The basics I need to have on 1864 IHCs

Discussion in 'US Coins Forum' started by LA_Geezer, Sep 12, 2017.

  1. LA_Geezer

    LA_Geezer Well-Known Member

    I am not experienced enough with the Indian Head Cents to be confident about the distinctions between Copper-Nickel and Bronze samples, and what exacerbates my lack of experience is that many of the sellers on eBay aren't fully describing the coins they are listing.

    Am I to assume, that if the listing just says "1864" that the coin there is a Bronze with no L? To me this is a tough distinction even though I have studied the illustration of the "L" in my Red Book. For the life of me, my eyes simply aren't sharp enough to pull out such a fine detail — or, at least one that I think is fine. I know that the bust is more pointed on the L versions of the coin, though, and I think I can get things right by identifying pointed from rounded busts.

    The distinctions between Copper-Nickel and Bronze is frustrating me, too. With all of the possible variations of lighting, the photos can be quite difficult to identify correctly. Here are just three examples of similarly-priced coins that show the color variations to some degree. Two of the three are advertised as Copper-Nickel, the other one is not.

    Thanks in advance for any help you can give me by pointing out what I need to know.

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  3. baseball21

    baseball21 Well-Known Member

    From some sellers most likely, but they may not know either
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  4. Kirkuleez

    Kirkuleez 80 proof

    I'm not an expert on Indian Cents, but I am suspicious of that last one that you posted.
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  5. SchwaVB57

    SchwaVB57 Well-Known Member

    I cannot see from the pictures posted, not a big enough image, but the L is on the ribbon and should be visible with a close up picture. I agree with baseball 21.
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  6. Oldhoopster

    Oldhoopster Member of the ANA since 1982

    1864 Bronze is the cheapest, then the Copper Nickel, and finally the Bronze with L. A seller would be leaving money on the table if they had a CN or L and not list it as such. If it's not listed otherwise, then assume it's bronze.

    You may also be able to cherry pick someone's mistake, but if you can't see the pics well enough to determine what it is, then that might not an option for you.

    In hand, you should easily be able to determine the difference between the Bronze and CN. Color, weight and thickness are different. You should also be able to tell by the tip of the neck/bust, if it's an L or not. However, I would recommend that you buy one with a visible L
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  7. CoinCorgi

    CoinCorgi Derp, derp, derp!

    The L is sideways too (rotated 90-degrees clockwise).
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  8. TypeCoin971793

    TypeCoin971793 Just a random guy on the internet

    Don't EVER assume anything on eBay. That will get you screwed over really quickly, even if you know what you are doing.

    All three are copper-nickel types. And genuine circulated VF/EF.
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  9. TypeCoin971793

    TypeCoin971793 Just a random guy on the internet

    And the style of the feathers. They are a bit flatter on CN types.

    And the relation between the bottom hair curl and the last A in AMERICA.
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  10. LA_Geezer

    LA_Geezer Well-Known Member

    Thanks to both of you for sharing your expertise. In each of these three samples, the prices are around $85 "Buy it Now"; the first of the three is $0.95 higher than the other two. The last of the three is advertised as just an 1864 with no other designations at all. I don't see any advantage to picking that one over the others since the asking price is about the same. Not one of these three is advertised to be an 1864 L.

    What are your thoughts on the color of these samples? Since the one in the middle is lighter I might be led to believe it was bronze instead of copper-nickel, but then this might simply be the lighting used to present the coin.

    Are you all saying that the color of the coin itself is NOT enough to determine CN versus Bronze?
  11. Oldhoopster

    Oldhoopster Member of the ANA since 1982

    I'm hesitant to guess based on color of ebay photographs. CN also weigh more. You can ask the seller, but if they don't know/care enough to list the proper type and you aren't comfortable taking a chance because you are still learning, then you may want to keep looking. Just my thoughts
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  12. TypeCoin971793

    TypeCoin971793 Just a random guy on the internet

    $85 is too much. I sell these in this condition for around $30. Try buying in auctions as you may get even cheaper than that. If you want opinions without broadcasting your targets to the whole world, feel free to PM me.
  13. LA_Geezer

    LA_Geezer Well-Known Member

    I would like to ask about the Flying Eagle cents as well. I must say that until now I had not been paying any attention to these at all, but I was looking on eBay just now and almost had a heart attack! As with the IHCs, I don't know much about these, but it appears as if what started out as a casual interest in the IHC for which I bought a Whitman folder with 26 very good looking IHCs in it for less than $40 has ballooned into something costing me around $1K, with nine coins needed to complete the set. All right, I probably won't do the three rarest of them, so I I'll be content to do the other six — which includes the Flying Eagles — but as @TypeCoin971793 says above, I may need some assistance.

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