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A lot of people have asked why 2007 pennies are worth more than 2006 pennies.
In this article, we will discuss the current values of 2006 and 2007 pennies.
First, you need to know what drives coin values in the first place…
Why Are Some Pennies Worth More Than Others?
In general, there are 5 factors behind the value of any coin:
- The intrinsic metal (or bullion) value
- The coin’s rarity
- Demand for the coin
- The presence of any errors or varieties
- The coin’s condition
Now, let’s see how these factors play into the values for 2006 and 2007 pennies…
1) Are The Bullion Values Different Between 2006 & 2007 Pennies?
A comparison of differing values between two types of coins might lead you to wonder if one is worth more than the other because of the metal values being different.
That’s a great point to ponder here, but we’ve hit a brick wall.
Both the 2006 and 2007 pennies were struck from the same metallic composition. Pennies from both years were made in a copper-coated zinc format. (The exact metallic composition is a 99.2% zinc, 0.8% copper core coated with a pure copper plating.)
So, it looks like the answer as to why 2007 pennies are worth more than 2006 pennies doesn’t have anything to do with metal values.
Let’s move right along to rarity…
2) Are 2007 Pennies More Rare Than 2006 Pennies?
Another great question!
Let’s compare the production figures:
- 2006 no-mintmark pennies (from the Philadelphia Mint) — 4,290,000,000 struck
- 2006-D pennies (from the Denver Mint) — 3,944,000,000 struck
- 2006-S pennies (from the San Francisco Mint) — 3,054,436 struck
- 2006 total penny mintage: 8,237,054,436
- 2007 no-mintmark pennies (from the Philadelphia Mint) — 3,762,400,000 struck
- 2007-D pennies (from the Denver Mint) — 3,638,800,000 struck
- 2007-S pennies (from the San Francisco Mint) — 2,577,166 struck
- 2007 total penny mintage: 7,403,777,166
Hmmm, so there were nearly 1 billion fewer pennies struck in 2007 than 2006. Is that the answer to why 2007 pennies are worth more 2006 pennies?
It’s important to bear in mind here that while 2007 pennies were originally scarcer (per mintage comparison) than the 2006 pennies, the difference, when we’re talking about billions of pennies made each year, it is essentially negligible.
There are way more pennies from either year than there are Americans to spend them. On top of that, attrition (the loss of pennies through circulation and time) means that both pennies exist in smaller numbers now than their mintage numbers would suggest.
All things being equal, the 2007 penny is about as abundant in supply as the 2006 penny. So, rarity has little bearing on values here.
3) Are 2007 Pennies More In Demand?
It’s true that sometimes a coin that is not as rare as another one will sell for a much higher price than a coin that exists in smaller numbers.
Take, for example, one of the most popular rare coins — the 1909-S VDB penny. Some 484,000 were struck. (Which is scarce with respect to the output of all Lincoln pennies.) A typical 1909-S VDB penny will fetch $700 to $800 in well-worn grades. Not too shabby, right?
Now, consider the 1846 Liberty Seated dime. It’s a coin that few outside the hobby of coin collecting even know exists. Just 31,300 were made, and only a fraction of those exist. (Professional Coin Grading Service estimates about 500 are left.) Like the 1909-S VDB penny, the 1846 dime is a key rarity for collectors.
And guess what? The 1846 dime can be had for about the same price ($600 to $800) in well-worn condition as the 1909-S VDB penny, which has about 50 to 75 times as many survivors.
But just about everyone knows about the 1909-S VDB penny — and hundreds of thousands of people are actively seeking one for their collection. The 1846 dime is not as widely known, and it’s not nearly as popular.
Relating this back to the 2006 and 2007 pennies, the demand is about equal for both coins. So, demand is not the reason that 2007 pennies are categorically worth more than 2006 pennies.
4) Are There Any Significant 2006 And 2007 Penny Errors?
Sometimes coins have weird things going on with them, and these errors and varieties can make them worth more money.
Some 2006 pennies and some 2007 pennies contain errors and varieties — and, yes, those error coins are worth more.
But there’s a catch here…
The question is, “Why are 2007 pennies worth more than 2006 pennies?”
That question has nothing to do with only the penny errors or varieties from 2006 and 2007. And since both the 2006 and 2007 penny error values are up there in number, we will not find the answer by considering penny errors from those years.
5) What About The Condition Of 2006 Pennies vs. 2007 Pennies?
Once again, we hit a dead-end in finding our answer here.
Why? Because the most valuable 2007 penny is worth around $430, while one example of the 2006 penny fetched over $2,600. Those astounding values had to do with the condition of those most valuable pennies.
In typical uncirculated condition, 2006 and 2007 pennies are worth about the same, too… About 10 to 20 cents, maybe 30 cents.
And, again, we’re asking in a more generic sense about what makes 2007 pennies worth more than 2006 pennies…
Are you catching on to something here?
Maybe this has more to do with a riddle than coin values, huh?
The Answer: Why 2007 Pennies Are Worth More Than 2006 Pennies
It’s time for the big reveal…
The answer behind why 2007 pennies are worth more than 2006 pennies goes back to a popular internet riddle that has been circulating around the internet. It’s meant to be more of a brain teaser than a numismatic question.
The 2006 and 2007 figures don’t represent the dates on the coins — they refer to the physical number of pennies counted as quantities. That is, two-thousand and seven versus two-thousand and six… pennies.
And, yes, 2,007 pennies are worth more than 2,006 pennies, by exactly one cent!
Of course, the answer is probably leaving a few of you groaning, and hopefully many of you are laughing at this point.
But, ultimately, we know that 2,007 pennies are cumulatively worth $20.07 while 2,006 pennies total $20.06.
Hey, this would make a great joke to share with family and friends. Or, maybe, you could pose this riddle to a few coin collectors and see how they respond!
I’m the Coin Editor here at TheFunTimesGuide. 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 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 authored nearly 1,000 articles here at The Fun Times Guide to Coins (many of them with over 50K shares), and I welcome your coin questions in the comments below!