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Penny Collections: Your Coin May Worth Thousands

A penny in your opinion? For hundreds or even thousands of dollars, it’s more like a cent.

Parents should exercise additional caution the next time they empty their children’s piggy banks. They could be carrying more than just a dime; they could be holding a fortune.

Penny Collections

Experienced collectors are not surprised by this. As of Wednesday, November 30, a fast search on eBay for collectible penny yields more than 1,900 results.

Rarity, flaws, the year it was made, and the materials used are just a few of the things that make a penny worth more than its face value. For instance, a penny made entirely of copper is worth more than one made of zinc with copper coating.

What facts about pennies should shoppers be aware of, and what makes them special enough to be worth much more than one cent?

Gainesville Coins has listed six of the most valuable pennies available, along with their current prices and a full description of what they look like in case anyone is fortunate enough to find one in their coin jar or tucked away under their sofa.

Lincoln’s 1931-S Cent

The 1931-S Lincoln Cent, which was struck in roughly 866,000 pieces at the height of the Great Depression, is now worth between $65 and $100 or more for each coin.

These pennies have a rich copper color with a striking orange undertone. On the head side, they feature a portrait of Abraham Lincoln, and on the tail side, two leaves encircle the words “One Cent.” This penny doesn’t look all that different from more recent coins except for the year, 1931.

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The Indian Cent of 1909-S

The 1909-S Indian cent is a brassy dull tint verging on smoky silver chrome and is valued between $300 and $1,000+. On one side, it has a profile of a head wearing a headpiece. On the reverse, beneath a crest, the words “One Cent” are enclosed in a wreath that is garland-decorated.

Lincoln’s 1909-S VDB Cent

The 1909-S VDB Lincoln Cent is well-known among coin collectors who will immediately recognize the “VDB” lettering on the coin, which refers to the coin’s designer Victor David Brenner. It sells for between $600 and $1,300+.

The next year, his initials were taken off the wall due to a firestorm of criticism. Except for those sneaky and oh-so-small “VDB” initials, these coins, of which only 484,000 were produced, look like typical Lincoln wheat pennies of the era.

The 1955 Lincoln Cent with Double Die

The 1955 double-die Lincoln cent, valued at more than $2,000, is what many coin collectors refer to as the “Holy Grail” of mistake coins. If one examines attentively, the inaccuracy is obvious to even the inexperienced eye. The head side print appears duplicated or hazy.

The 1944 Lincoln Steel Cent

Price ranges for the 1944 steel Lincoln cent range from $75,000 to more over $125,000. Because they are composed of steel and have a striking silver color, these pennies are simple to identify. In terms of rarity, the 1943 and 1944 steel pennies are comparable.

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