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EXTERNAL SOURCES: pcgs.com ngccoin.com coins.ha.com
INDEPENDENT SOURCES: usmint.gov money.org
Ed. note: This article is periodically updated to reflect the current price of most valuable coins.
Lincoln Wheat Pennies are part of the Lincoln Pennies family (here’s a Lincoln Penny values chart 2022/2023) and some of them are one of the most expensive coins in the world. It is widely available and easy to find in good condition, making it a very affordable and fun collection for any contemporary coin collector. Look for them in your pocket change!
JUMP TO SECTION
- Old Wheat penny value chart by year(2023 Update)
- The value of most expensive Wheat Pennies
- How to correctly identify pennies to collect
- Type of U.S. Mint Marks
- List of most valuable Wheat Pennies – Auction Records
- Most valuable Wheat Pennies – Other Key Years
- Conclusion: A great option to start a coin collection with
- References and sources
Old Wheat penny value chart by year(2023 Update)
Coin collectors will always talk to unify pricing criteria in currencies graduated by NGC or PCGS from MS-60. In these common and easily obtainable pieces, prime quality is rewarded enormously, and Lincoln Wheat Penny prices grow exponentially. Let’s see a very concrete example, a common coin (1 cent face value).
|Lincoln wheat penny values|
|Position||Type of Wheat Penny||Key Date||Auction Record|
|#1||Bronze wheat penny||1943||$1,750,000|
|#2||Steel wheat penny||1944||$200,000|
|#3||1909-S VDB Wheat Penny||1909||$100,000|
The value of most expensive Wheat Pennies
Are wheat pennies worth anything?These series of american coins, with few exceptions, were minted in incredibly high quantities. So in order for a coin to fetch a high price on the collector’s market or as an investment, we need one of these two characteristics:
– An especially good state of condition. It must not have suffered any kind of wear and tear from circulation, nor must it be nicked or scratched. It has to be pristine, just as it came out of the minting press, with a natural weathered patina and uniform color.
– One of the few rare pieces. You may want to look out for certain things about our coin. Keep reading to find out…
How to correctly identify pennies to collect
It has been in circulation for over a century. The motif began to be used in 1909, from a photograph taken of the great President in 1864, and is still in use today.
Abraham Lincoln’s bust has been virtually unchanged all these years. However, the motif on the back has changed somewhat. This article focuses on the so-calledWheat Penny, the first guy to be coined from Lincoln’s pennies.
This coin was used from 1909 to 1958 when it was replaced by the Memorial Penny, a coin that depicts the President’s bust on the front side, but completely replaces the motif on the back with an engraving of the Lincoln Memorial Building.
In order to properly reference our coin, we first need to know its mint. In the case of this piece, we have three possibilities.
We need to look at the small lettering just below the year embossment.
Type of U.S. Mint Marks
- Lincoln Wheat Penny no mint mark: If it doesn’t have any letters, it was minted at the main Philadelphia Mint.
- Lincoln Wheat Penny “S” mintmark: If we find an S, it was coined in San Francisco Mint.
- Lincoln Wheat Penny “D” mintmark: If we find a D, then Denver Mint is its origin.
Another feature we must consider is the type of coinage our piece has. As a general rule, the Mint coins have two differing qualities:
- Circulation coins are the normal coins that we use in our daily transactions.
- Coining PROOF coins are made directly for the collector market. They are manufactured in a high level of detail with great care, and this provides them with a characteristic mirror shine, making them more aesthetically attractive.
In the images, we can see a normal circulating one (above), and a PROOF coin (below). The differences between the two are more than clear.
The last parameter to look at when referencing our coin is only necessary on the coins originating from the first year in which they were minted, 1909. The first coins to come out of the mint had the initials of the designer Victor D. Brenner on the back of the coin (VDB).
These pieces are far more rare than their non-VDB counterparts, although they were appreciated and treasured by numismatists and collectors from the beginning. Because of this, it is common to find them in an excellent state of conservation.
List of most valuable Wheat Pennies – Auction Records
1. 1943 Bronze Wheat Penny – $60,000 – $1,750,000
In 1943, due to the entry of the United States into World War II, copper for coinage became necessary for military equipment factories. To replace it, the Wheat cent was minted in a zinc-plated steel coin blank.
However, it is assumed that by mistake, some coin blanks left over from the previous year entered the press in the three mints.
For these pieces,of which about 25 are known in total, and many of them in circulation, hundreds of thousands of dollars can be forked out, including more than a million for the best-preserved ones.
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2. 1944 Steel Lincoln One Cent – $7,500 – $200,000
The opposite case to the 1943 bronze coinage is the zinc-plated steel coinage, the 1944 one. In December 1943, it was agreed that these coins would be re-minted in bronze, but some coin blanks were leaked with the new wedges, and very few units were produced in the previous year’s material.
Thing to know
It should be noted that in that year there were a large number of steel coin blanks at the Philadelphia Mint, which were used to mint the Belgian two franc coin. Belgium, a country destroyed by the war, had to subcontract the production of cash to the American Mint. Check out your coin and don’t forget that the pieces of 1945 and 1946 also fetch good money.
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- Do you know our 1944 wheat penny guide? Updated 2023 Prices
3. 1909-S VDB Wheat Penny – $1,500 – $100,000
The first one cent coins minted were produced with the initials of designer Victor David Brenner at the bottom of the reverse. Among these, the rarest are those minted at the San Francisco Mint.
It is important to keep in mind that since the only difference from the normal 1909 Mint coins is the engraving of these initials.
This type of piece is the most counterfeited coin in all of American numismatics. A total of four reverse dies are known for this issue, and we do not recommend you purchase them without a thorough knowledge of them.
Coins that come out of these three ‘white mirlors’, graduated in MS-60, can cost approximately $25 to $300 in the first years of issue – until the late 1920s. In the 1930s they can be bought for between $5 and $30. Post-Great War, given their mass production, there are few that cost more than $1.
These price ranges apply mostly to coins minted in Philadelphia and San Francisco. The Denver Mint’s production numbers were significantly lower, and therefore coins marked with a ‘D’ can fetch much higher prices than their more common contemporaries.
Most valuable Wheat Pennies – Other Key Years
Look for these years and you won’t regret it –1919, 1940, 1941, 1942, 1945, 1946, 1956, 1957 and 1958. As we said above, you must take into account that the state of conservation is key to valuing your cent coin.
- What year pennies are worth money
- All about 1945 wheat penny prices
- 1956 D’Wheat Penny worth
Conclusion: A great option to start a coin collection with
The Lincoln Wheat cents in general are a series of coins that have as many lovers as haters. As we have mentioned, these one-cent coins are probably the most collected series in the world for several reasons:
- Low difficulty in getting almost all the dates.
- Price is very affordable.
- Easy storage, because there are many albums that have the holes ready to be filled with the coins.
- A large number of specialized bibliographies.
These series are an accessible collection for youngsters who want to start in the world of coin collecting, to advanced collectors with important capitals. In most cases, the former will dedicate themselves to filling in the gaps, as if it were a sticker album; and the latter will seek excellence in all their pieces, trying to get copies in very high states of conservation.
References and sources
- Heritage auctions
- The Official Red book: A Guide Book of United States Coins.
POST RELATED YOU MAY LIKE
- 1952 D Wheat Penny Value in 2023.
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- 1957 D Wheat Pennies: A 8-Graded Scale to Determine Its Value.
- 1958 D Wheat Penny Value.
- 1942 Wheat reverse penny: things to know.
- 1910 penny: values and how-to.
- 1919 Lincoln Penny guide.
- 1920 Wheat Pennies to look for.
- How to identify a 1964 Penny.
- Are quarters worth money?
Numismatic Expert & Writer. BA in History and BS in Computer Science. I’m a member of the American Numismatic Association (ANA) and the Numismatic Literary Guild (NLG) and write in several digital media specialized in collecting, auctions and antiques reviews.
What penny is worth $50000? ›
The 1959-D wheat penny is one of the most controversial mule coins ever. It's worth $50,000!Is a 1945 penny worth $85,000? ›
The value of a 1945 wheat penny depends on its condition and whether it's the rare “steel” variety. A well-circulated coin could be worth only a few cents, while a pristine steel penny could fetch up to $85,000.What penny is worth $200000? ›
A rare copper penny that a Massachusetts man found in his lunch money more than 70 years ago has been auctioned for more than $200,000. The 1943 penny is one of 20 that were accidentally minted when the federal government was trying to conserve copper for World War II.What penny is worth $300000? ›
The 1943 bronze Lincoln cent is considered to be the most famous error coin made by the U.S. Mint and could be worth more than $300,000.What pennies are worth over $1000000? ›
RARE 1943 COPPER PENNY WORTH A MILLION DOLLARS - CHECK YOUR POCKET CHANGE FOR VALUABLE COINS!! The 1943 copper penny is a one million dollar penny! This copper penny was suppose to be a 1943 steel penny.What pennies are worth thousands of dollars? ›
Which pennies are worth $1,000? Some examples of pennies worth $1,000 or more include the 1955 Doubled Die Lincoln Cent, the 1909-S Indian Cent, the 1909-S VDB Lincoln Cent and the 1914-D Lincoln Cent.What's the most expensive 1945 penny? ›
The most valuable 1945 penny is the one with the “D” mint mark. This coin is worth about 85,000 dollars. This is because the metal content in the penny is worth more than the face value of the coin. The value of the metal content has increased over time, and the 1945 penny is made of 95% copper.Why is a 1982 penny worth $10000? ›
So for the past 30 years, pennies have been made with an alloy comprised of 97.5% zinc and 2.5% copper, but pennies minted before 1982 are 95% copper and 5% zinc. The price of copper has more than quadrupled over the past 10 years.What are the 15 most valuable pennies? ›
- 1914-S Lincoln Penny.
- 1944-D Lincoln Penny (Zinc-coated steel)
- 1909-S VDB Lincoln Penny.
- 1872 Indian Head Penny.
- 1969-S Lincoln Penny-Doubled Die Obverse.
- 1926-S Lincoln Penny.
- 1877 Indian Head Penny.
- 1914-D Lincoln Penny.
Here's a list of the top 10 most valuable pennies for 2023: 1) 1944 Steel Wheat Penny - $408,000. 2) 1943 Copper Wheat Penny - $250,000. 3) 1856 Flying Eagle Penny - $25,000.
What year penny is worth $20000? ›
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The Most Expensive Penny
Just 40 of the coins — probably created by accident, on copper-alloy one-cent blanks left in the presses in the wartime years when pennies were converted to steel — are known to exist. The first 1943 copper cent was sold in 1958 for more than $40,000.
Here's a rare 1943 Lincoln penny: The coin was mistakenly struck in bronze rather than zinc-coated steel, one has just sold for $1 million.What penny is worth $3000? ›
A RARE Lincoln penny from 1922 has sold for nearly $3,000 online – meaning you would be quite fortunate to have a coin like this one lying around. If you look closely, you'll noti…Is there a penny worth 2 million dollars? ›
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You Could Find This Rare Penny In Your Pocket Change - Here's What To Look For. Someone found a 1982 copper penny worth more than $10,000 -- and you could too! Here's everything you want to know about the 1982 D penny - and how to find a 1982 small date penny.Can a penny be worth a million dollars? ›
Yes, the PCGS-graded 1943 and 1943-S copper pennies were priced at $1 million, and the 1943-D copper penny was priced at $1.5 million.Is a 1944 wheat penny worth a million dollars? ›
1944 STEEL Wheat Penny Value
According to the NGC Price Guide, as of March 2023, a Wheat Penny from 1944 in circulated condition is worth between $35000 and $43500. However, on the open market 1944 STEEL Pennies in pristine, uncirculated condition sell for as much as $175000.
The $1 million Canadian Gold Maple Leaf coin is a novelty coin, if there ever were one, and it tips the scales at a whopping 100 kilograms or about 220 pounds. Only six of the nearly pure gold coins have ever been made, as of December 2022, and each has a face value of $1 million.Is a 1943 penny worth a million dollars? ›
1943 wheat penny worth a million dollars
$840,000 was paid for it at auction in 2021. A 1943 bronze Lincoln cent graded Mint State 63 Red was reportedly sold in a private agreement for one million dollars. However, the 1943-D bronze penny has the highest public price to date.
What 1943 penny is worth $1 million dollars? ›
A 1943 Lincoln penny that soared in value because it was made from the "wrong" material reportedly has sold for $1 million. The penny was erroneously made of bronze instead of zinc-coated steel at the San Francisco Mint, according to UPI news agency. Texas Rangers co-chairman Bob R.Which pennies are worth keeping? ›
- 1909-S Indian Cent: $300 to $1,000+ ...
- 1909-S VDB Lincoln Cent: $600 to $1,300+ ...
- 1914-D Lincoln Cent: $150 to $2,200+ ...
- 1922 Plain Lincoln Cent: $500 to $10,500+ ...
- 1931-S Lincoln Cent: $65 to $100+ ...
- 1943 Bronze Lincoln Cent: $125,000+
Eric said the penny in question is worth an estimated $2million. However, despite its high value, the penny is technically illegal to own as it's considered to be government property. Federal authorities haven't been in a hurry to confiscate them, according to Coinworld, but it's important for sellers to know.Is a 1947 penny worth $1.7 million? ›
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- S Lincoln Penny – $105,800. ...
- 1944-D Lincoln Penny on a Zinc-Coated Steel Planchet – $115,000. ...
- 1909-S VDB Lincoln Penny. ...
- 1872 Indian Head Penny – $126,500. ...
- 1969-S Lincoln Penny–Doubled Die Obverse – $126,500. ...
- 1926-S Lincoln Penny – $149,500. ...
- 1877 Indian Head Penny – $149,500.
“There are millions and millions of wheat pennies and most commonly they trade for three-to-five cents a piece. If you're looking for a particular date, it can be much, much more than that. The rarest is the 1909 VDB. Those can be worth anywhere from $700 to $1,500 depending on the coin's grade.How much is a 1944 wheat penny worth with no mint mark? ›
1944 Wheat Penny No Mint Mark
These coins are typically worth between 2-4 cents and can be worth between $1.75-$2.00 or more in uncirculated conditions depending on the marketplace and the coin.
- 1909-S Over Horizontal S Wheat Penny. ...
- 1914-D Wheat Penny. ...
- 1922-D No D Wheat Penny. ...
- 1909-S VDB Wheat Penny. ...
- 1955 Doubled Die Wheat Penny. ...
- 1944 Steel Cent Wheat Penny. ...
- 1943 Bronze Wheat Penny. Value: $100,000-200,000. ...
- 10 Most Valuable Wheat Pennies. 1931-S: $70-$150.
A $7,000 penny could be hiding in your pocket—here's how to identify it. You may want to think twice before tossing out your loose change — one of your pennies could be worth $7,000. That's if you have a 1983 Lincoln penny, says Blake Alma, whose “CoinHub” TikTok account has over 850,000 followers.How much is a 1943 steel wheat penny worth? ›
Why is the 1999 penny worth so much? ›
It's from 1999 and could be worth $4,500 thanks to a little-known error on it. What you want to look for is a 1999 penny with no mint mark, which means no letter under the year on the heads side.Why is the 1983 penny worth so much? ›
According to CNBC's Make It, the US made 7.7 billion pennies in 1983, but only about 5,000 are known to have this doubling error — making them valuable to those who find one in their possession.How much is a 1982 zinc penny worth? ›
1982 “D” Penny
You'll pay around 0.30 USD for the 1982 “D” zinc penny with a big date. The 1982 “D” zinc penny with a small date and an MS of at least 60 costs around 0.20 USD. Remember, the price is low because these coins are common.
Value: In average condition, many collectors would be willing to pay about $60,000 and as much as $85,000 in mint condition. This year and mintage (Denver) is considered a key date and is the most valuable of the non-error Wheat pennies. Value: The value ranges from $280 to as much as $5,500 in mint condition.Are any pennies from 1980 worth money? ›
1980 D Penny Value
In lower mint state grades, the value is comparable to unmarked cents. At MS63, a red cent is worth about $5, and at MS65 it will be worth around $15. There's a slight premium at MS67, where a Denver red cent will be worth about $225, compared to $187 for one without a mint mark.
A 2009 P penny graded MS67 and with the presidency design is worth about $135. That rises to $225 for the early childhood coin, and $300 for the professional life version. The most valuable design at this grade is the formative years reverse, which is worth about $375.Is a 1943 penny worth 100000? ›
All the pennies in 1943 year were supposed to be minted as the steel pennies or war pennies. Coin analysts suggest that copper plates may have been tested or left mixed amongst the other steel plates from 1942 and thus the error. No matter what the cause, these coins are selling for just under $100,000 dollars.What wheat back penny is worth $1000000? ›
The most famous 1943 Copper Wheat Penny is probably the one that was mistakenly made from solid copper instead of steel-coated zinc. Only a few error coins exist, making them extremely valuable to collectors. One sold at auction in 2010 for over $1 million!How much is $1000000 pennies? ›
A million pennies equal $10,000. There are 100 pennies, or cents, in each US dollar. To find out how many dollars you could make with 1 million pennies, divide 1 million (the number of pennies you have) by 100 (the number of pennies in one dollar).Which pennies are worth $1000? ›
1955 Doubled Die Lincoln Cent: $1,000 to $2,000+
The 1955 doubled die penny shows heavy doubling in the inscriptions on the obverse side such as the word LIBERTY and the date. It is worth $1,000 and up even in well-worn condition, with uncirculated specimens taking $2,000 or more.
What 1943 penny is worth a million dollars? ›
1943 wheat penny worth a million dollars
$840,000 was paid for it at auction in 2021. A 1943 bronze Lincoln cent graded Mint State 63 Red was reportedly sold in a private agreement for one million dollars.
1943-D Lincoln Bronze Wheat Penny — $1.7 million
Made of 95% copper and 5% tin and zinc alloy, it sold for $1.7 million in 2010. More recently, it went for $840,000 at an auction. There is only one copy known to be in existence, but other versions of the coin may sell for $100,000 and up.
1943 Copper Penny $1.7 Million
Goldberg Auctioneers sold a 1943 copper coin for $212,750 in 2003 during a public sale. Later in 2010, the same coin was sold for $1,750,000. The unique-D 1943 copper cent holds the record for the highest price. PCGS graded the coin as an MS64 Brown penny.
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One billion US pennies is equal to 10 million US dollars.What if a penny doubled everyday for 30 days? ›
If you took a single penny and doubled it everyday, by day 30, you would have $5,368,709.12. However, it's important to note that it's all about the power of doubling - if you asked the same question, but changed the doubling time to just 27 days, you would only have $671,088.64.What penny is worth 25000? ›
The last sale of a Close AM 1992 Lincoln penny was recorded back in 2017, with the coin selling for an incredible $25,850.What penny is worth $10000? ›
You Could Find This Rare Penny In Your Pocket Change - Here's What To Look For. Someone found a 1982 copper penny worth more than $10,000 -- and you could too! Here's everything you want to know about the 1982 D penny - and how to find a 1982 small date penny.