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Do 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!
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!
131 thoughts on “Which Old Pennies Are The Most Valuable?”
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?
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.
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
I HAVE WHEAT PENNIES DATED 1917-1920. WHAT IS THEIR VALUE
Pennies from 1917-1920 in typical, worn condition are each worth around 20 cents.
I have pennies dated back from 1875,1897,1902,1905 are they worth any thing/
1801 indian penny woth?
A 1901 Indian Head cent is worth around $2 to $3 in typical, worn condition.
how can you tell if its a double die penny or not
i have a 1888 indianhead how or who can i sell to? actually the whole collection frm 1800 -1900
I’d sell it to a local, reputable coin dealer. Here’s a search engine where you can find those near you: https://www.pngdealers.com/dealersearch.php
And, to learn more about coin dealer, check this out: https://coins.thefuntimesguide.com/coin_dealer/
I have a 1866 indian head penny double die what is the value? how should i go about selling it?
The value depends on its condition; I would take it to your nearest coin dealer and get a sight-seen estimate. Here’s a great resource for finding reputable coin dealers: https://www.pngdealers.com/dealersearch.php
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?
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/
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
Hi, Derek –
Your 1920 and 1943 Lincoln cents are each worth around 10 to 20 cents.
i have a 1919 weat head penny and a 1929D weat head penny and a 1951D weat head penny
i have a 1943 silver penny, i want to know what its worth
A 1943 steel cent in typical, worn condition is worth around 10 to 25 cents.
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
I recently found a 1943 steel penny with a small D under the year? Was wondering if the penny is worth anything?
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.
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!
Hi, Brittany –
There are several dates you want to be on the lookout for. Here are some posts that should definitely help:
7 Rare Lincoln Wheat Cents: https://coins.thefuntimesguide.com/rare_wheat_pennies/
Semi-key Lincoln Cents: https://coins.thefuntimesguide.com/lincoln_semi_key_coins/
Scarce Lincoln Memorial Cents: https://coins.thefuntimesguide.com/lincoln_penny/
what is a double die penny
Hi, Monica –
A doubled die penny is one that was struck by a die (coin stamp) that was imprinted twice by a hub (the mold that creates an image on the die). This penny will therefore have a double image on parts of its design.
Here is a more detail description of a doubled die coin: https://coins.thefuntimesguide.com/error_coins-2/
The second coin photo on the following post has an image of a 1955 doubled die penny, one of the most popular doubled die coins ever made: https://coins.thefuntimesguide.com/coin_collectors-2/
I have lincoln copper cent coin 1919 can you tell me what is it worth?
and the other one is morgan silver coin 1898
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!
Well i have a 1940 and 1948 cent and I dont know wat to do with it
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.
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!!
I LOVE looking for old pennies, Amy! Here are some of the pennies you ought to be looking for:
43 Pennies Worth Holding Onto: https://coins.thefuntimesguide.com/valuable-pennies/
I have a 1906 indian head penny what is it worth.
Hello, Robert —
A 1906 Indian Head penny in well circulated condition is worth $2 to $5.
Thank you for your question!
I have a silver 1953 cent–anyone ever seen one before
Hello, DG —
You might want to check out this link on “silver” pennies that are from years other than 1943: https://coins.thefuntimesguide.com/silver-penny/
I also have sever all brass cents too
and my error cents and wheats are really available to anyone
I also have a few AM cents
the 1953 silver cent weighs 3.2 grams
I have a 1944 wheat penny
Two 1972 pennies that have a thinker border than most.
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!
I have a 1946-D penny, is it worth anything?
Hi, Tiffany –
A 1946-D Lincoln cent in worn condition is worth 5 to 8 cents.
Thanks for your question!
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?
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.
Josh @ TheFunTimesGuide
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.
I have an American penny dated 1925 and would like to know the approximent value of it
I have five wheat pennies dates are as follows: 1920, 1941, 1946, 1954D, 1958D are these worth anything?
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
I have a 1937 S cent how much is it worth
Hi, John —
A worn 1937-S Lincoln cent is worth 5 to 10 cents.
I have an 1801 penny! Is it worth anything?
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.
I have an 1927 penny…! is it worth anything…?
It is, Xavier! It’s worth at least 10 to 15 cents in well-worn condition.
I have a 1882 & 1897 Indian pennies what r they worth
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!
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 ..
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?
I’ve sent photo few times
Josh not sure if your receiving them..
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!
I have a 1970, 1987, 1956, 1984, 2009, 1975, and a 1964 penny. How much are they worth?
Hi i have a 1915 penny does it have a good value?????
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.
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?
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!
i found one similar to the picture displayed. it says 1944 and is copper. how much would it be valued
I have 3 pennies 1921 1917 and a 1893. Are they worth anything ? Also have 2 half pennies 1916 and 1936
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.
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.
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/
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
Hello, Nikki —
Assuming your 1902 Indian Head cent exhibits a typical amount of wear for its age, it’s worth about $2-3. Indian Head cents are fun to collect! Here’s some more info about them: https://coins.thefuntimesguide.com/indian_heady_penny_value/
I have this 1917-S Lincoln wheat that the L and the I are missing from liberty. What do you think?
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,
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
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!
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
Hi, Gavin —
Nice find! Your 1946-S Lincoln wheat cent is worth 5 to 10 cents in average circulated condition. The “S” is the mintmark for the San Francisco Mint, which struck your coin.
Here’s more info on mintmarks: https://coins.thefuntimesguide.com/mint_marks_letters_on_coins/
And a list of pennies that are worth more than face value: https://coins.thefuntimesguide.com/valuable-pennies/
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!
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
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.
I found these digging under my house… any info about the value would be greatly appreciated! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a486e742c196db0b372f602ba3ca38584f0ae1d121a423a0a8c7b9ac6963b845.jpg
The 1943 Lincoln steel cent is worth 25 to 50 cents, and the 1981 Lincoln cent has a value of about 2 cents for its copper value.
Here’s more info about the 1943 steel cent: https://coins.thefuntimesguide.com/1943_lincoln_cent/
And more about which old copper pennies: https://coins.thefuntimesguide.com/copper-pennies/
I have a penny that i don’t know the worth? The back of the penny has a man standing there?
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?
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!
1941 penny whats is this wirth
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.
A 1909 vdb n a 1913 no mintmark please can u tell me what are they worth ??? thanks……
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,
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 !!!!!!!
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,
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?
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.
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
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!
If you’re working with honest, legitimate dealers you should be in good shape. Seek a coin dealer who belongs to the Professional Numismatists Guild (PNG). You can search for one near you here: https://png.memberclicks.net/find-a-png-dealer
Also, here are some tips on how to find a good coin dealer: https://coins.thefuntimesguide.com/coin_dealer/
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?
Hi, Wyatt —
Here’s some info that should help you out:
1941 penny value: https://coins.thefuntimesguide.com/1941-penny-value/
(the value of your 1940 penny is similar to those quoted in that article, too)
thanks you joshua the fun times guide
You’re welcome, sir!
i have an indian nickel from 1937 can you tell me how much it is worth
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.
You’re welcome, Wyatt!
okay i have the following been some what confused on the obvious ones,
1902 – 04 05 07 indian head –
1909 no mark
1942 no mark copper
i also have a 1964 d dime hotlips version .. dont know a price as it was newly discovered
Hi, Mike —
Here’s a link with the pricing info on Indian Head pennies: https://coins.thefuntimesguide.com/indian_heady_penny_value/
As for the Lincoln penny values, here are a few links you’ll find helpful:
1909 penny values — https://coins.thefuntimesguide.com/1909-penny-value/
1942 penny values — https://coins.thefuntimesguide.com/1942-penny-value/
1945 penny values — https://coins.thefuntimesguide.com/1945-penny-value/
1958 penny values — https://coins.thefuntimesguide.com/1958-penny-value/
And for the other penny values…
1917 – 15 to 30 cents
1919 – 10 to 20 cents
1920 – 10 to 20 cents
1927 – 7 to 15 cents
1928 – 7 to 15 cents
1929 – 7 to 15 cents
1936 – 5 to 10 cents
1954 – 10 to 20 cents
1956 – 3 to 8 cents
1962 – 2 cents
1965 – 2 cents
Hi I have a 1998 d Lincoln penny that is of center. My question is what are the marks on the top left side (over the word God) of the rim and about how much is this penny worth? Thank you
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/
Thank you Joshua appreciate your time.
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
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.
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
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.
Thank you so much for you help Mr. Joshua. Will do.
Hi I have penny from 1945 is worth anything or just don’t have any value?
Hi, Stephanie —
Here’s the value of your 1945 penny: https://coins.thefuntimesguide.com/1945-penny-value/
Hi I have a small date 1982 D that is double struck on the S in trust and the#2 in the date. Is that worth anything?
Hi, Julie —
Would you please post clear photos of this piece so I can further advise?
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.
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,