Most Expensive Coins

10 Most Valuable Wheat Pennies

10 Most Valuable Wheat Pennies

The most valuable wheat pennies with a unique design and vast history have captivated the hearts of coin collectors because the most valuable wheat pennies can be worth thousands of dollars all around the world and although many of these pennies can seem like regular pocket change, some are highly expensive and unique, making prices that exceed their face value. 

This article explores the top ten most valuable wheat pennies, from the highly sought-after 1943 Bronze Cent to the rare 1931-S. Because each coin has its unique history and beauty among the most valuable coins in the numismatics world.  

The History of Wheat Pennies

In 1909, the wheat penny—also known as the Lincoln penny or the Lincoln cent—was produced. Lincoln wheat pennies, which were minted between 1909 and 1958, were titled after the image of Abraham Lincoln on one side and two wheat stalks on the other.

Why Are Wheat Pennies Unique?

Wheat pennies and pennies have historical value. One of the earliest coins minted by the U.S. Mint were pennies. However, the wheat pennies’ unique design makes them stand out from other coins. The first American president to be depicted on a cent was Abraham Lincoln, whose wheat penny was first struck in celebration of his 100th birthday. The wheat cent features two sheaves of wheat on the reverse and Abraham Lincoln on the front of it.

How Much Is a Wheat Penny Worth?

Wheat pennies have an extensive variety of values. A lot of factors come into play, including the coin’s rarity, quality, and year of minting. The average value of a wheat penny is from four cents to $4. At auction, some rare and highly sought-after ones, however, may be sold in thousands of dollars.

10 Most Valuable Wheat Pennies 

  1. 1931-S: $70-$150
  2. 1917 Doubled Die: $100-$5,000
  3. 1909-S: $100-$300
  4. 1909-S Over Horizontal S: $120-$350
  5. 1914-D: $200-$2,500
  6. 1922-D No D: $500-$20,000
  7. 1909-S VDB: $700-$1,500
  8. 1955 Doubled Die: $1,000-$1,800
  9. 1944 Steel Cent: $75,000-$125,000
  10. 1943 Bronze Cent: $100,000-$200,000

1. 1931-S Wheat Penny

Value: $70-$150

The 1931-S Lincoln Wheat Penny is a special one, as there were only 866,000 made. That might seem like a lot, but usually, there are way more made! This penny was the last one made at the San Francisco Mint until 1935. Many folks kept the 1931-S Wheat Cent, so finding uncirculated ones isn’t too hard. Like most pennies, the ones that are “Red” get the highest prices. In 2021, a coin graded MS66+RD sold for $18,600.

2. 1917 Doubled Die Wheat Penny

Value: $100-$5,000

The 1917 Lincoln Penny with Doubled Die Obverse is a neat find, part of the Lincoln Cent series from 1909 to 1958. It’s graded MS65RB by PCGS, with doubling seen at the date and motto. This coin, minted in Philadelphia, has a diameter of 19.00 millimeters and weighs 3.11 grams. There were a whopping 196,429,785 of these made. In an auction back in 2010, one graded MS65 sold for $14,950.

3. 1909-S 

Value: $100-$300

The 1909-S VDB Lincoln Cent, graded as MS66+BN by PCGS with features a regular strike. This coin belongs to the Lincoln Cent series spanning from 1909 to 1958 and has a plain edge with a diameter of 19.00 millimeters, and a weight of 3.11 grams. These are minted in San Francisco with a mintage of 484,000, it is made up of 95% copper and 5% tin and zinc. An auction on eBay in December 2022 saw a similar coin, graded MS66BN, deal for $10,000.

4. 1909-S Over Horizontal S

Value: $120-$350

According to PCGS, the 1909-S/S Lincoln Cent, which has the S over horizontal S mintmark, is a regular strike and is classified as MS66RB. This coin, which was made between 1909 and 1958 as part of the Lincoln Cent series, weights 3.11 grams and has a plain edge. Its diameter is 19.00 millimeters. It is minted in San Francisco and is comprised of 95% copper and 5% tin and zinc with a mintage of 1,825,000,. A similar coin, graded MS66, sold for $1,668 in an auction conducted by Heritage Auctions in March of 2006.

5. 1914-D

Value: $200-$2,500

The 1914-D $2.50 Indian Head coin, graded as MS65+ by PCGS, is a regular strike. This coin is part of the Indian Head $2 1/2 series from 1908 to 1929 and has a reeded edge, a diameter of 18.00 millimeters, and a weight of 4.18 grams. Minted in Denver with a mintage of 448,000, it is composed of 90% gold and 10% copper. An auction conducted by Heritage Auctions in April 2009 saw a similar coin, graded MS67, sell for $80,500.

6. 1922-D No D 

Value: $500-$20,000

The 1922 No D Lincoln Cent with Strong Reverse, graded MS65BN by PCGS, is a regular strike. This coin belongs to the Lincoln Cents series from 1909 to 1958 and has a plain edge, a diameter of 19.00 millimeters, and a weight of 3.11 grams. Minted in Denver with a mintage of 7,160,000, it is composed of 95% copper and 5% tin and zinc. An auction conducted by Bowers & Merena in April 2008 saw a similar coin, graded MS64, sell for $57,500.

7. 1909-S VDB 

Value: $700-$1,500

The 1909-S VDB Lincoln Cent, graded MS66+BN by PCGS, is a regular strike. This coin is part of the Lincoln Cent series spanning from 1909 to 1958 and has a plain edge, a diameter of 19.00 millimeters, and a weight of 3.11 grams. 

These are minted in San Francisco with a mintage of 484,000 and made up of 95% copper and 5% tin and zinc. An eBay auction on December 7, 2022, saw a similar coin, graded MS66BN, sell for $10,000.

8. 1955 Doubled Die

Value: $1,000-$1,800

The 1909-S VDB Lincoln Cent, graded MS66+BN by PCGS, is a regular strike. It belongs to the Lincoln Cent series from 1909 to 1958, featuring a plain edge, 19.00 millimeters in diameter, and weighing 3.11 grams. Minted in San Francisco with a mintage of 484,000, it’s composed of 95% copper and 5% tin and zinc. An eBay auction on December 7, 2022, recorded a similar coin, graded MS66BN, selling for $10,000.

9. 1944 Steel Cent 

Value: $75,000-$125,000

The 1944 Steel Wheat cent was made by accident. Some say steel blanks from the prior year were struck by mistake, or perhaps steel blanks from foreign coins were mixed in with copper ones and struck. Regardless, it’s a rare find, with only about 25 to 30 known to exist. This rarity makes it highly valuable, with a value range of $75,000 to $125,000. But be cautious of fake zinc-coated copper pennies! In 2021, an MS64-graded coin sold for $180,000.

10. 1943 Bronze Cent: 

Value: $100,000-$200,000

The 1943 Bronze Wheat Cent is a highly sought-after coin in America because during the war, copper was required for ammunition, so the mint controlled making copper pennies and changed to steel. 

However, a few copper planchets were left and mistakenly stamped with 1943 dates. Because it’s so valuable, there are many fake coins out there. You can inspect if yours is confirmed with a magnet – if it’s attracted, it’s likely copper-plated steel and fake. If not, it may be accurate, but you should still get it certified. In 2021, an MS62BN-graded coin sold for $372,000.

Also Read – Top 10 Unusual World Coins

Conclusion:

There are special gems to be discovered and a captivating history to be found in the world of wheat pennies because every coin has a unique story from unexpected production like the 1944 Steel Cent to wartime artifacts like the 1943 Bronze Cent. 

These rare wheat pennies have an alluring attraction to enthusiasts of various experience levels, whatever where you are in your numismatic journey. Thus, always keep an eye on and have your pockets ready since you have no idea when you could come across one of these priceless gems disguised in easy reach.

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