Civil War gold and silver coins were hoarded, and this practice ultimately spread to the humble cent. Many 1861 cents thus never had the chance to become worn.

This date is not notable for many varieties, due to the smaller number of dies used, but the repunched date listed at left is a popular one.


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Price Guide

Last Updated: 5/9/2016

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

1861 1C MS
Base $ 20.00 30.00 45.00 65.00 100.00 155 170 180 200 225 250 295 450 725 1800 3100 16000 70000 - -
$ - - 175 190 210 - 260 315 485 850 2000 5350 - -

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Total Graded: 1229
Low Grade: PrAg
Average Grade: 60
High Grade: 67

Upcoming Auctions

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
8/2/1997 NGC MS 65   Heritage Auctions 1997 ANA Signature Sale #175, 175/Lot# 5851 $920.00
1/1/2009 NGC MS 65   David Lawrence Rare Coins Thursday - Internet Auction # 316, 322/Lot# 5036 $690.00
2/23/2011 PCGS Genuine Genuine   Teletrade Auction 3020, 3020/Lot# 1021 $368.00
5/27/2012 NGC MS 66   Goldberg May 27-31, 2012 The May Pre-Long Beach Auction, 69/Lot# 1023 $1,553.00
3/2/2014 NGC XF 45   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 03/02/2014, 182/Lot# 171925 $93.50
9/7/2014 PCGS MS 66   Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(1), 131437/Lot# 25025 $2,820.00
11/14/2014 NGC XF 40   Stack's Bowers iAuction 3508, 6062/Lot# 20028 $64.63
5/10/2015 NGC MS 62   Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(2), 131520/Lot# 25336 $188.00

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