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7 Rare and Valuable Pennies Found in Circulation Today

Author:

Zach has been coin collecting since childhood. He loves all coins, but Lincoln pennies and Jefferson nickels are his favorites to collect.

Read on to discover how much the pennies in your piggy bank are really worth . . .

Read on to discover how much the pennies in your piggy bank are really worth . . .

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, but the fact of the matter is that the odds aren't even remotely in your favor.

However, with that said, there are 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 seven of the most valuable pennies 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 the fact that there's only a handful of 1943 copper cents in existence! So, without taking a fantastical approach, I've focused on seven modern mintage Lincoln cents that have a reasonable chance of being found today.

Seven Valuable Lincoln Cents in Circulation Today:

  1. 1983 Doubled Die Reverse
  2. 1984 Double Ear
  3. 1992-D Close-AM
  4. 1995 Doubled Die Obverse
  5. 1998 Wide AM
  6. 1999 Wide AM
  7. 1961-D Over Horizontal D

Continue scrolling to learn more about each of these pennies' characteristics and values.

The 1955 DDO wheat penny is a great example of what a double die error looks like.

The 1955 DDO wheat penny is a great example of what a double die error looks like.

1. 1983 Doubled Die Reverse

Characteristics

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. With the 1983 doubled die penny, the error is noticeable on its backside where the phrase "ONE CENT" is printed.

Note: 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.

Value

Since this penny is most likely going to be the hardest of the seven to find, it does pull in higher values. Coins in mint state condition are currently selling for $275.

1984 double ear Lincoln penny.

1984 double ear Lincoln penny.

2. 1984 Double Ear

Characteristics

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.

Value

Recently I've noticed a slight increase in the price of this error penny. This could indicate that these are getting a little harder to find in circulation. Right now those in mint state condition are selling for around $230.

Mint State Condition Numerical Grades

Grade Meaning

Uncirculated (MS-60, 61, 62)

Uncirculated with noticeable defects (e.g. excessive bagmarks or poor luster)

Select Uncirculated (MS-63)

Uncirculated with fewer noticeable defects

Choice Uncirculated (MS-64)

Uncirculated with moderate defects but above-average eye appeal

Gem Uncirculated (MS-65, 66)

Uncirculated with minor defects and mint luster

Superb Gem Uncirculated (MS-67, 68, 69)

Uncirculated with extremely slight defects

Perfect Uncirculated (MS-70)

Utterly flawless

3. 1992-D Close AM

Characteristics

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 1992 will have a noticeable gap between the two letters.

Value

This rare penny is pulling in values of up to $500 in mint state condition, and with almost 4.5 billion pennies produced at the Denver Mint in 1992, there's a good chance that these are still in circulation.

4. 1995 Doubled Die Obverse

Characteristics

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.

Note: Though it might be hard to see with the naked eye, magnification should reveal the 'layered' lettering.

Value

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

Characteristics

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.

Value

This type of penny is worth about $15 in mint state condition. Even though its mintage is unknown, its value tells me that they are probably fairly common. They might just be one of the easier-to-find error coins out there, so keep your eyes peeled!

6. 1999 Wide AM

Characteristics

This coin features the same proof die reverse as the 1998 wide AM coin. If you have a rare variety, it will have a small space between the letters A and M in "AMERICA."

Value

This is definitely one of the most valuable pennies in circulation, fetching prices as high as $500 in mint state condition.

7. 1961-D Over Horizontal D Penny

Characteristics

Though it was long-overlooked for being a "modern" penny and is still far less popular than the 1909-S over horizontal S penny, this penny has finally earned a bit of recognition. The secondary mint mark is far more visible on the D-over-horizontal-D variation; in fact, it is the strongest horizontal re-punched mint mark in the Lincoln Series.

Note: Though this mint mark is usually easier to see, you may still benefit from the use of a magnifying glass.

Value

Circulated pennies of this type can pull $10–15, but uncirculated versions can be worth upward of $60.

What Is a Mint Mark?

A mint mark is a small letter that denotes the mint that made the coin. For example, a 1914-D penny was minted in 1914 in Denver. "D" and "S" are the most common, but there are other mint marks to be on the lookout for (though not all of the following mints manufacture(d) pennies).

Mint MarkMintYears in Use

CC

Carson City, NV

1870–1893

C

Charlotte, NC

1838–1861

D

Dahlonega, GA

1838–1861

D

Denver, CO

1906–Present

O

New Orleans, LA

1838–1861, 1879–1909

P

Philadelphia, PA

1942–1945, 1979–Present

S

San Francisco, CA

1854–1955, 1968–Present

W

West Point, NY

1984–Present

Note: The "P" mintmark had never appeared on a penny until 2017, when the Philadelphia mint quietly released a 2017-P penny to commemorate the mint's 225th anniversary.

Note: While San Francisco is still an operational mint, it no longer manufactures circulating coins. It now mints clad and silver proof coin sets and commemorative coins.

Note: The mints in Charlotte and Dahlonega only produce gold coins.

Coin-Roll Hunting

Looking into collecting pennies? Coin-roll hunting might be a good place to start. All you have to do is get a few rolls of pennies from the bank and sort through them for coins worth more than their face value ($0.01). A whole box of penny rolls costs $25.

Here are a few tips for those of you considering coin-roll hunting:

  • Purchase and return your coin rolls from different banks (preferably big and well-frequented ones). This will reduce the chance of you getting the same rolls again.
  • Opt for paper coin rolls rather than plastic ones to reroll your unwanted pennies into. These are more likely to hold the correct number of coins and less likely to slice your fingers.
  • Keep protective casings on hand just in case you find a valuable coin in mint state condition.
  • Set up in a low-traffic area of your home so that your coins can be left undisturbed.

Which Pennies Are Worth the Most Money?

Though you're less likely to come across these highly prized pennies in your pocket change, the following are the most valuable Lincoln, Indian-Head, and Wheat Penny cents, as well as the most expensive pennies of all time.

Note: There is some overlap in the tables, for example, the 1943-S Copper Lincoln Wheat Penny is in both the "Most Valuable Lincoln Cents" and the "Most Valuable Wheat Pennies" tables.

Most Valuable Lincoln Cents

YearErrorValue

1943-S Copper Lincoln Wheat Penny

$185,000

1944 Steel Lincoln Wheat Penny

$125,000

1943 Copper Lincoln Wheat Penny

$45,000

1969-S Lincoln Memorial Penny

Doubled Die Obverse

$10,000

1922 No D Plain Lincoln Wheat Penny

No Visible Mint Mark

$2,050

1955 Lincoln Wheat Penny

Doubled Die Obverse

$1,900

1917 Lincoln Wheat Penny

Doubled Die

$1,350

1909-S VDB Lincoln Wheat Penny

$1,025

1914-D Lincoln Wheat Penny

$760

1972 Lincoln Memorial Penny

Doubled Die Obverse

$290

1909-S Lincoln Wheat Penny

"S" Over Horizontal "S"

$275

1909-S Lincoln Wheat Penny

$225

Most Valuable Indian-Head Cents

YearErrorValue

1861

$23

1864 With "L"

$62

1873

Doubled "LIBERTY"

$625

1877

$725

1878

$26

1888

Last "8" Over "7"

$2,650

1908-S

$70

1909-S

$450

Most Valuable Wheat Pennies

YearErrorValue

1943-S Copper Lincoln Wheat Penny

$185,000

1944 Steel Lincoln Wheat Penny

$125,000

1943 Copper Lincoln Wheat Penny

$45,000

1922 No D Plain Lincoln Wheat Penny

No Visible Mint Mark

$2,050

1955 Lincoln Wheat Penny

Doubled Die Obverse

$1,900

1917 Lincoln Wheat Penny

Doubled Die

$1,350

1909-S VDB Lincoln Wheat Penny

$1,025

1914-D Lincoln Wheat Penny

$760

1909-S Lincoln Wheat Penny

"S" Over Horizontal "S"

$275

1909-S Lincoln Wheat Penny

$225

10 Most Expensive Pennies of All Time

YearValue

1943-D Lincoln Bronze Cent

$1,700,000

1944-S Lincoln Steel Penny

$373,750

1943-S Lincoln Cent Struck on Bronze

$282,000

1909 VDB Matte Proof Lincoln Penny

$258,500

1856 Flying Eagle Cent

$172,500

1943 Lincoln Cent Struck on Bronze Alloy

$164,500

1864 Indian-Head Penny With "L" on Ribbon

$161,000

1914-D Lincoln Penny

$152,750

1877 Indian-Head Penny

$149,500

1926-S Lincoln Penny

$149,500

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!

Resources

© 2011 Zach

Comments

Cody dickerson on July 17, 2020:

How much is a 1882 indian head penny worth ?

Yoli on April 12, 2020:

1970 s mint penny looks different looks like e hes got smile compared to many other pennys

Rick Kent on March 31, 2020:

I have a 1994 d with an imprint of a crooked chain on the head side. Is it worth anything?

Bernard Craig on March 28, 2020:

I want to sell coins

Pennysedlacek23@gmail.com on March 26, 2020:

1949 wheat penny mint mark of d 1952 mint mark of d 1954 mint mark of d 1953 mint mark of d 1939 no mint mark and 1942 no mint mark the 42 look like gold when you take a pik is cast on a dime wrog planhet and a 1971 ken hafe dollar what are these coin worth

Pita on March 18, 2020:

I found a 1910 penny in my change! Where can I sell it? Or is it not worth anything?

Don Kin on March 09, 2020:

I have a 2009 what values it's

Robert Dail on March 09, 2020:

I been going throug my gallon jug of change and rolling up after wards down to pennies ill keep all 82 and lower solud coopper .found a lincoln memorial back penny that has a 1935 date .iv looked with magnifing glass and its 1935 first thought the 3 was a messed up 8 .but no its a 3. 1935. Anyone ever herd of this or can help me out i can send pics .it still freaks me out

Ralphie on March 07, 2020:

I found 2 trash cans in my grandfathers barn full of wheat pennies. Way to heavy to lift and carry. What should I do with them ?

Blue Moon on March 06, 2020:

Yes you can find valuable coins in change.... The odds are much better than the lottery! And, your losses are minimal! I found one of the most desired coins today, roll searching... you have to learn what to look for... knowledge is power...

Nate on March 05, 2020:

Is there a 1974 error penny

Mike on February 17, 2020:

I have this 1999 penny but it’s a strange color

It’s more gold than the normal color

garcia on February 11, 2020:

I just bought a bunch of pennies I wonder if I made a dumb buy or if they are actually worth something! What's worse is that I got them on sale! 1934-1958

Charlie on February 06, 2020:

I have a 1995 silver Penny it looks like the body is in 3d can any one Tell me about it no mint on it

Jamie Lieberg on February 02, 2020:

I have the 1943 and the 1943 D Bronze Cent Weight: 3.11 grams on the 1943 D and on the 1943 Weight: 3.10 grams

Chris on February 01, 2020:

I have some pennies that are defects for sure.i was wondering if you or someone can help me out.

Michael on January 28, 2020:

I have 1998 with looks like north Carolina coming out of his nose and on bottom of shirt VDB

Billy Brough on January 27, 2020:

I FOUND THE 1935 D WEAT PENNY CANT FIND ANYTHING ABOUT WHAT IT MIGHT BE WORTH

Jimmy on January 20, 2020:

I have a 1961D penny on a Dime Planchet what is it worth I would give it a vg

Fred ware on January 20, 2020:

I have a 2000 D South Carolina Quarter that I got back change from Walmart. It missing half of the wording from the front to back of the coin. Also it look like it was struck on a nickel... Can you help me out with this coin.

Honey on January 19, 2020:

I have a 1958 wheat penny. D stamp what is it worth?

Salah on January 19, 2020:

Salve ho d'elle monete américaine 1992 AM 5 pezzi e 1995 1990 1999 1982 1983 1972 1942 1956 e 200 pezzi miste e 100 pezzi jeverson 1970 1776 1965 .....qualcuno enteressa grazie

Timothy Smith on January 15, 2020:

I have the 1983 1968 D. 1968 1998 1995 1961 1992 close AM who do i need to talk to

Ronni on January 14, 2020:

I have a 1966 penny with no mint mark and is almost as thin as a piece of paper. Ive never seen a penny so thin. Does any one know why it is like that? Just worn??

Judy Scott on January 13, 2020:

I am the executor of an estate in which the recently deceased was a coin collector. I'm an trying to determine the value of a sealed plastic case which bear the identity "Double Minted COLLECTION" and contains 6 coins (all circulated) 1) 1916 Mercury Silver Dime 2) 1916 Barber Silver Dime 3) 1938 Jefferson Nickel 4) 1938 Buffalo Nickel 5)1909 Indian Penny 6)1909 Lincoln Wheat Penny. The authenitification certificate is on the rear. Can you help me?

Ann on January 06, 2020:

I have a 1943 penny that looks kind of silver is it worth something

Rick R on January 03, 2020:

I have a 1951 and a 1955 wheat penny dont know what the value is on them and i have a red 1973 penny???

Clayton on January 03, 2020:

I got a 1943 wheat penny with no mint mark

JERRY Hartfield on December 28, 2019:

I have all cind of Con i lick to seal

Whom can I talk to plesse get back

with me on this Thank youJerry

Dee Daniels on December 28, 2019:

Love this site !!!!

Cyretha Daughtery on December 17, 2019:

I have a 1965 penny that looks to be struck on the wrong planchet, also has markings on Lincoln's face as well as offcentered and missing half of the words IN GOD.

Can i possibly get some help in finding out if this may be valuable?

Managing Devine rio on December 12, 2019:

I found a penny 1984 no mint mark black color

lindasu@gmail.com on December 10, 2019:

I have a really messed up penny double di with other defects on front and defects on the back with the one cent print being close to the middle of the coin, worth?

noah on December 08, 2019:

i have a quarter dollar an has no mint mark an is 1966 is this worthe anything?

hayly on December 02, 2019:

I found a 1806 log cabin copper penny how much could that be worth?

Traci Snelgrove on November 29, 2019:

I have 2 wheat pennies 1946 has a error that I haven’t seen.. where the usual D below the date would be it’s a 9 ??? And I’ve got a wheat 1957 D? Could you tell me more and worth??

Bugg on November 28, 2019:

I have a 1917 d wheat that is missing the l in liberty is this worth anything

Charles Bilyeu on November 27, 2019:

Very good. Concise but very informative and the pictures were exactly what I needed. I'm sold on this site. Thank-you,

Treshon on November 24, 2019:

I got a 1968 penny and a 1968

Elia on November 11, 2019:

I found a gold penny 1973 very shiny no mint and it is thicker than the regular one! How can I find out about its price?

JASON on November 10, 2019:

I have a 1944 steel penny and a 1943 copper are they worth anything?

maria carmela tizon on November 07, 2019:

I have lincon cents 1943 up

Joshua bamaca on November 05, 2019:

I have a rare error coin 2000 wide a m lincoln penny $1,000.00

vincent on November 05, 2019:

i have a 1943 steel penny circulation condition. are they worth any thing

Iggy on November 01, 2019:

I have a 1983 penny with no FG and can't get no information about it can you help me please

PaulC on October 27, 2019:

My next door neighbor growing up showed me a steel trash can half full of wheat pennies. When I asked why are they in there he said because is dad’s dresser drawers were to full to keep them in there. I wish I knew where he was now.

Glai on October 25, 2019:

I have 1967 one cent lincoln penny.no mintmark but highgrade.what is the value of this penny?

Dickeedoo on October 13, 2019:

I have three 1982 copper small date d pennies who wants them

David on October 06, 2019:

1983 one cent coin no mintmark.

Shane Hopkins on October 05, 2019:

Has any one seen a 1955 penny with 55 over 55 and has crack runs through the 55 and missing the word trust.

Jim on October 02, 2019:

I have a 1944 copper lincoln wheat penny any one know the value of it its got no mint mark and in good shape for 1944

Marie Lynn on September 18, 2019:

I have a1983D and 1997double ear penny. How much it worth and how I sell it. I'm from Philippines

Dave on September 15, 2019:

I have a 1994 penny in liberty the l an iare together

ellenkodz1@gmail.com on September 13, 2019:

If I had one of those coins where do you turn it in for value?

Joel on September 12, 2019:

Ihave a 1914 wheat penny, no mint mark. The "L" is completely missing in the word liberty. I could use some help to be sure of what it is.

Jesse on September 05, 2019:

I have31982d small date copper pennies how do I get them graded

Caleb on September 05, 2019:

I have 2 wheat pennies. One is 1941 in really good condition, and the the other is so old that I can’t read the year. Any idea how much those could be worth?

Missy on August 30, 2019:

I have a roll of uncirculated 196.1 pennies. They are in beautiful condition but every penny in the roll is mark 196.1 .anyone have any information or values on this?

Gillian on August 23, 2019:

I have a 1967 penny. Is it worth something?

Pat steelehave on August 22, 2019:

Have coins i dd like u t o look at if u have time

LeRoyce Hardin on August 20, 2019:

I have a 1951D no l in Liberty Wheat Penny.Have you ever seen one.

Art Greenwood on August 15, 2019:

I have a 1978 copper Penney with Lincolns nose being visible with a

strike mark just behind the nose, any value?

jason on August 13, 2019:

RI might have the 43_s. Steel is it a good one

Nickel boy on August 09, 2019:

I got a half cent from 1776-1976 with no mint mark how much is that worth?

Nickel boy on August 09, 2019:

I have four nickels 1964 D mint marks on them all those are each two hundred dollars right

I have a penny with a knife or wooden stake in the forehead. Who can I send it to. on July 31, 2019:

I have a penny with a knife stuck in Lincoln head. Whom do I send it to.

triads345@gmail.com on July 25, 2019:

Do you know a buyer for 1944 bronse penny?

lani on July 22, 2019:

How much is a penny worth with no mint mark

kate martin on July 10, 2019:

found 1969 no fg mark and 1979 filled d i want to sell it

Betty Mireles on July 09, 2019:

I came across a 1995 D Lincoln penny. The word Liberty is Giberty or 6iberty. It also appears to have eagal wings on the left side of Lincolns head & at the bottom has letters and numbers. Would anyone seem to know anything of this coin ???

I found a 1938 wheat penny reverse on July 06, 2019:

I found a 1938 wheat penny reverse

Pam on July 01, 2019:

I have a 1944 wheat penny with no mint. The R in liberty doesn't even look like an R. Were there any errors or is it just beat up

Melissa Harrison on June 26, 2019:

I have several different wheat pennies from 1924-1958 how can I learn the value of them? I have held on to them for some time.

Duston on June 24, 2019:

I have a half struck penny but half the date is not on it it has 19 and the rest was not on the penny how do I find if it’s worth something

shellshocked on June 02, 2019:

you refer t the 1995 doubled die obverse as the last mint error. 1-no it's not, 2- it's not an error it's a variety as an error is a one of a kind and a variety is multiple examples. Doubled die is where the master hub was doubled and when they restamp a die it could be rtated or tilted to make the die doubled and the pennys is not stamped twice so there could be many of the same variety.when it stamps or presses the penny in the

Tiffany on June 02, 2019:

I have a penny with half the date missing and some kind of flower marking on it

moses karoo on May 21, 2019:

I have a 1948 canadian penny with georgivs vi dei gratia rex on one side is it worth anything?

Jesus on May 19, 2019:

I have pennys 1943,1905,1903,1907and nickles 1936,37,35 ,and more for sale

E on May 18, 2019:

I found a penny worth 2 million.

Joanne on May 09, 2019:

I have a 1904 Indian head penny. Looks to be in good condition. Is it valuable?

Thomas T on May 07, 2019:

1978 dime no mint??

ENOCHAY on April 30, 2019:

I have alot of these Penny's that are very old would like to sell them .....

james on April 25, 2019:

i have a 1993 double die on the front and back all over it i can't find nothing on it can you guys tell me how much is it worth

Adrian on April 23, 2019:

I have a 1983 penny is bigger in diameter than any other penny out there can someone help me find out more on this 1983 penny

mike santillo on April 23, 2019:

i found a 1943 copper penny in the Delaware gap this year medal dectecting it was in an old mason jar with other coins so what is it worth

Raymond Waiti on April 20, 2019:

l have 10 old coins starting from 1930 to 1950. Thank you

Nehal on April 17, 2019:

am working on both wanted coins US & UK appreciated your kindly coins collectors data

rotten tooten 55 on April 12, 2019:

I found a1945 p penny that has 1925 stamped behind the t in trust . just wondering if it might be special lol

Jay Layton on April 12, 2019:

1969 s ddo I found it

arthur on April 08, 2019:

i have a 1982 sm date 3.1 grams whats the value

Ciel Clark on April 05, 2019:

I have so many old coins-trying to figure out which to save. Great post!

Paula on April 01, 2019:

Have a few older d pennies any value?

mary grace on March 29, 2019:

where can i change my 1992 D penny in the P

Philippines or in USA?

Joseph on March 24, 2019:

I have found a 1983 copper US cent. I read on a site that it is rare, what say you?

Cleia demlo on March 23, 2019:

I have 1944 penny 1945 and 1919 , 1974 d penny to sale

Sign InУмер десятилетний Коля Кузнецов, чью мечту исполнил Путин // НТВ.Ru on March 23, 2019:

Awards Campaign 2019

Rachel Lorraine on March 20, 2019:

I have a 1983 D penny weighing 3g how to sell

Rusinska1961@hotmail.com on March 19, 2019:

I found a penny 198? Cant read stamped twice with bottom cent covering date is it worth any thing ?

Winter on March 17, 2019:

I have a 1959 penny. What is it’s worth?

Wendy on March 15, 2019:

I have a wheat penny 1900 w do I find about more information ois coin