It might not be your thing, but coin collecting is an old hobby that appeals to many people. History says that it has been around since ancient Rome! Even though others just like to look at them, others collect with the intention to make a profit. You might be surprised to hear how much certain pennies will fetch you. Who would have thought that they can be worth thousands or millions of dollars? We are not just messing around with you. Check your coin purse right now to see if you have these valuable pennies.
Determining How Much A Penny Is Worth
Did you know that the Sheldon Scale is commonly used to evaluate a coin? Using this method, coins get a grade that ranges anywhere between 1 to 70. The perfect score is 70. A coin is evaluated based on its wear, rarity, and color. Typically, pennies are only worth a single cent or less. If you have ones from 1909 to 1956, they are worth 4 or 5 cents unless they are in good condition. Their value is in the double digits!
1873 Doubled ‘Closed 3’ Indian Head Penny Front
This coin weighs 3.11 grams and was once auctioned off for $12,650. The 1873 Doubled ‘Closed 3’ Indian Head Penny is deemed valuable because of a doubling error. This is evident in “LIBERTY.” The US mint only made a million or so “closed 3 coins.” Meanwhile, 11 million “open 3” ones entered the circulation.
1873 Doubled ‘Closed 3’ Indian Head Penny Back
Do you know what the terms closed coins and open coins mean? Check out the space in “3.” There is a difference thanks to the numeral used! One of these coins that had a red-brown coloration in almost uncirculated condition was sold at an auction held by the Heritage Auction in Pittsburgh.
1793 Flowing Hair Liberty Cap Large Cent Penny Front
In 1793, the production of the Flowing Hard large cent started. To be specific, this entry is for the third entry in this coin series. It was made of copper and had a weight of 13.48 grams. The Liberty Cap, which was introduced late that year, fetched a price of $19,950 on eBay.
1793 Flowing Hair Liberty Cap Large Cent Penny Back
The US mint continued to produce this coin from 1793 until 1796. It only stopped after the introduction of the Draped Bust type. This is such a rare coin that even the ones with smoothed surfaces are worth a good chunk of money. In January 2019, one of these coins went for almost $20,000.
1922 Lincoln No D Strong Reverse And Weak Obverse Wheat Penny Front
It is amazing to find out that the Lincoln, No D, Strong Reverse, and Weak Observe Wheat Penny now has a value of $48,000. This coin, like many other pennies, weighs 3.11 grams. It is also made of copper, zinc, and tin. It entered production all the way back in 1922.
1922 Lincoln No D Strong Reverse and Weak Obverse Wheat Penny Back
In some ways, it has a lot of similarities with the 1922 D Lincoln, No D, Strong Reverse, Die Pair 2. For example, it does not make the mint mark on the face side either. However, the reverse image is not particularly sharp. In March 2018, one in excellent condition was sold by Heritage Auctions.
1922-D Lincoln, No D, Strong Reverse, Die Pair 2 Front
There was a damaged die at the Denver Mint that resulted in coins that did not have a mint mark. Even though most unmarked coins were made in Philadelphia, the Denver mint was the only one that made pennies in 1922. This was how 15,000 to 20,000 such coins entered the circulation.
1922-D Lincoln, No D, Strong Reverse, Die Pair 2 Back
But how come the image on one side is much sharper than the one on the face side? You will probably understand once we tell you that the back side was made with a fresh die. That explains the difference in clarity and quality! A red coin in great condition fetched a whopping $63,000 in Baltimore in 2018.
1914-S Lincoln Penny Front
The San Francisco Mint created over 4 million 1914 Lincoln pennies. Did you know that the S in the name is given to coins that were made in this particular mint? The coin in question was made of tin, zinc, and copper. It also weighs 3.11 grams. We are personally impressed by the pristine condition of this one.
1914-S Lincoln Penny Back
From the way things look, this 1914—S Lincoln Penny was uncirculated and stored with caution. That is the only way to explain why it is in such immaculate condition. Isn’t it lovely to see that it retained the bright coloration? Bowers & Morena ended up selling this penny for a stunning $105,800.
1944-D Lincoln Penny Front
This is a penny that a lot of people would consider a “mistake.” Known as the 1944-D Lincoln penny, this coin was struck on a steel planchet or zinc-coated coin blank! The mint decided to return to copper planchets once more that year. This coin, like the vast majority of pennies, also weighs 3.11 grams.
1944-D Lincoln Penny Back
While the Philadelphia and Denver Mints created some coins in zinc, it is thought that just a handful was made in the latter. In fact, the number sits at only ten coins or less! In August 2007, Heritage Auctions managed to sell an uncirculated copy for the price of $115,000. How crazy is that?
1969-S Lincoln Penny Doubled Die Obverse Front
Produced from 1959 until 1982, The Lincoln pennies are typically more valuable than other similar coins. They did not use an alloy but almost pure copper! Improperly prepared dies led to the creation of coins with a “double” image. This has happened in 1917, 1936, 1958, 1969, 1971, 1971-S, 1972, and 1995 coins, but the most famous one happened in 1955.
1969-S Lincoln Penny Doubled Die Obverse Back
The 1969-S Lincoln Penny Doubled Die Obverse was first thought to be counterfeit! In fact, the government destroyed five of them before acknowledging that they were truly the result of a minting error. Heritage Auctions in Orlando managed to auction an uncirculated one for the price of $126,500.
1872 Indian Head Penny Front
The US mint created more than 4 million of the 1872 Indian Head penny, but the quality had not been super consistent. That is why you are going to find it difficult to find those coins without imperfections. You should consider yourself very lucky if you happen to have these rare coins in your possession.
1872 Indian Head Penny Back
Check out the coin in this photo. Not only was it in great condition, but we would even go as far as to say that it was made by a fresh die. That explains why it looks very sharp for an 1872 Indian Head penny. In August 2007, the specific coin was sold off for $126,500 during a Heritage Auctions event in Milwaukee.
1926-S Lincoln Penny Front
The 1926-S Lincoln penny is among the rarest coins that you are going to find on this list. It was made of tin, copper, and zinc as usual. Heritage Auctions in Orlando sold one of these coins for a stunning $149,500. This only goes to show that coin collectors are not messing around with this hobby of theirs.
1926-S Lincoln Penny Back
This specific coin has seen a jump in its value for its excellent condition. However, you can still get a good amount of money for ones that are not quite as mint. They are just that rare! It is said there are only nine types of wheat pennies that were made in even fewer quantities.
1877 Indian Head Penny Front
The 1877 Indian Head penny is thought to be the rarest among the Indian Head pennies. As usual, this coin weighs 3.11 grams and was made of tin, zinc, and copper. You might be surprised when you hear how much this is worth! Are you willing to wager a guess? Keep reading to find out the answer to that.
1877 Indian Head Penny Back
The country went through an economic slump in 1872. That was why The U.S. Mint made no more than 852,500 of the 1877 Indian Head Penny coins. In August 2007, one of these pennies in the original copper-red color was sold by Heritage Auctions in Milwaukee for $149,500. It looks great in this photo.
1914-D Lincoln Penny Front
The U.S. Mint made just north of a million of these 1914-D Lincoln pennies. However, the vast majority of them made it to the circulation. That is the reason it is so hard to find one of these in mint condition. The number of coins is definitely lower than typical for pennies, which explains why it is more valuable.
1914-D Lincoln Penny Back
You should go through your coins and see if you happen to have some of these coins among your things. If you have a 1914-D Lincoln penny in imperfect condition, you can still fetch $125 for it. An uncirculated coin is going to be a lot more valuable. Legend Rare Coin Auctions sold one for $158,625 in May 2018!
1864 Indian Head Penny With ‘L’ On The Ribbon Front
This Indian Head penny entered production in 1859. But the government had a hard time looking for metal to use in the production of coins as the Civil War raged on. In the end, they ditched the copper-nickel mix for a bronze alloy in 1864. It also introduced an “L” to the war bonnet worn by Lady Liberty.
1864 Indian Head Penny With ‘L’ On The Ribbon Back
The U.S. Mint made around 5 million of the 1864 Indian Head Penny With ‘L’ On The Ribbon Back coins. That is high, but they mostly entered circulation. It is difficult to find one of these pennies in mint condition. In October 2011, one of those fetched a cool $161,000 at Heritage Auctions in Pittsburgh.
1856 Flying Eagle Penny Front
In 1856, it cost more to produce a penny than how much it was actually worth! At the time, the coin had a weight of 4.7 grams. On top of that, the coin used to have a diameter of 19 mm. Yes, this means that it used to be almost as large as the modern nickel. In the end, the U.S. Mint decided them smaller.
1856 Flying Eagle Penny Back
These Flying Eagle coins were only in production from 1856 to 1858. In 1856, the U.S. Mint decided to make 20,000 such coins in 1856. This only made the coins rarer. An immaculate Flying Eagle penny from the aforementioned year was sold by Heritage Auctions in Orlando for a shocking $172,500. Whoa.
1943 Bronze Lincoln Penny Front
The coin in this photo might not have been in mint condition, but it does have a special distinction that still makes it valuable. The U.S. Mint has admitted that a certain number of pennies were mistakenly minted in bronze in 1943. There are ten to fifteen such coins believed to exist at the moment.
1943 Bronze Lincoln Penny Back
In 1947, a teenager found one such bronze coin in the change that he received at his high school cafeteria. Heritage Auctions held an event in Florida and sold it for $204,0000 back in January 2019. Another such coin resurfaced in January 2013. This time, Stack Bowers Galleries sold it for $164,000.
1909 V.D.B. Matte Proof Lincoln Penny Front
In 1909, the U.S. mint introduced the Lincoln pennies. At first, they came with a specific set of letters: V.D.B. Found at the bottom rear side, they are the initials of the designer! Many people thought that they were too prominent, which is why they were later removed. More than half of a million coins were made.
1909 V.D.B. Matte Proof Lincoln Penny Back
The 1909 V.D.B. Matte Proof Lincoln penny was made with the use of a matte proof die. It meant that it could use fewer strikes than the traditional die. The U.S. mint only made 1,194 of these coins before the initials were taken out. In August 2014, Heritage Auctions in Chicago sold one for $258,500.
1943-S Lincoln Cent Front
Check out this coin, which is another Lincoln cent minted in 1943. This was made with bronze even though it was supposed to be struck on a zinc-plated steel planchet. The photo alone makes this clear. It has a weight of 3.11 grams, which is the weight of most pennies created by the U.S. Mint.
1943-S Lincoln Cent Back
Right now, there are just six of these coins in existence. These 1943-S Bronze Lincoln cents were made in the San Francisco Mint, which explains the S designation in the name. The “second-finest certified 1943-S bronze cent” was sold by the Heritage Auctions in Long Beach, California for the price of $282,000.
1958 Doubled Die Obverse Lincoln Penny Front
Double die coins come into existence thanks to minting errors. That is the reason a part of the coin seems to be a double image. This can be seen in the face side of the 1958 Double Died Observe Lincoln penny. Fun fact: there are just three of these in existence. As you can imagine, it is a very rare coin.
The 1958 Double Died Observe Lincoln Penny Back
The minting error makes the 1958 Double Died Observe Lincoln penny super valuable on its own, but it is worth even more money thanks to its red color. It looks super distinct in this photo. Stacks Bowers Galleries Auction ended up selling one of these for $336,000 at the Baltimore Coin Show in 2018.
1944-S Lincoln Steel Penny Front
The 1944-S Lincoln Steel pennies were meant to be struck on bronze alloy made up of 95 percent copper and 5 percent tin. For some reason, however, zinc-plated steel planchets used in the previous year were still used in the coining press. The coins in question have a weight of 2.7 grams.
1944-S Lincoln Steel Penny Back
This specific error took place in all three mints: Denver, San Francisco, and Philadelphia. Heritage Auctions in Baltimore was able to sell off one of the rare coins for a great deal of money in August 2008. This particular coin was uncirculated and made in the San Francisco mint. It was valued at $373,750!
1943 Bronze Lincoln Penny Front
Just like the 1943-D Lincoln Bronze penny, this coin was mistakenly struck in bronze as well. While it was not the only one struck at the mint, it is still a rather distinct coin. We say this because it was the sole “red” penny created at the Philadelphia Mint during that specific year.
1943 Bronze Lincoln Penny Back
This was such a rare coin since the coins made in the Philadelphia mint do not have a mint mark. In 2018, the coin in this photo was bought in a private sale that happened in Tampa, Florida. The amount is undisclosed, but we know that it was valued at more than a million dollars at the time.
1943-D Lincoln Bronze Penny Front
There is just one 1943-D Lincoln Bronze penny on the planet, and this is it. The coin was made in bronze alloy instead of zinc-plated steel. The Second World War was still raging at the time, so the mint tried to avoid making coins in copper and bronze. This is believed to be the only one from the Denver mint.
1943-D Lincoln Bronze Penny Back
Even though there is only one known bronze 1943 Lincoln penny, the San Francisco mint created as many as twenty of these coins. The same is also true of the Philadelphia mint. The 1943-D Lincoln Bronze penny was sold for $1.7 million in a private sale by Legend Numismatics in Lincroft, New Jersey.
Go Through Your Pocket Change
Fair enough, most pennies in existence are not worth more than one cent. However, there is still a chance that you are holding something worth hundreds or thousands of dollars. Heck, you might even become an instant millionaire! If you ask us, it is worth checking your pocket change just in case. Collectors seem to be willing to pay good money for them! After all, you would not want to miss out on your chance to improve the state of your finances, right?