A Valuable Penny: What Is A Penny Worth To You

Valuable Penny
A Valuable Penny What Is A Penny Worth To You

Signs To Look For In A Valuable Penny!

It can be easy to look past a valuable penny, but if you know what to look for, you might spot something surprising that others don’t see.

Disclaimer:  I am an Amazon Associate; therefore, this post may contain affiliate links for me to earn a commission. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

Older pennies, especially those minted during the World Wars, are hot items for collectors.

Look closely at any pennies that you have that are 20 years old or more and see if you notice errors in the engraving.

Grab a magnifying glass and look for unusual spacing between letters or words or letters that are too close together. 

If you have a penny that has a double-die, you might have something worth taking to a dealer.

A double-die happens when the mint accidentally presses a second image on to the coin, creating misalignment.

On a double-die coin, words like “LIBERTY” or “IN GOD WE TRUST” will look like there’s an extra word printed on top of the first word.

As with all rare coins, the better condition the penny is in, the more value it could potentially have.

How To Cash In Your Valuable Pennies

If you think you have a valuable penny in your hands, you should take it to an auction house for closer inspection.

Many auction firms are willing to look at your coins for free, and they know what to look for.

They can also help you walk through the steps of getting your coin certified, and they can take you through the selling process. 

Don’t go into an auction company with dollar signs in your eyes.

Even if you have a rare penny, it may not be worth nearly as much as your hopes and dreams.

Be realistic about fetching money for an old penny, and don’t set yourself up for disappointment by thinking you have a treasure on your hands when you may only receive a small amount of value.

What Are The Most Valuable Pennies

Pennies that fetch high amounts at an auction are rare, but it’s worth looking through your change to see if you can find something valuable.

Many of the most valuable pennies in circulation date back to World War I and World War II, such as the 1944 steel wheat penny, which the United States Mint created when copper was needed for the war effort.

This penny can fetch between $77,000 and $110,000, depending on condition.

The 1943 copper wheat penny was one of the rare copper pennies from the war, and it can earn $60,000 to $85,000 at an auction.

Wheat Pennies are dated from 1909 to 1958 and have a portrait of Lincoln on one side, and a wreath-like design of wheat heads on the other.

Sometimes called “Lincoln Cents”, without mentioning the Memorial, they are made of almost pure copper (95%) except for one year, the 1943 penny, which is made of zinc-plated steel.

All Wheat Pennies are worth at least three times face value, but of course many are worth substantially more especially the key date Wheat pennies.

Be On The Lookout For The Ultra Rare 1909-S VDB Valuable Penny

This coin is most sought after by collectors and is most valuable in any grade.

Also, the 1909-S (no VDB on the reverse), the 1914-D and the 1931-S are also valuable coins in any condition.

Indian Head pennies from the 1870s can be worth $1,000 or more, and pennies from 1909 issued in San Francisco can fetch around $2,000 if they’re in the right condition.

As always, the condition of the pennies will play a large factor in how much they’re worth and how much you can get for them when you have them auctioned off.

Lincoln Memorial Pennies are dated 1959 to 2008 and have a portrait of Lincoln on one side of the Lincoln Memorial building on the other.

They were made of 95% copper until 1982. During 1982 the composition was changed to 97.5% zinc, with a thin copper plating, so that you have pennies dated 1982 made of both metal types.

From 1983 until today, all U.S. pennies are made of mostly zinc.

Most Lincoln Memorial Pennies are only worth face value unless they have their original copper luster from the Mint.

In 2009, the U.S. Mint issued a unique commemorative set of four pennies to celebrate the 100th anniversary of President Lincoln’s birth and the Lincoln cent design.

Lincoln Cents enjoyed a surge in popularity, which meant some higher values for these incredibly popular pennies.

The United States Mint in 2010 permanently changed the reverse of the Lincoln cent to feature a shield with E PLURIBUS UNUM at the top and a banner emblazoned with ONE CENT across the shield.

These new coins are known as the Lincoln Shield Reverse penny.

Numismatists classify these three different types of Lincoln pennies all under the Lincoln Memorial Cent type.

What Are Some Of The Most Expensive Pennies

Two pennies at different auctions raked in astonishing amounts at auctions in recent years. When Don Lutes of Pittsfield, Massachusetts, was in high school in 1947, he received a 1943 bronze Lincoln penny ― a penny that the U.S. Mint released in error.

It was unusual enough that he set it aside and held onto it until his death in 2018. Before he died, he arranged to sell it an auction to benefit a local historic landmark, and the rare penny sold for $204,000 in January 2019.

The American penny dates back to the 1790s, but it’s rare that you’ll find one in your stash of coins.

One of the first pennies ever minted in the U.S. was the 1792 Birch cent, named for its engraver, Robert Birch.

Experts believe that there are only ten of these still in existence, and the one in the best condition sold for an almost unbelievable $2,585,000 in 2015. Just one day earlier, a 1793 chain penny sold for $2,350,000 – the record until the Birch Cent auction.

Collecting Pennies

Numismatics is the name for the hobby of collecting pennies and other coins.

Some collectors acquire rare pennies for their value, while others enjoy collecting unusual and fascinating coinage that don’t necessarily hold much value.

Many numismatists start with collecting rare pennies just for fun.

Coin collecting experts recommend starting with looking at the pennies you have in your pocket or change jar for something rare, unusual, or old.

You can also purchase sets of older coins if you want to keep them for your own collection.

Collectors sometimes even build specific collections based on date, minting errors, or other categories.

Curated from the Reference Spruce.

Read This Interesting Post: How To Start A Collector Store Web Site

Image Source