6 Rare and Valuable Pennies Found in Circulation Today
Are you hoping to become the next millionaire from a penny plucked from pocket change? If so, good luck! It's not that I don't believe you can't find one, it's more or less just the fact that the odds aren't even remotely in your favor. However, with that said, there's still quite a few valuable pennies in circulation today. Sure, you won't strike it rich if you do find one, but with some reaching $500 in value, you'll be glad you took a minute to glance at your pocket change! There are billions of pennies currently in circulation, so there's always a chance that you could find something. This article will explore six of the most valuable.
Six Valuable Lincoln Cents in Circulation Today:
Let's face it; some things are just too good to be true. When I read articles saying that there's a chance of finding 1955 doubled die and 1943 copper cents in circulation, I can't help but chuckle. Sure, there's not an overwhelming populous of coin collectors, but I can almost guarantee that they've removed virtually all these coins from circulation. Not to mention, there is only a handful of 1943 copper cents in existence! So, without taking a fantastical approach, I've focused on six modern mintage Lincoln cents that have a reasonable chance of being found today.
1. 1983 Doubled Die Reverse
The term 'doubled die' refers to an error in the minting process in which a coin is struck twice. This causes the coin's design to overlap slightly. In the 1983 doubled die penny, the error is noticeable on its backside where the phrase 'ONE CENT' is printed. It may be difficult to spot with the naked eye, but upon placing the coin under 10x magnification, it should be clear that there are two layers of words.
Since this penny is most likely going to be the hardest of the six to find, it does pull in higher values. Coins in mint state condition are currently selling for $275.
2. 1984 Double Ear
The 1984 double ear penny is often also referred to as a doubled die obverse error. The error on this coin is a noticeable second earlobe below Lincoln's full ear. You won't need a magnifying glass; this one is easy to spot.
Recently I've noticed a slight increase in the price of this error penny. This could indicate that these are getting to be a little harder to find in circulation. Right now those in mint state condition are selling for around $230.
3. 1992-D Close AM
Surprisingly, unlike the others, this coin isn't an error. It simply possesses a variation that is different from the standard penny of that year. You'll need to look at the reverse of the coin and closely scrutinize the "AM" in America. If the coin in question is the rare variety, the A and M will be so close to each other it will look as if they are touching. Regular minted coins from this year will have a noticeable gap between the two letters.
This rare penny is pulling in values of up to $500 in mint state condition, but with almost 4.5 billion pennies produced at the Denver Mint in 1992, there's a good chance that these are still in circulation.
Don't Let Bad Vision Deter You
It's fairly hard with the naked eye to distinguish between the close AM and wide AM designs. An inexpensive magnifying glass may be needed.
4. 1995 Doubled Die Obverse
This is the latest Lincoln penny error that the U.S. Mint produced. Although there are varying degrees of doubling on it, the word "Liberty" is the strongest indication of this error. Though it might be hard to see with the naked eye, magnification should reveal the 'layered' lettering.
I hear stories of people finding these coins in rolls of common pennies. If you do happen to come across one, they are worth $50 in mint state condition.
5. 1998 Wide AM
All pennies minted for circulation after 1993 depicted the word "AMERICA" with the letters A and M nearly touching. Due to the use of a proof die on regular coins, the 1998 wide AM was born. If you have one of these coins, there should be a small space between the A and the M. If the two letters look like they are nearly touching, it's an ordinary penny.
This type of penny is worth about $15 in mint state condition. Even though its mintage is unknown, it's value tells me that they might be fairly common. They might just be one of the easier to find error coins out there. Keep your eyes peeled!
6. 1999 Wide AM
This coin features the same proof die reverse as the 1998 wide AM coin. If you have the rare variety, it will have a small space between the letters A and M in "AMERICA."
This is definitely one of the most valuable pennies in circulation, fetching prices as high as $500 in mint state condition.
Good Luck Out There!
Now that you've read through this list, you'll hopefully be able to go out there and find a few valuable coins for yourself. I'm curious to hear about your discoveries, so please tell me what you found and how you went about finding it! As always, good luck!