Rare Pennies You Should Hold Onto… Including The 1943 Penny

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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!

rare 1943 pennies

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…


1943 Penny

rare pennies - this is the rare 1943 pennyIn 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


1974 Penny

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


1955 Penny

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


1936 Penny

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


1924-S Penny

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


1909 Penny

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


1877 Penny

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


1856 Penny

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


1844 Penny

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


1793 Penny

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


1792 Penny

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:

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