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1886 INDIAN HEAD CENT

PCGS Nos: 2154, 2155, 2156, 92154, 92155, 92156, 2345, 2346, 2347, 92345, 92346, 92347

Mintage:

Circulation strikes: 17,650,000
Proofs: 4,290

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 "Type 1" Brown example graded by PCGS is a single MS-65BN. The finest Uncirculated "Type 1" Red-Brown examples graded by PCGS are 19 MS-65RB's. The finest Uncirculated "Type 1" Red examples graded by PCGS are 4 MS-66RD's.

The finest Uncirculated "Type 2" Brown examples graded by PCGS are 7 MS-64BN's.  The finest Uncirculated "Type 2" Red-Brown examples graded by PCGS are 12 MS-65RB's.  The finest Uncirculated "Type 2" Red examples graded by PCGS are 6 MS-65RD's.

The finest Proof "Type 1" Brown examples graded by PCGS are 2 PR-67BN's.  The finest Proof "Type 1" Red-Brown examples graded by PCGS are 2 PR-67RB's.  The finest Proof "Type 1"  Red examples graded by PCGS are 10 PR-66RD's.

The finest Proof "Type 2" Brown examples graded by PCGS are 3 PR-66BN's.  The finest Proof "Type 2" Red-Brown examples graded by PCGS are 5 PR-65RB's.  The finest Proof "Type 2" Red example graded by PCGS is a single PR-66RD.

   

Images courtesy of Superior Galleries

Varieties:
Type 1 -
last feather on the Indian's headdress points between the I and the C
Type 2 -
last feather on the Indian
's headdress points between the C and the A

Significant examples:
PCGS MS-66 Red (illustrated above).  Superior Galleries' "Pre-Long Beach Sale", June 5-7, 2000, Lot 1090, where it was described as follows: "Type 2.  Last Feather Points Between C-A. PCGS graded Mint State-66 Red.  Midway through the year the mint revised the master hub on the Indian Cent. Among the small changes was shifting the last feather's position. Earlier it pointed to the space between I and C in AMERICA; on the Type 2, this is changed to the C and A. Full mint red specimens of either variety are extremely rare, this being a top end grade, as its price realized will surely tell. (PCGS holder 4302194)."
Price realized = $48,300.00

Recent appearances:
PCGS Proof 67, Red and Brown.  Superior Galleries' "Pre-Long Beach Sale", October 1-3, 2000, Lot 4079, "Variety 1", illustrated, sold for $1,840.00

PCGS Proof 67, Red and Brown.  Superior Galleries' "Pre-Long Beach Sale", October 1-3, 2000, Lot 4080, "Variety 1", $1,610.00

NGC graded Proof 67 Brown.  Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles, Inc.'s "Benson Collection, Part I", February 16, 18-20, 2001, lot 1127, illustrated, where it was described as follows: "Variety 2…Absolutely stunning. Although full brown, the eye appeal of this coin is outstanding. Overall much scarcer than the Variety 1 proof and at this grade level it is exceptionally rare. Charles Barber redesigned the obverse of the Indian Cent in 1886. The slight modification is noticeable by comparing the relationship of the last feather to the ICA in AMERICA. The Variety 1 style is used from 1864. The Variety 2 style was used from late 1886 onward.", $2,300.00

PCGS graded Proof 66 Red.  Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles, Inc.'s "Benson Collection, Part I", February 16, 18-20, 2001, lot 1126, illustrated, where it was described as follows: "Variety 1…A very attractive example with moderately deep mirrors. The tone is a bit deeper red compared to some of the coins offered earlier. The more common design type with the last feather pointing between the I & C of AMERICA. The PCGS population report grouped both the Variety 1 and Variety 2 1886 Proof Indian into one listing as late as 1999. When they were separated, the entire population was moved into the Variety 1 listing. This makes the Variety 1 seem more common than it actually is if one looks solely at that data. However, the reality is not much different for gem full red proofs. The Variety 2 turns out to be prohibitively rare in high grades in full red. The population of 13 in PR65RD and 5 in PR66RD with none higher is probably very close to correct for the 1886 Variety 1.", $3,680.00

PCGS Proof-66 Red.  Ira & Larry Goldberg Coin & Collectibles' "The Fairchild Family Trust Collection Sale", May 28-30, 2001, Lot 246, "Variety 1", illustrated, sold for $5,290.00

NGC Proof-66 Red and Brown.  Ex - Bowers & Merena Galleries' "The Lake Geneva Sale", June 28-29, 2001, Lot 161, "Type 2", $2,070.00

NGC Proof-65 Red and Brown.  Ex - Bowers and Merena Galleries' Robert W. Schwan Collection Sale, October 26-27, 2000, Lot 329, "Type I", unsold

NGC Proof-65 Brown.  Bowers and Merena Galleries' Robert W. Schwan Collection Sale, October 26-27, 2000, Lot 330, "Type II", $460.00

PCGS Proof 65, Red.  Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles, Inc.'s "Benson Collection, Part I", 02/2001, Lot 1284, "Variety 1", $2,300.00

NGC Proof-65, Red and Brown.  Ex - Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles, Inc.'s "Benson Collection, Part I", February 16, 18-20, 2001, Lot 1286, "Variety 2", $2,070.00

PCGS graded Proof 64 Red.  Ex - Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles, Inc.'s "Benson Collection, Part I", February 16, 18-20, 2001, lot 1128, illustrated, where it was described as follows: "Variety 2…This is an exceptional example for this issue. One of the rarest dates in the proof Indian Cent series in gem full red. The coin has moderately deep mirrors with very good eye appeal.  The few full red examples that exist have a light gold tone, nearly straw colored. Other issues, like 1887 show this same peculiar color. Be aware that this is normal for the issue and may be a clue to the reason so few have been graded of these dates in full red. It's not that these get unfairly rejected by the grading services, I think they know an original coin when they see them. The coins are just not out there in full red.  Presently only 5 examples are graded by PCGS in all grades with full red, 4 in MS-64RD and a sole PR66RD. (The PR66RD was just offered in Heritage's F.U.N. sale featuring the "Joshua" collection of proof Indian Cents.) NGC has graded a PR65RD example also. The populations may not reflect the overall rarity of this issue properly due to the addition of this listing in 1999, however years of experience have shown this to be an outstanding rarity.", sold for $6,325.00

PCGS Proof-64 Red.  Ex - Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc.'s "Long Beach Signature Sale", May 31-June 2, 2001, Lot 7639, "Type 1", not illustrated, sold for $506.00

Proof-64 Red and Brown.  Ex - Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc.'s "Santa Clara Signature Sale", November 16-17, 2000, Lot 5116, "Type Two", not illustrated, sold for $356.50

NGC Proof-64 Red and Brown.  Ex - Ira & Larry Goldberg Coin & Collectibles' "The Fairchild Family Trust Collection Sale", May 28-30, 2001, Lot 247, not illustrated, sold for $270.00

Choice Brilliant Proof.  Ex - Stack's "65th Anniversary Sale", October 17-19, 2000, Lot 151, "Type II", plated, sold for $299.00

PCGS graded MS-65 Red.  Ex - Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles, Inc.'s "Benson Collection, Part I", February 16, 18-20, 2001, lot 1129, illustrated, where it was described as follows: "Variety 2…Here is an outstanding example of one of the toughest dates in the Indian Cent series to find in gem full red condition. This is a fully struck example with outstanding eye appeal. An earlier die state than is typically seen. Many coins of this date that exist in high grade came from an original roll that was sold at auction in 1983 (Auction '83 lot #1548). Coins from this source are all late die state pieces with wavy uneven fields and softer devices. This coin is not from that group and is one of the finest examples known.  Collectors usually underestimate this date when assembling their collections. As a result this is usually one of the final pieces to be added.", sold for $21,850.00

PCGS MS-65 Red and Brown.  American Numismatic Rarities, LLC’s “The Classics Sale,” July 25, 2003 , Lot 220, "Type I, Repunched 6, Snow-4, Rarity-unassigned", $1,150.00

NGC MS-65, Red and Brown.  Ex - Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles, Inc.'s "Benson Collection, Part I", February 16, 18-20, 2001, Lot 1285, "Variety 1", $661.00

PCGS MS-65 Red and Brown.  Ex - Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc.'s "Long Beach Signature Sale", May 31-June 2, 2001, Lot 7579, "Type 2", not illustrated, sold for $3,451.15

PCGS MS-64 Red.  Ex – American Numismatic Rarities, LLC’s “The Classics Sale,” July 25, 2003 , Lot 221, "Type I", illustrated, sold for $805.00

MS-64 Red.  Ex - Superior Galleries' "Pre-Long Beach Sale", October 1-3, 2000, Lot 4081, "Variety 1", not illustrated, sold for $431.25

PCGS MS-64, Red.  Ex - Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles, Inc.'s "Benson Collection, Part I", February 16, 18-20, 2001, Lot 1287, illustrated, sold for $3,910.00 From the Howard R. Newcomb collection of Indian Cents, purchased June 30, 1944 from J.G. Macallister

SEGS MS-64, Red.  Ex - Superior Galleries' "Pre-Long Beach Sale", October 1-3, 2000, Lot 4082, "Variety 2", illustrated, not sold

MS-64 Red.  Ex - Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles, Inc.'s "The California Sale", October 2-3, 2000, Lot 1416, "Type I"

PCGS MS-64 Red.  Ex - Superior Galleries "The ANA 2001 National Money Show Auction", March 8-9, 2001, Lot 51, unsold

MS-64.  Ex - Bowers & Merena Galleries' "The Cabinet of Lucien M. LaRiviere, Part II", March 15-17, 2001, Lot 1220, "Type 1", sold for $460.00

PCGS MS-64 Red and Brown.  American Numismatic Rarities, LLC’s “The Classics Sale,” July 25, 2003 , Lot 222, "Type II, Misplaced Digits, 88 in Dentils, Snow-8, FND-003, Rarity-unassigned", illustrated, sold for $1,840.00

PCGS MS-64 Red and Brown.  Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc.'s "Long Beach Signature Sale", May 31-June 2, 2001, Lot 7578, "Type 1", not illustrated, sold for $356.50

PCGS MS-63 Red.  Ex – American Numismatic Rarities, LLC’s “The Classics Sale,” July 25, 2003 , Lot 223, "Type II", illustrated, unsold

MS-63 Red and Brown, Questionable Color.  Ex-  Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc.'s "October 2000 Long Beach Sale", October 5-7, 2000, Lot 6664, "Type I", not illustrated, not sold

Brilliant Uncirculated.  Stack's "The September Sale", September 12-13, 2000, Lot 152, sold for $1,207.50

Brilliant Uncirculated, Red and Brown.  Stack's "The Marvin Taichert Collection of U.S. Type Coins", May 9, 2001, Lot 162, not plated, sold for $322.00

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