I have several hundred wheat pennies, with dates in the 50′s, 40′s, 30′s, 20′s, and have a 1909. The 1909 does not have the initials on the back. Could you tell me if it is worth anything, and what would the collective value of the wheat pennies be? Thank you.”
A bunch of readers want to know the values of their wheat back pennies, which collectors call “wheaties”.
So here is the run-down on wheaties…
The Value Of Wheat Pennies
1930′s wheaties and earlier are worth 10 cents to 30 cents.
Almost all of the 1940′s and 50′s wheaties are worth 4 cents to 10 cents, depending on the grade of the coins.
Here are the exceptions:
1955 Double Die — Some of the 1955 wheat cents were struck from improperly prepared dies that show a fully doubled outline of the 1955 date. The 1955 double die books for about $1,200.
1931 S — Only due to very low mintage this coin books for around $75.
1924 D — Low mintage worth $20.
1922 — Three varieties which I have explained in this article.
1914 D — Over a million were minted, but it still books for around $200.
Now we come to a whole new section…the 1909 wheat cents and what to look for…
About Those 1909 Wheat Pennies
1909 was the first year the wheat cents were issued. The designer of this penny was Victor D. Brenner.
When the 1909 coins were first struck, they had Brenner’s initials on the reverse and are known as VDB cents. However, his initials were removed mid-way through production and not re-instated again until 1918 when they were switched to the front instead of the reverse side.
So we ended up with 1909 VDB’s,1909 S VDB’s,1909′s without VDB,and 1909 S’s without VDB.
There were a lot fewer of these coins minted at the San Fransisco mint — which makes the S’s worth quite a bit more.
- The 1909 with no VDB is worth about $2.
- The 1909 S with no VDB is worth about $80.
- The 1909 VDB is worth about $10.
- The 1909 S VDB… known as the KING OF THE WHEATIES, it’s one of the most sought-after cents of any collector. There were less than 490,000 of them minted, and this bad boy books anywhere from $650 to $2,200, depending on the grade.
Where To Look For The VDB Mark
You will find the VDB letters on the back side of the coin — at the very bottom — near the rim. The VDB was printed very small and coins become worn over the years, so if you have a 1909 you might want to look closer with a magnifying glass.
Here is a picture of the 1909 S VDB cent. Can you see the VDB initials at the bottom near the rim?
There are a few other wheats that book for more than just a few cents.
1933 D – $2.00
1932 - $1.50
1931 D – $3.00
1926 S – $2.25
1923 S – $2.00
1916 S – $1.20
1915 S – $7.00
1915 D – $1.75
1915 – $1.60
1914 S – $12.00
1913 S – $7.00
1913 D – $2.50
1912 S – $12.00
1912 D – $6.00
1912 – $1.25
1911 S – $18.00
1911 D – $5.00
The average buying price for any wheaties — other than the ones I have listed in this article — is about 4 cents each.