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: 2/21/2020

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

1859 1C MS
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ 15.00 23.00 38.50 61.00 120 195 200 215 250 300 345 475 765 1310 2450 6400 30000 - - -
$ - - - - 270 - 375 550 900 1450 3500 20000 - -
1859 1C MS PL
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ - - - - 120 170 175 - 310 - - 600 1010 1230 2300 4750 - - - -

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Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 2416
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: 2/18/2020 1859 1C MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base681715107143197100881491919107272349494151101---2414
-----------------------
--------------131-----5
-----------------------
Total681715107143197100881491919107272350497152101---2419
 0%0%1%1%4%6%8%4%4%6%8%0%4%11%14%21%6%0%0%--- 
1859 1C MS PL
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base-------------11-------2
-----------------------
-----------------------
-----------------------
Total-------------11-------2
 -------------50%50%------- 

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