Wondering which pennies are worth more than face value? Which pennies you should be holding onto, rather than spending?
Well here you go — a list of the most valuable pennies, each worth more than $1 apiece.
Use this cheat sheet to help you determine which pennies are worth saving and which ones are worth spending!
Which Lincoln Pennies To Keep
Of all the coins ever made by the United States Mint since 1793, arguably the most popular and widely collected among them are Lincoln pennies.
The Lincoln cent (technically, only Great Britain officially has a denomination called the “penny”) is a favorite among collectors young and old, rich and poor. It’s also one of my favorite coins.
Lincoln pennies are the first coins I ever collected when I initially charted my path in the hobby back in 1992, and it’s by far the coin series I’m most often asked about from readers here at The Fun Times Guide.
If you want to know what your U.S. penny is worth, then read on!
Here’s a quick rundown of all the most important Lincoln pennies you should be keeping:
- All Lincoln wheat pennies made from 1909-1958
- All Lincoln Memorial pennies made from 1959-1981
- Copper Lincoln Memorial pennies made in 1982 (These weigh 3.11 grams versus 2.5 grams for the pennies made from copper-plated zinc)
43 Most Valuable Pennies – By Date
So now you have a good idea of which types of pennies to keep. Are you wondering about specific dates?
Well, here’s a cheat sheet of the most valuable pennies to keep. Get ready… this is a long list!
The dates listed below are worth more than just a few cents, unlike most of the ones referenced above.
Values are for problem-free coins in a grade of Good or better, and uncirculated for those dated 1959 and later.
- 1909 — $3 and up
- 1909 VDB — $10 and up
- 1909-S — $85 and up
- 1909-S VDB — $750 and up
- 1910-S – $15
- 1911-D – $5
- 1911-S – $40
- 1912 – $1
- 1912-D – $6
- 1912-S – $20
- 1913-D – $3
- 1913-S – $12
- 1914-D – $175
- 1914-S – $20
- 1915 – $1.50
- 1915-D – $2
- 1915-S – $20
- 1916-D – $1
- 1916-S – $1.50
- 1921-S – $1
- 1922-D – $15
- 1922 plain – $650
- 1923-S – $2
- 1924-D – $30
- 1924-S – $1
- 1926-S – $5
- 1931-D – $4
- 1931-S – $100
- 1932 – $1.50
- 1932-D – $1
- 1933 – $1
- 1933-D – $2
- 1943-D boldly doubled mintmark – $10
- 1944 D/S – $125
- 1946-S/D – $35
- 1955 doubled die, obverse — $1,200
- 1970-S small date – $30
- 1972 doubled die – $300
- 1983 doubled die – $250
- 1984 doubled die – $200
- 1992-D close “AM” – $500
- 1995 doubled die – $25
- 1999 wide “AM” – $500
As you’ll notice, there are several dates missing here. The pennies that aren’t on this list are worth only a nominal amount, which is usually between 3 cents and $1. The list above also doesn’t include proof Lincoln cents, which you wouldn’t ordinarily find in circulation.
Must read: How To Determine The Grade Of A Coin
Other Valuable Pennies
- 1943 Lincoln Cents
- Silver Pennies Not From 1943
- 1944 Steel Pennies
- Wheat Pennies
- Indian Head Pennies
4 Places To Find Rare & Valuable Pennies
Know where to look for rare pennies?
Four of the best places to find them are:
- In rolls of coins – Roll hunting is one of the best ways to find old coins, and sometimes the pieces you’ll find are quite valuable. I’ve found many old and obsolete coins by searching for them in rolls of coins.
- At yard sales and flea markets – Many people have no idea which coins are rare and they often end up selling them unwittingly in a rummage sale or flea market. You’ll be surprised how many bargains will be found at both yard sales and flea markets. Just be sure what you’re buying is authentic!
- In a family heirloom chest – Sometimes rare coins are already in the family, and may be tucked away in an old chest or another safe location. Attics and basements hold troves of valuable estate coins, often unbeknownst to the current occupants of the home.
- In your pocket change – Rare pennies do still turn up in circulation, though you’ll need a keen eye and a good deal of patience to find them this way. Good luck!