We get a lot of questions about the following: 1943 wheat penny, 1943 steel penny, 1943 silver penny, 1943 Lincoln penny, 1943 copper penny, and 1943 penny value.
Geesh… I guess you all have a bunch of 1943 pennies in your possession!
I did a little research. What follows are a number of rare pennies you should hold onto if you ever come across them in loose change or coin collections.
Let’s start with the 1943 penny that everyone asks so much about…
In recent years a “1943 S” (San Francisco Mint) copper coin has gone for about $60,000 dollars at auction. I remember the prices from the P (Philadelphia) mint ranging from around $10,000 many years ago to $73,000 in recent times. There are many counterfeits of this coin. Source
Use a magnet. If the coin sticks to your magnet, the penny is made of steel, so it’s not worth much. If it doesn’t stick, it may be a true copper penny. It may be valuable, depending on its condition and other factors. Source
Here’s how to tell if a penny is made of copper or zinc.
Did You Know?…
Only forty 1943 copper-alloy cents are known to remain in existence. Coin experts speculate that they were struck by accident when copper-alloy 1-cent blanks remained in the press hopper when production began on the new steel pennies. Source
In 1974, as a test, there were 1,579,324 pennies made of pure aluminum struck (produced) by the U.S. Mint. These were never circulated and most were later destroyed. Source
Sometimes a penny is worth more than a penny. If you think you’re seeing double, save that coin. A 1955 penny has a “double-die date.” In uncirculated condition — not a blemish on it — it’s worth about $27,000. Even in less than perfect condition, it’ll fatten your bank account to the tune of $570. Source
The estimated value of 1936 Lincoln Wheat Penny is worth $0.18 in average condition and can be worth $5.11 to $10 or more in uncirculated (MS+) mint condition. Proof coins can be worth $204 or more. Source
The estimated value of 1924-S Lincoln Wheat Penny is worth $1.54 in average condition and can be worth $126 to $230 or more in uncirculated (MS+) mint condition. Source
The first Lincoln Penny was struck by the U.S. Mint in 1909 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth. It was the first circulating coin to feature a real person instead of the allegorical Lady Liberty … Lincoln cents were minted from 1909 through the present time, and it was the first cent to have the motto “IN GOD WE TRUST”. The Lincoln cent was introduced to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Lincoln’s birthday, and the early pennies 1909 through 1958 were referred to a wheat pennies. Source
The 1877 is considered the most crucial key date of the Indian Head cent series. The coin has demonstrated moderate to strong gains in just about every condition over time frames short and long. In recent years, color quality (B= BROWN, RB= RED-BROWN, R= RED) has become an important value modifier for Indian Head cents and other copper coins. Source
The inaugural small cent, the 1856 Flying Eagle cent had a mintage of only about 2000 (more than half of them were proofs). The addition of an 1856 cent in any acceptable condition is a prudent buy. The coin has seen steady appreciation over the long term, being that an 1856 Flying Eagle cent is “necessary” to complete a small cent collection, but is available only in extremely small quantities. Buy only from reputable sources, as many 1858 Flying Eagles have been altered to appear as 1856. Source
A “Braided Hair Large Cent” was just an everyday penny back in 1844. If it is circulated, it is probably worth between $7 and $80. Source
The most expensive U.S. penny is the 1793 Sheldon NC-1 Chain cent. The chain’s 15 links surrounding the words ONE CENT represent the unity of the 15 colonies extant in the U.S. at the time. Fewer than 2,000 of these expensive pennies survive to this day. Five varieties of the Chain cent were minted before its discontinuation. After Dr. William H. Sheldon (author of Penny Whimsy), these varieties are referred to as Sheldon 1-4 and NC-1. Designated as non-collectible, NC-1 is the rarest of these varieties — only 4 are known to exist today. With an estimated value of $275,000, NC-1 is not only the rarest, but also the most expensive penny. Source
The chocolate-colored penny, the 9th known example of its type, bears the date 1792, an inscription “Parent of Science & Industry: Liberty” and the likeness of a woman’s head representing Miss Liberty. Source
How To Find The Value Of Any Penny
Whether you think you have some rare pennies or not, here’s how to find the value of any U.S. penny:
#1 – Check online:
#2 – Check the coin price guide.
More About Rare Pennies
In addition to the links and information about rare pennies that I’ve included above, here are some other resources to help you learn more about your old pennies that might be rare and valuable:
- Wheat Pennies: 7 Rare Pennies That You Should Keep
- The Rare Lincoln-Kennedy Penny
- See What Old Indian Head Pennies Are Worth Today
- Steel Pennies That Are Valuable
- How To Authenticate Silver Pennies
- 43 Of The Most Valuable Pennies That You Should Hold Onto
I like to help people find unique ways to do things in order to save time & money — so I write about “outside the box” ideas that most wouldn’t think of. As a lifelong dog owner, I often share my best tips for living with and training dogs. I worked in Higher Ed over 10 years before switching gears to pursue activities that I’m truly passionate about. I’ve worked at a vet, in a photo lab, and at a zoo — to name a few. I enjoy the outdoors via bicycle, motorcycle, Jeep, or RV. You can always find me at the corner of Good News & Fun Times as publisher of The Fun Times Guide (32 fun & helpful websites).