6 Rare and Valuable Pennies Found in Circulation Today

Updated on May 27, 2017

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.

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. | Source

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

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. 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.

Value:

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.

1984 double ear Lincoln penny.
1984 double ear Lincoln penny. | Source

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 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

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 this year 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, 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

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. 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.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Shown above is a wide AM Variety. Some pennies from 1998, 1999, and 2000 exhibit this trait. It is normal for all coins minted before 1994. Shown above is the close AM variety. Few coins from 1992 exhibit this trait. It is normal for all pennies minted after 1993.
Shown above is a wide AM Variety. Some pennies from 1998, 1999, and 2000 exhibit this trait. It is normal for all coins minted before 1994.
Shown above is a wide AM Variety. Some pennies from 1998, 1999, and 2000 exhibit this trait. It is normal for all coins minted before 1994.
Shown above is the close AM variety. Few coins from 1992 exhibit this trait. It is normal for all pennies minted after 1993.
Shown above is the close AM variety. Few coins from 1992 exhibit this trait. It is normal for all pennies minted after 1993.

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, 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

Characteristics:

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."

Value:

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!

Questions & Answers

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      • profile image

        Mary 4 weeks ago

        I have a 1940 wheat copper one cent penny, I tried the magnet and it doesn't stick

      • profile image

        Elbeide R Mendoza 6 weeks ago

        I found a 1994 Lincoln Penny with praying hands by his face...

      • profile image

        Rey 6 weeks ago

        I have this 1984 penny with some errors in both sides.

      • profile image

        sacred spencer 6 weeks ago

        What is a mint coin anyway?

      • profile image

        Diana 6 weeks ago

        I find a penny that's half Cooper and half Silver

      • profile image

        Brian.. 6 weeks ago

        I have one cent Lincoln 1984 double Ear,And also I have 1983 Doubled Die Reverse,please I want to sell them but I don't know Where to start,please if you can help me.. Thanks

        Your's Brian-from Tanzania.

      • profile image

        Jose banuelos 6 weeks ago

        I have 1982 penny smoll D. Its weight is 2.5 grams

      • profile image

        Shelia Woodberry 6 weeks ago

        How big is the space between the a and the m can you show a pic

      • profile image

        Jose Marquez 7 weeks ago

        Hey I got 1987 penny on date the first 1 shows half and on liberty the E half and double line on forehead and hair

      • profile image

        George myers 2 months ago

        I found a1996 penny with no mark but in the date the 6 is higher

      • Joe Macho profile image
        Author

        Zach 2 months ago from Colorado

        Sigifredo,

        I have never heard of such a coin. I would suspect alteration (or forgery) of the coin after the mint. Draped bust dimes were last minted in 1807, nearly 105 years before the date printed on your coin. I would suggest taking the coin to a local dealer for them to examine and possibly shed some light onto how your coin came to be. Thanks for reading!

      • Joe Macho profile image
        Author

        Zach 2 months ago from Colorado

        Hello Anthony,

        If you're looking to sell, try a local coin dealer. Thanks for reading!

      • Joe Macho profile image
        Author

        Zach 2 months ago from Colorado

        Hello,

        This actually is a very common occurrence for these coins. In 1994 until the design change in 2008, the mints produced pennies with the close AM design. As such, some of the a's and m's touch. I wish I could tell you that they're more rare, but unfortunately not. Thanks for reading!

      • Joe Macho profile image
        Author

        Zach 2 months ago from Colorado

        Terrie - This sounds like a very interesting coin. I would recommend taking it to a local coin dealer to see if they may be able to help out with its authenticity. Good luck to you!

      • profile image

        Joe 2 months ago

        I have a penny that is from 1950 -D but not sure what year in the 5o's last digit missing mint condition is it possible to be worth anything

      • profile image

        Sigifredo Ayala 2 months ago

        Hi Do YOU have some information about 1912d silver wheat penny that was strike on a 10 cent planchet draped Bust Dime

      • profile image

        Anthony 2 months ago

        I have a 1909 penny and a 1982 small date penny how do i sell them

      • profile image

        Lisa ball 2 months ago

        I found a 1983 penny its copper but has siler aroubd edges and othet plave on it...if anyine couple plese help

      • profile image

        JessLO 2 months ago

        Hi! My husband and I have recently gotten into coin collecting and searching, and have stumbled upon a 1994 and 2006 Lincoln Penny with the letters "A" & "M" actually touching each other (we have jewler's glasses that we can use to confirm this).

        I have tried searching for results on how rare or common these are and I am not finding much. Maybe because I do not know where to look, being so new at this?

        Any help is appreciated!!

        Thanks!

      • profile image

        Terrie Nichols 2 months ago

        I have a 1955 D penny with a smooth back. Nothing was printed on it. Is it worth anything?

      • profile image

        Unknown 2 months ago

        I have 2 1983 pennys cool right?

      • profile image

        Aaron Lay 2 months ago

        I have a collection of Penny's dated from 1918 - 1990 all types looking to find a buyer for each Penny's value

      • profile image

        Johnny lott 2 months ago

        I found a 2007 penny with vde stamped on Abraham Lincoln's sleeve has anybody else seen one of these

      • profile image

        Ed 2 months ago

        I have a 2000 penny that’s got a building stamped on face on Lincoln and on the back stamped sideways on top of building ...is it worth anything or no?

      • profile image

        Johnny Warner 2 months ago

        Whats the value of. A 1984 penny where the year is messed up

      • profile image

        Markursini83@gmail.com 2 months ago

        I have found 1858 Misprint Lincoln penny with wrong date mist value

      • profile image

        Markursini83@gmail.com 2 months ago

        I have found 1858 Misprint Lincoln penny with wrong date mist value

      • profile image

        Terry 2 months ago

        I have a penny with the date 198 is it worth anything

      • profile image

        Lisa Crowe 2 months ago

        I found a 1983 D Lincolnhead penny. DD his head is twice and the date is also.

      • profile image

        Robert Allen 3 months ago

        1987D mint mark above date, any known, what could it be worth

      • profile image

        Just kim 3 months ago

        Yeah, I have one!

        I missed who I was to sell to.

        Thank yiu

      • profile image

        Barbara 3 months ago

        Bottom of purse find: a double stamped 2000 penny that is a mated pair.... Both sides double stamped... Help?

      • Joe Macho profile image
        Author

        Zach 3 months ago from Colorado

        Sounds like a pretty common mint error. The coin could be worth a couple dollars. Its hard to tell without seeing it. Try taking the penny into a coin dealer in your area. They might be able to tell you a little bit more about the type of error and value.

      • Joe Macho profile image
        Author

        Zach 3 months ago from Colorado

        Thanks for commenting. Unfortunately, this coin sounds like it was modified sometime during circulation. It doesn't sound like a mint error.

      • Joe Macho profile image
        Author

        Zach 3 months ago from Colorado

        There's plenty of errors out there. A good place to start would be to take the coin to a reputable coin dealer in your area.

      • Joe Macho profile image
        Author

        Zach 3 months ago from Colorado

        Sounds interesting. I'm sure it's worth something. I'm not too familiar with foreign coin errors though.

      • Joe Macho profile image
        Author

        Zach 3 months ago from Colorado

        Thanks! Hopefully you'll be able to make more than a few bucks!

      • profile image

        Perry 3 months ago

        I found a 1984 Lincoln penny were the in GOD WE TRUST there is more copper covering the in on the penny you can see the very bottom corner of the n . Wondering what it could be worth

      • profile image

        Mildred 4 months ago

        I have a 1961 US penny and I'm curios about it because it's different from all the pennies that I saw and also from the 1961penny picture on internet it's have a map of LA printed in the upper of the printed year 1961.it can be a rare error penny

      • profile image

        Danielle 4 months ago

        I have a penny with double mint mark one above the date one on the bottom how can I find out how much it's worth I can't find anything about it

      • profile image

        Herocarpet@hotmail.com 4 months ago

        Have a Canadian penny stamped on a dime just wondering if it's worth anything

      • profile image

        Leann 4 months ago

        Sry it on the reverse

      • profile image

        Leann 4 months ago

        Hello I have a 1909 wheat no mint no vdb it is in very fine condition was a weak strike but on back on the field it has a criss crossdye crack error under the monogram any info on this

      • profile image

        Unknown 4 months ago

        Thanks, I really appreciate the knowledge and I'll keep my eye out for rare coins, and hopfully make a few bucks. Thanks again!

      • profile image

        Jaymie 4 months ago

        I have a 2006 D penny error, but not sure what I actually am looking at???

        What penny error in 2006??

      • profile image

        Thiruselvan 4 months ago

        Hai friends I own for 1978 ,1988D and 1995 D penny available I am india my mob no 8608251689

      • profile image

        Vivi Z . T 5 months ago

        I have a 1983 D penny with an eye in the ear dose anyone know anything about this coin

      • profile image

        Larry aniel 5 months ago

        I'm not a collector.just save all the cash change . And I was put attention special old coin pennies very interesting .I was thinking maybe one of this days those coin gonna be valuables.and I was surprised when I see on a u tube.and I check compare the error some of them are very similar on the u tube .some person thick is a pake .I'm honest too god is genuine scanner they won't lie.

        I have 1959 ,1970 .1980 .1990

        1960,2000.up to 2017

      • profile image

        Brenda 5 months ago

        I found a 1965 quarter that looks like the eagle has prey in its beak. It also has a die crack that looks like it's being speared. Does anyone out there know anything about this rare mint error?

        Thank you

      • profile image

        Ronnie raulston 5 months ago

        I have a 1955 ddo wheat penny what is it worth?

      • profile image

        Marion 5 months ago

        Value of 1999 Lincoln Penny & 2000 & 1992 ?

      • profile image

        Daniel D. V 5 months ago

        I am a new coin searching guy I am seperating coins thanks 9

      • profile image

        juan 5 months ago

        i have a 1988 with a d&s on it how much is it worth....

      • profile image

        Jesse Bosquez 5 months ago

        I have coins with erros n coins that collectors might been looking for but where should I go or do with coins

      • profile image

        Ivan Ro 5 months ago

        Hello i have found a 1955 wheat penny, on the reverse side of it, you can read " UNITED STATAS" instead " UNITED STATES" its some kind of error, it looks old but u can see it clearly...can somebody help me on that ????

      • profile image

        John Mayberry 6 months ago

        I am brushing up on the latest findings in the collectors world...IVE been "OUT OF CIRCULATION" for too long. Thanks.

      • profile image

        Kaziu 6 months ago

        I have 1982 Lincoln coin does that worth anything

      • profile image

        corsicaalvino@gmail.com 6 months ago

        I have Lincoln cent 1992-D Cooper n 1992-D Zinc Close AM

      • profile image

        pokemon master 6 months ago

        i think i have a wheat penny but i am not sure?

      • profile image

        corsicaalvino@gmail.com 6 months ago

        I have lincoln cent 1992D Copper n Zinc for sale

      • profile image

        Rick M 6 months ago

        I have a 1955 D penny and the s is missing on states on the reverse. Is it rare? How do I find out. Penny looks to be in mint state. Send comment to oclainc@aol.com

      • profile image

        Sigifredo Ayala 6 months ago

        I have 1912 D wheat penny somebody know something about the penny silver wheat penny

      • profile image

        Nicole Poteet 6 months ago

        I have a 1993 D penny that wasn't properly died in the center its still in it's rare form anyone know what that means?

      • profile image

        Rushgal 6 months ago

        Are you sure That a doubled die is caused by the coin being struck twice?

      • profile image

        yolanda 6 months ago

        I have hndred and hundreds of pennies wht year are you looking for

      • profile image

        Jackie Neally 6 months ago

        I have a 2009 D Penny. On the back of the penny it looks like Lincoln is sitting on a log reading a book. I have never ever saw one of these. Are they worth any more than one cent?

      • profile image

        Dusty swann 7 months ago

        I have a 1969s licoln coin i believe is double doe

      • profile image

        George 7 months ago

        Haveeven a penny with a u in the words America between the m and e

      • profile image

        Roberts 7 months ago

        I have a 1943 ms even a 1925 w ms were can I sell it or a number

      • profile image

        Quan 7 months ago

        I found a 1998 penny with the AM almost touching. Is that what you were describing above? Lol

      • profile image

        santos jr. 7 months ago

        see on different sites and I'm just blown away by the ones i've collected through the years. how can i get them apraised with the right recognition.

      • profile image

        Pedro 8 months ago

        I have 1999 wide am I have a 2000 wide am cent I heave a 1943 under 1942 cent

      • profile image

        Donna Davis 8 months ago

        I have a 1967 dime IN GOD THE IN IS NOT NOTICEABLE,AND GOD IS PRINTED AWKWARD. "WE IS UNNOTICEABLE, THE "T" IN TRUST IS MISSHAPPEN.THE 1967, 19IS CORRECT BUT THE 67 IS LARGER

      • profile image

        Frank Winans 8 months ago

        I have a 83 penny with the word america printed sideways in front of lincolns face.its hard to see. But its there

      • profile image

        N vazquez 8 months ago

        I have one with a space where can I sell it?

      • profile image

        Alyssa duarte 8 months ago

        I have a 1984 penny without a D on it is it worth anything?

      • profile image

        Jamie 8 months ago

        I have a 1993 silver penny. It's got to be worth somthing right?? I find it after the clerk gave me back my change back

      • profile image

        evan 9 months ago

        i'm surprised you forgot the 1943 copper penny, theres only like 50 and there worth like 1.7 M dollars in good condition, however there so rare even if there practically unreadable they can still be worth up to 700 dollars.

      • profile image

        Sue 9 months ago

        Hi l have 1997 no mark LINC cent and 1997 no mark wide am on the one

      • profile image

        Tammy 9 months ago

        Looks to b a 1990 penny that meatal ran over back has a line of thicker meatai

      • profile image

        Danielle 9 months ago

        I wrote earlier about an odd colored quarter. Didn't mention the year or any other info.. dumb moment. It is a 2002 Louisiana state quarter. Not sure how to load a picture though.

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        yolanda 10 months ago

        Hi I have a 1992 D close AM penny and 0ne 1983 penny wt 3.1 g . Any suggestions for the best place to sell it .any ideas for the value please let me know my e- yccp24@hotmail.com

      • profile image

        Eddie 14 months ago

        I have wheat pennies with no letters s or d

        On them 1941,1925,1943,1955, I know nothing about value. Help please

      • profile image

        Greg 15 months ago

        You should look up the difference between machine doubling and double die you've got it wrong

      • profile image

        Stephanie 17 months ago

        Is there any one I can contact & send a picture of a penny I found I cant decribe it & cant find anything close except uniface hard struck error penny or 2 cent ??? Please help me value

      • Infomanian profile image

        Infomanian 21 months ago

        Nice article, gives me some targets as I sort through pennies. I have a collection of still banks and foolishly filled some of them with change over the years. Started an inventory project. The coins weigh more than the banks! And many glass banks have to be emptied thru the slot! So, it's gonna be empty bank, sort the coins, ... might as well have some goals. Thanks.

      • profile image

        terry 2 years ago

        another question iv got a 1996D penny& a close am is it got anyworth? thanks

      • Joe Macho profile image
        Author

        Zach 2 years ago from Colorado

        Terry - I apologize for the delayed response. Pennies from 1999 & 2000 with close "AM" are normal for those years. If the AM was wide, the coins would be errors. Good luck to you!

      • profile image

        TERRY 2 years ago

        i might be crazy but i think iv got a 1999D penny with a close in my question is it worth anything besides a penny thanks for any help.

      • Joe Macho profile image
        Author

        Zach 3 years ago from Colorado

        Johnny - While your coin may be pretty cool to look at, your penny was likely silver-plated sometime after it left the mint. There's no extra value associated with this kind of alteration. Thanks for reading!

      • Joe Macho profile image
        Author

        Zach 3 years ago from Colorado

        Eric - This coin sounds pretty cool. I am unaware of any double die coins from 1986. I would advise you to take it to a local coin dealer and see what they have to say about this error.

      • profile image

        johnny 3 years ago

        I have a 1992 silver penny can somebody tell me some information about this penny

      • profile image

        eric 3 years ago

        I found a 1986 d Lincoln penny that has a double mint Lincoln is on the front twice and there are other things that we can't find anything about

      • profile image

        LisaKeating 3 years ago

        Interesting hub. I wish I had started collecting coins at an early age.

      • Joe Macho profile image
        Author

        Zach 4 years ago from Colorado

        Hello Gary,

        You most likely are in possession of a penny that has been stamped after the minting process. In fact, I found a penny much like yours, but instead has California on it. Though they are unique, I doubt the extra "State" stamp provides any more value.

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        Gary 4 years ago

        I have a 2000 D Lincoln penny with OH inside the shape of the state of Ohio above the date. Can anyone provide any info?

      • profile image

        Tom Leed 4 years ago

        I like to get five dollars worth of pennies a week and go through them to find a GOOD one. I bought my self a cherry pickers guide a few months ago and after that I had an idea what to look for. This week in one of the rolls of pennies I found a 1997 Lincoln cent with the second ear. GOOD FIND in ms condition. Book value $250.00

      • profile image

        chris 4 years ago

        i have a 1984 d penny misstrike has rica of america spelt backwards over the top of the presidents head along with part of the building pressed in the top of the presidents head what would that be worth

        ?

      • profile image

        Chris 5 years ago

        One of my favorite things about collecting pennies, and coins in general is that you just never know when you're going to stumble upon a rare or valuable coin. The hardest part for me has been trying to remember important years so I can narrow down the amount of research I have to do. Thanks for this list, I'll definitely be referring to it later.

        Chris

        http://valuableworldcoins.com/recent-posts/most-va...

      • Mitch Alan profile image

        Mitch Alan 5 years ago from South Jersey

        Very interesting. I might need to carry this list around with me... just in case.

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