The Joys Of Being A Penny Collector

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Some people go head over heels for Bust halves while others sing praises for Buffalo nickels. But, I? What coin is it that I love most? It’s the penny – more specifically, the Lincoln cent. Why did I become a penny collector? What is it about the little copper coin bearing the bust of our 16th president, Abraham Lincoln, that has lured me to collect these coins for most of my life? Well, there was one prevailing factor – pennies comprised about 80% of the coins in my piggy bank back then, … [Read more...]

What’s A Business Strike Coin?

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If you have spent any time perusing coin listings on coin dealers’ websites or checking out online coin collecting forums, you have probably come across the term business strike. But what’s a business strike coin, and how does one differ from other types of coins, such as proof coins? Business strike coins are intended for the purpose of circulating in the channels of commerce, or, in other words, daily exchanges of money at the grocery store, the bank, and the mall. So, the coins you have … [Read more...]

Lincoln Wheat Cents: Values Of Key Dates

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If there is one coin I have loved since I was kid, it is the Lincoln penny. This versatile little coin has been struck by the United States Mint since 1909, and over the years has become one of the most popular coins in the whole world. The values of many Lincoln cents far exceed their face value, making them highly demanded by both collectors and investors. Like many coin collectors, I especially pursue Lincoln wheat cents, which have two stalks of wheat on the reverse side of the coin … [Read more...]

Have a Silver Penny That’s NOT a 1943 Steel Cent? Here’s How to Find Out What You Have

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A lot of people leaving comments here at The Fun Times Guide to Coins have been asking me about their silver pennies. Of course, many of these silver one-cent coins are 1943 pennies, which really aren’t silver pennies. They're actually made with zinc-coated steel. However, many of these inquiries about silver pennies have nothing to do with 1943 Lincoln cents or even the highly rare 1944 steel cent (a mint error caused by leftover steel coin blanks getting accidentally getting stamped with … [Read more...]

Looking Through Penny Rolls Can Be Rewarding and Fun

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Ever since I first started collecting coins, I’ve been checking penny rolls from banks and grocery stores for scarce and old coins. I don’t honestly know what prompted me to start doing that, especially as I was only a kid and no one had told me that searching rolls of coins is one of the most efficient and successful ways to make interesting finds in circulation. From wheat cents to foreign coins and off-center coins, too, I’ve found all types of scarce, unique, intriguing, and valuable old … [Read more...]

The Ultimate Guide to the 1944 Steel Penny: Like 1943 Copper Cents, It’s a Coin that Collectors Crave

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If you collect coins, you know about the 1943 steel Lincoln cent. But, what about the 1944 steel pennny? While the U.S. Mint struck more than a billion steel pennies in 1943, about 35 examples of the zinc-coated steel cent are known to have been inadvertently struck bearing the date 1944.   Why Were Some 1944 Pennies Struck in Steel? A popular theory is that some steel coin blanks, or planchets, were left in the hoppers and accidentally distributed. … [Read more...]

What’s the Value of Wheat Pennies? Find Out How Much Yours are Worth!

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“What’s the value of my wheat pennies?” – that’s the main question I keep getting here at The Fun Times Guide to Coins, and I’m glad this is so, because Lincoln cents have long been my specialty. In fact, that’s the first coin I ever collected and the coin that I to this day still focus my coin collecting efforts on. When I was a new coin collector I, too, used to wonder what the value of wheat pennies was, simply because they’re obsolete coins that by the very nature of their being old were … [Read more...]

Keep Your Pretty Pennies Safe In Coin Albums Made Just For Lincoln Cents

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If there is one coin that I and millions of other coin collectors love putting in coin albums, it has to be the Lincoln cent. For good reason: It's one of the first coins we ever started collecting. Most dates are pretty affordable to buy for your collection Pennies are easy to find in everyday pocket change. Besides, Lincoln cents have been with us for more than a century – since 1909 to be exact -- so it's no wonder that this beloved little coin is found in millions of coin … [Read more...]

Short Sets – The Short Cut to Completing Coin Sets on a Budget

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There is perhaps nothing more frustrating to a coin collector than wanting to complete an entire date-and-mintmark run of coins and not being able to afford the goal. For example, collecting the entire series of Lincoln cents, to date, could cost a typical coin collector more than $2,000 when taking into account the cost of rare dates, such as the 1909-S V.D.B., 1909-S, 1914-D, and 1931-S. Add in the 1922 plain cent – a rare variety customarily included in many Lincoln sets – and the cost … [Read more...]

Lincoln Cent Varieties – Coins That Don’t Always Have a Place in the Typical Coin Album

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As most Lincoln cent coin collectors know, collecting the entire series of pennies is not as easy as one may think. Certainly, the one-cent coin may be the lowliest of all currently circulating U.S. coinage as far as denominations go, and there may be tens of billions of Lincoln cents in existence – but collecting an example of every Lincoln cent ever made certainly isn’t cheap, nor is it easy. There are some 300 different regular-issue date-and-mintmark combinations, and many of the coins … [Read more...]