Coin Lore column from May 16, 2016, Weekly issue of Coin World:
Here are the current prices for some very collectible coins:
➤ 1877 penny — $6 in Fine.
➤ 1804 dollar — $86 in Very Fine.
➤ 1849 gold 20 — bullion value in Very Fine.
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Collectors lust after the 1877 Indian Head cent. Even well-worn ones will set you back $1,000. However, another 1877 penny — a bigger one at that — can frequently be found for just a few dollars, sometimes just a few cents in junk boxes.
With a mintage of 852,400, the United States 1877 cent is key to the Indian Head series. The 1877 Great Britain penny has a mintage approaching 10 million.
The English coin shows a youthful Queen Victoria on the obverse and a personification of Britannia on the reverse. The British also throw in a sailing ship and lighthouse on the reverse at no extra cost. The 1877 Indian Head cent, in contrast, is about one-third the size. The coin shows a not very Indian-looking Native American on the obverse and an oak wreath on the reverse.
The 1804 silver dollar is a fabled American rarity, but if you’re not picky about who made it, you can get a genuine legal tender 1804 silver dollar for less than $100.