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: 4/24/2019

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

1859 1C MS
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ 14.85 22.80 38.50 56.00 120 195 200 215 215 300 365 510 750 1600 3700 8850 34500 - - -
$ - - - - 250 - 375 550 950 1850 4400 24500 - -
1859 1C MS Prooflike
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ 14.85 20.25 32.50 61.00 135 195 200 215 285 360 390 455 750 1310 2875 5375 24200 - - -

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Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 2367
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: 4/23/2019 1859 1C MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base67141410613719299851361859103268347494152101---2365
-----------------------
--------------121-----4
-----------------------
Total67141410613719299851361859103268348496153101---2369
 0 %0 %1 %1 %4 %6 %8 %4 %4 %6 %8 %0 %4 %11 %15 %21 %6 %0 %0 %--- 
1859 1C MS Prooflike
 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
10/16/2000 NGC MS 62   Teletrade Auction 1367, 1367/Lot# 1010 $218.00
1/25/2004 PCGS MS 64   Goldberg January 25-28, 2004 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 23/Lot# 1343 $776.25
10/29/2007 NGC MS 65   David Lawrence Rare Coins Monday - Internet Auction # 190, 196/Lot# 21 $2,760.00
10/23/2011 PCGS AU 50   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 10/23/2011, 141/Lot# 21029 $148.50
5/30/2012 PCGS MS 64   Stack's Bowers The June 2012 Baltimore Auction, 137/Lot# 2119 $977.50
3/21/2013 NGC MS 64   Heritage Auctions 2013 March 21 -22 & 24 US Coin Signature Auction - Dallas Session(1), 1183/Lot# 3055 $1,057.50
2/9/2014 NGC MS 64   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 02/09/2014, 171/Lot# 163210 $1,347.50
6/27/2014 NGC MS 64   Stack's Bowers June 2014 Baltimore, 6021/Lot# 1192 $881.25
12/6/2015 PCGS AU 58   Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(1), 131550/Lot# 25020 $258.50
3/20/2018 PCGS AU 55   Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(1), 131813/Lot# 27119 $156.00


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