Did you know there’s a 1999 penny worth $300 or more?
Read on to see what makes some 1999 pennies so valuable and how to find the rare 1999 penny in your pocket change.
How To Tell If You Have A 1999 Penny Error
The rare penny I’m talking about is the 1999 Wide AM penny.
1999 Wide AM pennies were accidentally made when reverse proof coin dies — which were designed to strike the “tail’s side” (reverse) of special collector Lincoln pennies — were used to strike 1999 Lincoln pennies intended for circulation.
You can tell a 1999 Wide AM penny from an ordinary 1999 penny by looking at the letters “A” and “M” in the word “AMERICA” on the reverse of the coin.
You’ll notice a significant gap between the bottoms of the “A” and “M” on the 1999 Wide AM penny. (On ordinary 1999 pennies, the bottom of the letters “A” and “M” appear to nearly touch one another.)
See precisely what a 1999 Wide AM penny looks like.
In fact, during that period, there were 3 different Lincoln cents made with a Wide AM reverse proof die:
- 1999 Wide AM penny
- 1998 Wide AM penny
- 2000 Wide AM penny
Of these, the 1999 Wide AM penny is by far the scarcest.
Here’s how much a 1992 Wide AM penny is worth:
- Even the most well-worn examples of the 1999 Wide AM penny are worth around $100.
- Most 1999 Wide AM pennies have a value of $150 to $300.
- The record auction price paid for a 1999 Wide AM penny is $2,300.
The Value Of Other 1999 Pennies
You may not have a 1999 Wide AM penny, but you’re probably still curious what your “regular” 1999 penny is worth.
If your 1999 penny is worn, it’s worth face value — or 1 cent.
However, 1999 pennies that are uncirculated (or, as some might say, “mint condition” or “Mint State”) are worth more.
Here’s what uncirculated and proof 1999 pennies are worth:
- 1999 penny with no mintmark (Philadelphia): 5,237,600,000 minted — 10 to 25+ cents
- 1999-D penny (Denver, “D” mintmark): 6,360,065,000 minted — 10 to 25+ cents
- 1999-S penny (San Francisco, “S” mintmark): 3,347,966 minted — $3+
*Values listed are for uncirculated and proof 1999 pennies. Worn specimens without errors or varieties are worth face value.
What Else Happened When Your 1999 Penny Was Minted?
Y2K, the introduction of the euro in Europe, and the birth of SpongeBob SquarePants were just a few of the things that happened in 1999. Here are some other major events that happened when your 1999 penny rolled off the presses at the United States Mint:
- In January, impeachment trials began for President Bill Clinton following a sex scandal involving 21-year-old intern Monica Lewinsky. Clinton became the second United States president to be impeached.
- The Columbine High School Massacre happened in Littleton, Colorado on April 20 — when 2 teens terrorized their school in a shooting spree, killing 13.
- West Nile Virus appeared in the United States for the first time.
- The “Melissa” email virus infiltrated more than 1 million computers around the world and caused $80 million in damages.
- The world’s human population count surpassed 6 billion people.
- Severe weather ripped through the United States — including an EF-5 tornado that ravaged Oklahoma City, while Category 4 Hurricane Floyd battered North Carolina.
- The most popular TV shows in 1999 included “The Simpson,” “Frasier,” “Chicago Hope,” “ER,” “Friends,” “Everybody Loves Raymond,” “Becker,” “Will & Grace,” and “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?”
- Top movies in 1999 were Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, The Sixth Sense, The Matrix, The Mummy, Notting Hill, American Beauty, American Pie, and Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me.
- Chart-topping songs in 1999 were “Livin’ LaVida Loca” by Ricky Martin, “All Star” by Smash Mouth, “Genie in a Bottle” by Christina Aguilera, “I Want it That Way” by Backstreet Boys, “Amazed” by Lonestar, “Smooth” by Santana, and “Baby One More Time” by Britney Spears.
More About The 1999 Penny Value & Other Rare Pennies
In addition to the links I’ve included above, here are some other resources to help you find exactly how much your 1999 penny is worth:
- The Scarcest Lincoln Proof Pennies
- A Brief History Of The Penny
- A List Of 43 U.S. Pennies Worth Holding On To
- 5 Rare Coins You’ll Find In The Lincoln Memorial Cent Series
- Zincoln Zinc Pennies: Collecting The Lincoln Zinc Penny
My love for coins began when I was 11 years old. I primarily collect and study U.S. coins produced during the 20th century. I'm a member of the American Numismatic Association (ANA) and the Numismatic Literary Guild (NLG) and have won multiple awards from the NLG for my work as a coin journalist. I'm also the editor at CDN Publishing (a trusted source for the price of U.S. rare coins), editor at the Florida United Numismatists Club (FUN Topics magazine), and author of Images of America: The United States Mint in Philadelphia (a book that explores the colorful history of the Philadelphia Mint). I've contributed hundreds of articles for various coin publications including COINage, The Numismatist, Numismatic News, Coin Dealer Newsletter, Coin Values, and CoinWeek. I've also authored nearly 1,000 articles here at The Fun Times Guide to Coins — and I welcome your coin questions in the comments below!