Which Old Pennies Are The Most Valuable?

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valuable old penniesDo you have a bunch of old pennies in your possession and are trying to figure out which ones to keep?

While chances are most of your old pennies are worth only face value, there are plenty out there that are worth looking for.

In fact, some old pennies are worth hundreds of dollars!

Of course, you’ll have to look pretty hard to find the old one cent coins that are worth substantially more than face value, and the good news is that we’ll tell you about some of these valuable old pennies you should have your eye out for.

 

Old Lincoln Cents

Dating back to 1909, Lincoln pennies are the longest running United States coin series. However, over the course of more than 100 years, this tiny coin has seen several reverse design changes, including 4 commemorative designs that were issued in 2009 to celebrate the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln’s birth.

The 3 reverse primary reverse designs include:

  • Wheat ears (1909-1958)
  • Lincoln Memorial (1959-2008)
  • Union shield (2010-present)

Most of the valuable dates occurred among old Lincoln wheat ear pennies, and principally during the first 25 years or so of the Lincoln cent’s run. Values for these early Lincoln cents often start many hundreds of times the coins’ face value.

Here’s a look at some of the most valuable Lincoln cents and their values in Good-4 condition (unless otherwise stated):

  • 1909-S VDB: $750
  • 1911-S: $44
  • 1914-D: $225
  • 1922 no date: $725
  • 1924-D: $37
  • 1931-S: $110
  • 1955 doubled die: $950
  • 1969-S doubled die: $50,000 (Mint-State 63)
  • 1970-S small date: $50 (Mint-State 63)
  • 1995 doubled die: $10 (Mint-State 63)

 

Old Indian Cents

Struck from 1859 to 1909, Indian pennies are a throwback to an era when the value of a penny definitely meant much more than it did today. However, if you could transport yourself back to the late 1800s, when the Indian cent was in its prime, and carry back to the present day a handful of old Indian Head cents, you would have beat inflation. Unless damaged or discolored, almost any Indian cent is worth at least $1 to $2, and many are worth much more than that, especially if in well preserved condition.

Here’s a rundown of values for the scarcer Indian pennies:

  • 1861: $23
  • 1864 with L (for James B. “L”ongacre – the coin’s designer): $62
  • 1873 doubled LIBERTY: $625
  • 1877: $725
  • 1878: $26
  • 1888 Last 8 over 7: $2,650
  • 1908-S: $70
  • 1909-S: $450

While this list does not include every single possible valuable variety in existence (listing that many coins would take more than just one article!), this list is pretty inclusive of the most valuable coins that you’re likeliest to come across in penny rolls, old jars, boxes, drawers, chests, and collections. Good luck!

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131 thoughts on “Which Old Pennies Are The Most Valuable?”

  1. I have a Lincoln wheat cent 1909 and cant read the mint mark. but the coin is not red looking like other coppers. It looks like the 1943s. I have no idea why. Im scared to clean it and its not worn real bad just has something caked and hardened on it. why is it a silver in color and not red?

    Reply
    • Rdlong,

      My only guess is that somebody must have plated your coin with pewter, silver, or perhaps even mercury. Such a piece would be considered altered and therefore have no significant numismatic value. I would try to run your coin under clean, running water and then pat it dry with a soft towel to see if that releases the crud you describe on the coin.

      Reply
      • i have a 1901,1911,1913,1937,1940,1941,(2)1942,(3) steel 1943,1944,(2)1945,(3)1946,1951,1955,(2)1956,(3)1957,(2)1958,(3)1960,1961,1964,1967,&(2)1968 pennies. I want to sell all of them as a set… ive done my research i know a lot of them are extreamlilly Rare and hard to find so if anyone is intrested respond back

        Reply
  2. I found a 1955 One cent peice (which I have already figured out isnt worth anything) and it got me interested in coins but im new to the coin scene so could you explain what the letters attached to the coins (on websites and such) mean ex: 1909-S VDB The S I know can be seen on the coin but what does the VDB mean?

    Reply
    • Hi, Latonia –

      Welcome to the hobby! To take your example, in the case of the 1909-S VDB cent, the “S” stands for San Francisco, which is where the branch mint that struck that coin is located; the VDB is the set of initials for Victor David Brenner, who designed the Lincoln cent.

      Here’s a link to some more info about some of the letters on coins: https://coins.thefuntimesguide.com/mint_marks_letters_on_coins/

      Reply
  3. i have a 1943 steel wheat penny and a 1920 wheat penny that looks like it want press hard enough when made how much are they worth

    Reply
  4. i have a 1907 penny it has same design as a indian head penny but it has an indian face looks like its pushing through the penny its very detailed does anyone know what this is worth or even called thanks

    Reply
    • Hi, Mark –

      The “D” is the mintmark for the Denver mint; your 1943-D steel Lincoln cent is worth between 10 cents and $1 based on condition.

      Reply
  5. I have hunreds wheat pennies dating from 1910 to 1990s very few have mint marks but was wondering if anyone knows which exact years are the most valuable? I keep getting different years but would like to know exactly. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Hi Luong,

      A 1919 Lincoln cent is worth around 15 cents and an 1898 Morgan dollar in circulated condition is worth around $25.

      Thanks for your question!

      Reply
    • Hi Noemi,

      Your 1940 and 1948 Lincoln pennies are each worth about 3 to 5 cents if they are in worn condition. While they may not be worth much now, I’d still hang onto them anyway as Lincoln wheat cents are becoming scarce in circulation and may be worth more down the road.

      Reply
  6. I have found pennies in our collection dated from 1930’s all the way through 2000’s….Any idea of what to look for or how to know what I have on my hands….Very interesting!!

    Reply
    • Hello, Robert —

      A 1906 Indian Head penny in well circulated condition is worth $2 to $5.

      Thank you for your question!
      -Josh

      Reply
    • Hello, Ryan —

      Without seeing photos of the 1972 pennies it’s hard to say for certain what caused the appearance of a thinner rim, but in the case of your 1944 Lincoln cent, it’s worth about 5 cents.

      Thanks for your question!
      Josh

      Reply
    • Hi, Tiffany –

      A 1946-D Lincoln cent in worn condition is worth 5 to 8 cents.

      Thanks for your question!
      Josh

      Reply
  7. I have some 2007 and 2008 pennies. Some have a D under the date while others don’t. Are these worth anything or just regular pennies?

    Reply
    • Hi, Brittney —

      These are all regular pennies, but the “D” means the coin was made at the Denver mint and the lack of a letter on the 2007-8 pennies means they were produced at the Philadelphia mint.

      Best,
      Josh @ TheFunTimesGuide

      Reply
  8. I have two coins I would like to know more about. The first is an 1887 Indian Head cent coin, it is blue on one side and copper color on the other. Can you tell me what this is? Pic below. The second coin is a Gold 1911 D Indian Head Quarter Eagle. It was placed in a setting in 1914 and attached to a Ladies Gold Pocket Watch by Moulinie Geneva dated 1869, it was placed in a sealed plastic box in about 1920, it was just opened two weeks ago and the watch still keeps time. The coin has been protected by the setting and looks to have no flaws or wear showing I am not sure what condition the edge is in until the coin is removed from setting, looks real pristine. Hope you can help me identify the coin.

    Reply
    • Hi, Mildred —

      Yes, your Lincoln wheat cents have a nominal collectible value over face.

      Here’s a rundown of values assuming each coin to be in typical worn condition:

      1920 — 10 to 20 cents
      1941 — 3 to 5 cents
      1946 — 5 to 8 cents
      1954 — 3 to 5 cents
      1958-D 2 to 5 cents

      Best,
      Josh

      Reply
    • Hello, Maureen —

      If you have an 1801 United States large cent, it’s worth at least $30 to $40. If you would like to submit a photo so I can confirm the identity of your coin, please feel free to upload an image here.

      Thanks,
      Josh

      Reply
    • Hi, Donald —

      Your 1882 and 1897 Indian Head cents are each worth $3 to $5 in average circulated grades.

      What great, classic coins those are!
      Josh

      Reply
      • Hi Josh were should the S be on 1975 one dime ? Above the date ??
        As I have one but it doesn’t have s marking on it ..

        Reply
        • Hi, Debbie —

          1975 proof dimes have the “S” mintmark just above the fourth digit of the date. Would you please provide a photo of your coin?

          Thank you,
          Josh

          Reply
          • Hi, Debbie!

            This photo I see! You have a 1975 Philadelphia (no mintmark) Roosevelt dime. The rare 1975 no-S dime you’ve heard about is a proof variety, and not the business-strike issue seen here. Therefore, this piece is worth face value.

            I do appreciate your tenacity in sending these photos. Thank you!

            Best,
            Josh

    • Hi, Ruben —

      That depends on its condition. At a minimum, your piece is worth about 10 to 20 cents but could be worth hundreds of dollars. Cleaning your coin will automatically cut whatever value it has by half or more.

      Best,
      Josh

      Reply
  9. Hi Joshua i have this 1969 s mint and well as much as i want it to be the right one i still dont know much on all the details. I’m wondering if you can give me some input & tell me what you’re thoughts on it. Here are some pictures i took Would this qualify as a D.D Error coin?

    Reply
    • Hello, Cesar –

      I’m afraid this isn’t the doubled die coin. The 1969-S doubled die has prominent doubling in the date and lettering on the obverse (“head’s side”). Your piece is still worth about 5 to 10 cents.

      Keep checking your change!
      Josh

      Reply
    • Hi, Liz —

      Are these pennies United States or British? I’m guessing the half pennies are British?

      I’ll need a little more info please and preferably photos to ensure I provide you with the most accurate pricing estimate.

      Thank you!
      Josh

      Reply
  10. Hi Joshua. I really enjoy collecting coins (in my 5 gal water jug lol). Recently my grandson and I dumped it out and started looking at the coins and then looking up coins on the internet. I have found two pennies dated 1969-S. I have read that they could be worth upwards of 50k. Is this true? Are these really worth anything? I have attached photos of the coins.

    Reply
    • Hi, Sara —

      I love going through big buckets of pennies! Yes, it is true that some 1969-S pennies are worth $50,000 or more, but there are only a few of these. The reason they are worth so much is because they exhibit an extraordinarily rare design variety where the date and some of the lettering is doubled. While I can’t tell in the photos you sent if yours has this doubling, if you can send clearer images please and thank you I’d be glad to check for you!

      In the meantime, you might want to look for some of these pennies, too: https://coins.thefuntimesguide.com/us-coins/

      Best,
      Josh

      Reply
  11. I have a 1902 indian head penny. Is it worth much? Even if it isn’t, I still like collecting them because they’re old

    Reply
    • Hi, Jacob!

      Neat piece. First off, it appears in the photo that the surfaces are original, which is a great thing on an old copper coin such as this. I can’t get the image zoomed in large enough with clear resolution, but it appears the LI and missing due to a possible filled die error. If this is the case, your coin may be worth $2 to $3 to individuals who collect those types of anomalies.

      Thank you for your question and photo,
      Josh

      Reply
  12. i have 1958 1949,1952,1946,1956,1949 all with the letter d under the date and 1944,1940.1946,1947,1937 allare wheat penny are they worth
    any thing

    Reply
    • Hello, Geraldine —

      Yes, your Lincoln wheat pennies are worth more than face value! Here’s a rundown on their approximate values, assuming they’re in average circulated condition:

      •1937 Lincoln penny — 10 cents
      •1940 Lincoln penny — 5 cents
      •1944 Lincoln penny — 3 to 5 cents
      •1946 Lincoln penny — 3 to 5 cents
      •1946-D Lincoln penny — 3 to 5 cents
      •1947 Lincoln penny — 10 cents
      •1949-D Lincoln penny — 7 to 10 cents
      •1952-D Lincoln penny — 10 cents
      •1956-D Lincoln penny — 3 cents
      •1958-D Lincoln penny — 3 cents

      Thank you for your question!
      Josh

      Reply
  13. i have a 1946 bronze wheat penny could you tell me how much it is worth. plus it is in pretty good condition it has an s on it does that mean anything

    Reply
    • Hi, Billy –

      From what I see in this photo, your cent suffered from blunt force straight-edge damage. This coin is worth 2 cents if it dates between 1959 and 1981 (the extra value is for its copper bullion) and face value if made since 1982.

      Thank you for your photo!
      Josh

      Reply
      • Hi my name is Ron and I have a wheat penny but it’s from 1990 now I don’t know how that’s possible since it ended in 1958 except for a few in 59

        Reply
        • HI, Ron —

          Would you please post a photo of your coin here in the comments forum? It could be either an altered coin or a fantasy coin/replica.

          Best,
          Josh

          Reply
  14. Hi I have a 1918 wheat penny that is missing the stamp under the date and a 1950 D wheat that is bronze i think and 1937 wheat penny with no stamp .are they with anything?

    Reply
    • Hi, Brian —

      Here are values for the Lincoln cents you listed above:

      *1918 Lincoln wheat cent — 10 to 20 cents
      *1937 Lincoln wheat cent — 5 to 10 cents
      *1950-D Lincoln wheat cent — 3 to 5 cents

      Values are for coins in undamaged, uncleaned condition with a typical amount of wear for their age. By the way, a Lincoln cent with no mintmark was, in most cases, struck at the Philadelphia Mint.

      Thank you for your questions!
      Josh

      Reply
    • Hi, Amanda —

      A 1941 Lincoln wheat cent with an average amount of wear and no damage, errors, or variety anomalies is worth 3 to 10 cents.

      Best wishes,
      Josh

      Reply
    • Hi, Alicia —

      A 1909 VDB Lincoln cent is worth about $8 to $12 in moderately worn grades, whereas a 1913 no-mintmark (Philadelphia) Lincoln cent with a typical amount of wear is worth 50 cents to $1.25.

      Thank you for your question,
      Josh

      Reply
      • Hi is me again thank u 4 your time !!! not so long ago I starded collecting coin different kinds 5,10,25 n 50 cents Butt” my passion are the pennies, well 2 the point a few days ago a friend of the family give me a 1851 indian head big 1 dollar coin similar as the 1 cent indian penny I didn’t find much info is it fake ??? hope u can help me….. THANKS !!!!!!!

        Reply
        • Hello, Alicia —

          Hmm… there were no Indian Head coins matching that description from 1851. I wonder if you have a replica or token of some type. Would you mind submitting a photo of that piece here in the comments forum so I could provide further insight?

          Thank you for your question,
          Josh

          Reply
  15. I have a bunch of wheat pennies the years range from 1937 and up some just 1 from each year and some years i have a couple of some years some have a d under the year and some have other letters under the year. Do i have any that might be worth something to look into?

    Reply
    • Hi, Ashley —

      It’s hard to say for certain what the values are without seeing the dates and their conditions. However, this link might help you find out more about what they’re worth and what dates are the most valuable: https://coins.thefuntimesguide.com/valuable-pennies/

      Bear in mind that any Lincoln wheat cent NOT listed here is worth somewhere between 3 and 10 cents.

      Best,
      Josh

      Reply
  16. Hi, my grandmother passed away quite some time ago and she had some old pennies. They are about the size of a half dollar and the dates are 1848 1851 and 1844… Are they worth anything? thanks

    Reply
  17. Where would I take them not knowing the value, they say a lot less if I kinda know what is up ! they cheat around here!

    Reply
  18. hi i have a 1940 pennie and 1941 pennie what are they worth because i’m wondering what they are worth and i just want to know what they are worth?

    Reply
    • Hi, Wyatt —

      Assuming you have a well-worn 1937, 1937-D, or 1937-S nickel and don’t have the rare 1937-D 3-legged Buffalo nickel, your piece is worth about $1 to $2.

      Nice find!
      Josh

      Reply
  19. okay i have the following been some what confused on the obvious ones,

    1902 – 04 05 07 indian head –
    1909 no mark
    1917
    1919
    1920
    1927
    1928
    1929
    1936
    1942 no mark copper
    1945 d
    1956 d
    1954
    1958 d
    1965
    1962 d

    i also have a 1964 d dime hotlips version .. dont know a price as it was newly discovered

    Reply
    • Hi, Paul —

      It’s hard to tell without seeing this coin in hand what’s going on. At first, it looked as though someone had hammered another penny on top of this one, imparting an impressed design onto the front and back of this piece. While I think this might be post-mint damage, I suggest sending these images to error expert Fred Weinberg for a second opinion. Here’s his info: https://www.fredweinberg.com/

      Best wishes,
      Josh

      Reply
  20. Hi Joshua, I found this 1971 d Kennedy half with some cud like imperfections on the top of the d on dollar and on the first l on dollar. A faint line from the top of the f to the top of the d. On half dollar. Is this a cud or die break error, or both.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d9b0d35444667f4840b4460bc8e244d798361509cf3ac3cda3e8c5a82c491ac3.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d9b0d35444667f4840b4460bc8e244d798361509cf3ac3cda3e8c5a82c491ac3.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/dae82aa730d20cd355a48c943f4cb3b5fa15888b7ca61a60920fa34280af00d3.jpg

    Reply
    • Hi, Paul —

      Yes, there is definitely something going on in between the “F” of “HALF” and “D” of “DOLLAR.” I’m thinking some type of damage to the die itself. I don’t know what the value of this piece would be — it’s pretty specialized. Value of course depends in this case largely on recognition that it’s a bona fide die break and demand for the piece, along with relatively rarity. I’d definitely hold it aside though.

      Cool find,
      Josh

      Reply
      • Thank you so much for your time Joshua. What do you recommend I should do at this point. Should I send the image or the coin to Mr. Weinberg?
        Thanks again Mr Joshua

        Reply
        • Hi, Paul —

          I suggest so… Email it to him (you can find him at fredweinberg.com) and explain whatever you can to him about the coin.

          Fingers crossed!
          Josh

          Reply
    • Hi, Julie —

      Would you please post clear photos of this piece so I can further advise?

      Thank you,
      Josh

      Reply
  21. Hello Joshua,

    I have a 1902 Indian head cent. How can I find what value it has? Also what is the best guide to determine coin values? I have a collection left to me by my mother. Your help is greatly appreciated.

    Reply
    • Hello, Carl —

      As for 1902 Indian Head pennies, they are generally worth $1 to $3 in typical worn condition and about half that if cleaned or damaged.

      I think you’ll find the link below helpful, as it provides a hub of information on coin values ranging from United States pennies to silver dollars: https://coins.thefuntimesguide.com/us-coins/

      All my best,
      Josh

      Reply

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