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Obverse of 1873 Indian Head Cent     Reverse of 1873 Indian Head Cent


1873 INDIAN HEAD CENT

PCGS Nos: 2106, 2107, 2108, 2109, 2110, 2111, 2115, 2116, 2117, 2306, 2307, 2308

Mintage:
Circulation strikes: 11,676,500
Proofs: est. 1,100

Designer: James B. Longacre

Diameter: 19 millimeters

Metal content:
Copper - 95%
Tin and Zinc - 5%

Weight: 3.11 grams

Edge: Plain

Mintmark: None (for Philadelphia) below the bow of the wreath on the reverse

Notes:
The finest Uncirculated "Open 3" Brown examples graded by PCGS are 2 MS-65BN's.  The finest Uncirculated "Open 3" Red-Brown examples graded by PCGS are 2 MS-66RB's.  The finest Uncirculated "Open 3" Red examples graded by PCGS are 3 MS-66RD's.

The finest Uncirculated "Closed 3" Brown example graded by PCGS are 4 MS-64BN's.  The finest Uncirculated "Closed 3" Red-Brown examples graded by PCGS are 14 MS-65RB's.  The finest Uncirculated "Closed 3" Red example graded by PCGS is a single MS-67RD.

The finest Uncirculated "Double LIB" Brown example graded by PCGS is a single MS-64BN.  The finest Uncirculated "Double LIB" Red-Brown examples graded by PCGS are 2 MS-65RB's.  The finest Uncirculated "Double LIB" Red example is a single MS-64RD.

The finest Proof "Closed 3" Brown examples graded by PCGS are 6 PR-65BN's.  The finest Proof "Closed 3" Red-Brown examples graded by PCGS are 27 PR-65RB's.  The finest Proof "Closed 3" Red examples graded by PCGS are 2 PR-66RD's. The finest Proof Cameo "Closed 3" example graded by PCGS are 2 PRCA-66's.
   

Images courtesy of Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles, Inc. (Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles, Inc.'s "The Benson Collection" Sale - Part 1, February 18-20, 2001)

Varieties:

Closeup of Open 3 Variety
Open 3

Closed 3

Recent appearances:
PCGS Proof 66, Red.  Ex - Superior Galleries' "Pre-Long Beach Sale", October 1-3, 2000, Lot 4049, "Closed 3", illustrated, sold for $9,775.00

PCGS graded Proof 65 Red.  Ex - Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles, Inc.'s "Benson Collection, Part I", February 16, 18-20, 2001, lot 1108, illustrated, where it was described as follows: "…An attractive coin with nearly flawless surfaces. An outstanding coin for this issue which typically comes with moderate mirrors. The obverse fields has been drastically polished to the point where the eye socket is now part of the field and the first feather is disconnected from the headband. Nearly all 1873 proofs seen to date are like this. The reverse die is a reuse of a die first used for the 1872 proof.

The Closed 3 date style is used on the early dies made prior to Chief Coiner A.L. Snowden's complaint on January 18th regarding the similarities of the look of the date to 1878. All proofs this year are of the closed 3 style. The reported mintage of 1100 seems to be in line with the rarity of examples seen in the marketplace. This is a very tough coin to locate in gem full red condition. This is due to the sloppy die preparation, which produced coins that do not seem to excite very often. As a result only 18 coins are graded by PCGS in PR65RD with 2 better.", sold for $3,335.00

PCGS Proof-65 Red.  Ex - Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc.'s "Philadelphia 2000 Signature Sale", August 6-7, 2000, Lot 6659, "Closed 3", illustrated, sold for $8,337.50

NGC Proof-64 Red and Brown.  Ex - Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc.'s "Philadelphia 2000 Signature Sale", August 6-7, 2000, Lot 6658, "Closed 3", not illustrated, sold for $264.50

PCGS Proof-64 Red and Brown.  Ex - Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc.'s "Philadelphia 2000 Signature Sale", August 6-7, 2000, Lot 6657, "Closed 3", not illustrated, sold for $379.50

Proof-64 Red and Brown.  Ex - Superior Galleries "The ANA 2001 National Money Show Auction", March 8-9, 2001, Lot 34, "Closed 3", sold for $414.00

Proof-64 Red and Brown.  Ex - Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc.'s "Santa Clara Signature Sale", November 16-17, 2000, Lot 5106, "Closed 3", not illustrated, sold for $920.00

PCGS Proof 64, Brown.  Ex - Superior Galleries' "Pre-Long Beach Sale", October 1-3, 2000, Lot 4050, "Closed 3", not illustrated, sold for $373.75

NGC Proof-64 Brown.  Ex - Ira & Larry Goldberg Coin & Collectibles' "The Fairchild Family Trust Collection Sale", May 28-30, 2001, Lot 208, "Closed 3", not illustrated, sold for $241.00

Proof-60.  Ex - Ira & Larry Goldberg Coin & Collectibles' "The Fairchild Family Trust Collection Sale", May 28-30, 2001, Lot 209, "Closed 3", not illustrated, sold for $207.00

PCGS MS-65 Red.  Ex - Superior Galleries "The ANA 2001 National Money Show Auction", March 8-9, 2001, Lot 35, "Open 3", unsold

PCGS MS-65 Red.  Ex - Bowers & Merena Galleries' "The Cabinet of Lucien M. LaRiviere, Part II", March 15-17, 2001, Lot 1187, unsold

PCGS MS-65 Red.  Ex - Bowers & Merena Galleries' "The Lake Geneva Sale", June 28-29, 2001, Lot 150,"Closed 3",  illustrated, sold for $9,200.00

PCGS graded MS-65 Red and Brown.  Ex - Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles, Inc.'s "Benson Collection, Part I", February 16, 18-20, 2001, lot 1109, illustrated, where it was described as follows: "Doubled "LIBERTY". Snow-1…This is the finest known example of the King of the Indian Cents. This coin has never been on the market before this sale. It was originally purchased uncertified by Eagle Eye Rare Coins in 1996, sold to a California collector, repurchased again 6 months later and placed into the "Heathgate" collection. It exhibits 85% red color and tremendous luster. It is fully struck with nearly perfect surfaces. This is an early die state example with every strand of hair standing out with clear crisp detail. There is slight browning on the high points and in the field to the right of the portrait on the obverse and on the lower right half of the reverse. A small tick is visible on the O in ONE.
Presently only 122 examples of the 1873 Double LIBERTY are reported, mostly in lower grades, as reported by Jerry Wysong in his population study in "Longacre's Ledger". Three examples are known in MS-65RB. The second finest is a close twin to this example, although with a bit less red, and is graded by PCGS. Third finest is an NGC graded example which was featured on the cover of "Flying Eagle and Indian Cents" by Rick Snow.  The 1873 Double LIBERTY is the most dramatic variety of the Indian Cent series, and one of the top varieties in all of United States numismatics. Most advanced date set collectors desire to include an example in their collection, not unlike how the 1955 doubled die is included in top quality Lincoln cent collections. Because of this collector demand, the values of this variety have increased dramatically over the past 10 years. This coin is one of the high points of the "Heathgate" collection and is expected to set new records for this popular variety.", sold for $43,700.00

NGC MS-65 Red-Brown.  Ex – American Numismatic Rarities, LLC’s “The Classics Sale,” July 25, 2003 , Lot 203, "Open 3, Misplaced Digits (3 in pearls, another on neck), Snow-6", illustrated, sold for $1,092.50

NGC MS-65 Red and Brown.  Ex- Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc.'s "Long Beach Sale" October 5-7, 2000, Lot 5907, "Open 3", plated, sold for $1,265.00

PCGS MS-65 Red and Brown.  Ex - Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc.'s "Long Beach Signature Sale", May 31-June 2, 2001, Lot 7555, "Closed 3", illustrated, not sold 

PCGS MS-65 Red and Brown.  Ex - Bowers & Merena Galleries' "The Lake Geneva Sale", June 28-29, 2001, Lot 151, "Closed 3", illustrated, sold for $2,990.00

NGC MS-65 Brown.  Ex - Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc.'s "Philadelphia 2000 Signature Sale", August 6-7, 2000, Lot 6610, "Open 3", not illustrated, sold for $322.00

NGC MS-65 Brown.  Ex - Bowers & Merena Galleries' "The Cabinet of Lucien M. LaRiviere, Part II", March 15-17, 2001, Lot 1188, "Open 3", sold for $483.00

NGC MS-65 Brown.  Ex - Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc.'s "Long Beach Signature Sale", May 31-June 2, 2001, Lot 7554, "Closed 3", illustrated, not sold 

ANACS MS-64 Red.  Ex - Bowers & Merena Galleries' "The Cabinet of Lucien M. LaRiviere, Part II", March 15-17, 2001, Lot 1185, "Closed 3", sold for $2,300.00

PCGS graded MS-64 Red.  Ex - Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles, Inc.'s "Benson Collection, Part I", February 16, 18-20, 2001, lot 1110, illustrated, where it was described as follows: "Open 3…A beautiful fully struck example with very attractive vibrant luster. There are very few marks on this coin and were it not for one or two flyspecks one may think this coin could qualify for a higher grade.  The change in the digit punch style this year was due to a complaint made by Chief Coiner A.L. Snowden early in the year that the 3 in the digit punch for this and all other series looked too much like an 8. The new "Open 3" digit punches were immediately prepared and used for the remainder of the coinage this year. While more common that the "Closed 3" style, the Open 3 is very difficult to find in gem full red condition. Less than 10% of the examples seen in MS64RD and MS65RD qualify for the Eagle Eye Photo Seal. Although this is not the highest graded example, it is one of the finer examples known.", sold for $4,600.00

PCGS MS-64 Red.  Ex - Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc.'s "Long Beach Signature Sale", May 31-June 2, 2001, Lot 7556, "Closed 3", illustrated, sold for $1,443.25

MS-64, Red.  Ex - Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles, Inc.'s "Benson Collection, Part I", February 16, 18-20, 2001, Lot 1252, illustrated, "Open 3", sold for $1,035.00

PCGS MS-64, Red and Brown.  Ex - Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles, Inc.'s "Benson Collection, Part I", February 16, 18-20, 2001, Lot 1250, "Closed 3", not illustrated, sold for $4,370.00  From the Howard R. Newcomb collection of Indian Cents, purchase June 30, 1944 from J.G. Macallister"

MS-64, Red.  Ex - Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles, Inc.'s "Benson Collection, Part I", February 16, 18-20, 2001, Lot 1249, "Closed 3", illustrated, sold for $3,105.00

PCGS MS-64 Red-Brown.  Ex – American Numismatic Rarities, LLC’s “The Classics Sale,” July 25, 2003 , Lot 202, "Close 3, Doubled Die Obverse, Type II, Snow-2b, FND-002, FS1-009, 2-O-III, Rarity-7", illustrated, unsold

PCGS MS-64, Red and Brown.  Ex - Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles, Inc.'s "Benson Collection, Part I", February 16, 18-20, 2001, Lot 1251, "Open 3", not illustrated, sold for $517.00

PCI MS-64, Red and Brown.  Ex - Superior Galleries' "Pre-Long Beach Sale", October 1-3, 2000, Lot 4051, "Closed 3", not illustrated, sold for $862.50

MS-64 Red and Brown.  Ex - Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc.'s "Philadelphia 2000 Signature Sale", August 6-7, 2000, Lot 5425, "Open 3", not plated, sold for $1,207.50

PCGS MS-64 Red and Brown.  Ex - Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc.'s "Philadelphia 2000 Signature Sale", August 6-7, 2000, Lot 6612, "Open 3", not illustrated, sold for $690.00

MS-64, Red and Brown.  Ex - Superior Galleries' "Pre-Long Beach Sale", October 1-3, 2000, Lot 4057, "Open 3", not illustrated, sold for $138.00

ANACS MS-64 Red and Brown.  Ex - Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc.'s "Long Beach Signature Sale", May 31-June 2, 2001, Lot 7552, "Open 3", not illustrated, sold for $977.50

NGC MS-64 Brown.  Ex - Bowers & Merena Galleries' "The Lake Geneva Sale", June 28-29, 2001, Lot 152, "Closed 3, Snow-1, Doubled Die", illustrated, not sold

MS-63 Red, Questionable Color.  Ex - Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc.'s "Santa Clara Signature Sale", November 16-17, 2000, Lot 5084, "Open 3", not illustrated, sold for $184.00

MS-63 Red.  Ex - Superior Galleries "The ANA 2001 National Money Show Auction", March 8-9, 2001, Lot 36, "Open 3", unsold"

ANACS MS-63 Red and Brown.  Ex - Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc.'s "Philadelphia 2000 Signature Sale", August 6-7, 2000, Lot 6611, "Open 3", not illustrated, sold for $546.25

ANACS MS-63 Red and Brown.  Ex- Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc.'s "Long Beach Sale" October 5-7, 2000, Lot 5908, "Doubled Liberty", plated, sold for $1,322.50

ANACS MS-63, Red and Brown.  Ex - Superior Galleries' "Pre-Long Beach Sale", October 1-3, 2000, Lot 4052, "Closed 3, Doubled Die Obverse", illustrated, not sold

NGC MS-63 Brown.  Ex - Bowers & Merena Galleries' "The Cabinet of Lucien M. LaRiviere, Part II", March 15-17, 2001, Lot 1186, "Closed 3", sold for $1,265.00

NGC MS-63 Brown.  Ex - Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc.'s "Long Beach Signature Sale", May 31-June 2, 2001, Lot 7553, "Closed 3", illustrated, not sold

Choice Brilliant Uncirculated Red and Brown.  Ex- Stack's "The September Sale", September 12-13, 2000, Lot 126, "Open 3", sold for $632.50

Choice Brilliant Uncirculated Brown.  Ex- Stack's "The September Sale", September 12-13, 2000, Lot 127, "Open 3", sold for $230.00

NGC MS-62, Red.  Ex - Superior Galleries' "Pre-Long Beach Sale", October 1-3, 2000, Lot 4053, "Closed 3, Doubled Die Reverse", illustrated, sold for $1,150.00

NGC MS-61, Brown.  Ex - Superior Galleries' "Pre-Long Beach Sale", October 1-3, 2000, Lot 4054, "Doubled Die Obverse with Strong Double LIBERTY", illustrated, not sold

Brilliant Uncirculated.  Ex - Stack's "65th Anniversary Sale", October 17-19, 2000, Lot 134, "Open 3", not plated, sold for $161.00

PCGS AU-50.  Ex - Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc.'s "Philadelphia 2000 Signature Sale", August 6-7, 2000, Lot 6613, "Doubled LIBERTY", illustrated, not sold

NGC AU-50 Brown.  Ex - Superior Galleries "The ANA 2001 National Money Show Auction", March 8-9, 2001, Lot 33, "Double Die Obverse", unsold

ANACS AU-50.  Ex – American Numismatic Rarities, LLC’s “The Classics Sale,” July 25, 2003 , Lot 201, "Close 3, Doubled Die Obverse, Type I, Snow-1b, FND-001, FS1-009, 1-O-V, Breen-1986, Rarity-6 (as graded)", illustrated, sold for $4,140.00

ANACS AU Details, Net VF-30, "Damaged."  Ex - Superior Galleries' "Pre-Long Beach Sale", October 1-3, 2000, Lot 4055, "Doubled LIBERTY", not illustrated, not sold

EF-40.  Ex - Bowers & Merena Galleries' "The Cabinet of Lucien M. LaRiviere, Part III", May 21, 2001, Lot 1353, "Doubled Die Obverse", illustrated, sold for $2,645.00

Sources and/or recommended reading:
"The PCGS Population Report, October 2003" by The Professional Coin Grading Service