US Coins

High-priced Indian Head cent focus of specialist

An 1864 Indian Head, Designer’s Initial L cent, graded Proof 65 red and brown by Professional Coin Grading Service and sold at auction in October 2011 for $161,000, is discussed by Rick Snow in the December issue of Longacre’s Ledger, the thrice-annual journal of the Flying Eagle and Indian Cent Collectors’ Society.

The price for the 1864 cent is the second highest price paid at auction for an Indian Head cent. The highest price is $175,000, paid for a Mint State 66 1877 Indian Head cent.

Snow notes that the 1864 Indian Head, Designer’s Initial L cent is from the Snow 2 die pair (cataloged in Snow’s A Guide Book of Flying Eagle and Indian Head Cents), “which is the group of 11 examples struck in the 1868-1870 period. A total of twenty examples are believed to exist. If this is not the Starr coin [Floyd Starr Sale, Stack’s, October 1992], then the total known likely will jump to twenty-one.”

Douglas Warren Hill examines die states of the second subtype (with a feather pointing between the C and A of AMERICA) of 1886 Indian Head cent.

Snow also looks at a collection of Mint-issued sets of Proof coinage accompanied by, in many instances, their original envelopes as shipped from the Mint. Offered Aug. 22, 2011, by Centennial Auctions in Nashua, N.H., the envelopes contained coins dated 1883, 1892, 1893, 1895 through 1910 inclusive, and 1912 to 1916 inclusive. The offering included multiple sets from some years.

The prices realized for what Centennial Auctions dubbed “The Time Capsule Collection” totaled more than $1.5 million. Prices ranged from $230 for a 1916 set in original packaging to $258,750 for an 1895 set.

Membership dues in the Flying Eagle and Indian Cent Collectors’ Society cost $20 per year and $35 for two years. Checks should be made out to the club and mailed to Fly-In Club, P.O. Box 559, Sandwich, IL 60548.

Questions about the club can be directed to its treasurer, Vern Sebby, through the club mailing address or via email at

The club maintains a website at ¦

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