US Coins

1877 Indian Head cent: Market Analysis

A key 1877 Proof Indian Head cent graded Proof 65 red and brown with a green CAC sticker sold for $6,500 at Legend’s Dec. 17 auction.

Original images courtesy of Legend Rare Coin Auctions

Legend Rare Coin Auctions sold $2,626,632.60 in rare coins at its Dec. 17, 2015, Regency Auction XV in Las Vegas, Nev., as part of the Professional Coin Grading Service Members Only show.

While a few of the expected top lots did not meet their reserves, dozens of top quality 19th century Proof coins, many with striking Deep Cameo contrast between the fields and devices, found new homes in the final major rare coin auction of 2015.

The Coin:
1877 Indian Head cent, Proof 65 red and brown, CAC

The Price:

The Story:
The regular issue 1877 Indian Head cent is a key to the series due to its low mintage and survival rate. The Proof issue of this date has long been prized owing to the rarity of Mint State examples, with some collectors preferring a Proof example over a Mint State one to represent the date in their collections.

The example offered in the Dec. 17 auction was graded Proof 65 red and brown by PCGS with a green Certified Acceptance Corp. sticker and sold for $7,637.50 with the buyer's fee against an estimate of $6,000 to $6,500.

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With a low mintage of just 900 Proofs, this is one of the finer examples known. Legend observed that the original Mint color was especially noteworthy, writing, “This one is virtually red with just minor fading on both sides and glorious golden rose accents in the fields.” Just a few carbon spots and specks kept it from a higher grade.

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