Written by Javier Mercado
Would you like to know which valuable pennies are considered important coins with value? Here’s a penny for our thoughts.
Made in the United States since 1856, these valuable little coins can give more than a few surprises as far as their value is concerned.
A guide to the most valuable pennies – Years worth most money
It’s curious that precisely one of the most humble currencies in the United States can reach such extraordinary prices.
Here is the TOP 7 most valuable pennies in US.
#1 – 1944 Steel Wheat Pennies
Are wheat pennies worth anything? The answer is most definitely – yes! These pennies’ value does not correspond to their size at all…
Among the list of pennies that are worth a lot of money, this coin stands out. For reasons that are still uncertain, a few pennies were minted in steel in 1944. Experts claim that plates of this metal were slipped in during the minting by mistake.
These steel coins can be sold to American coin collectors for values ranging between $77,000 – $100,000.
Pennies with Errors
In an auction of American coins, this Lincoln Cent reached $110,000. According to the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) they are “the most desirable and expensive coins in American numismatics with minting errors”. If you find some pennies with errors, you may just have a treasure in your hands!
How do I know if my pennies are made of steel?
Pennies are one of the favorite pieces for counterfeiters. That is why there are many supposed steel pennies from 1943, that are, in fact, not. They are actually copper coins with a zinc coating, made specifically to sell them as genuine Steel Wheat Pennies.
How do you know if your valuable pennies of value are fake?
Simple – with a magnet, you can tell if the coin is copper or steel-plated copper. If it sticks to the magnet it will be steel, otherwise, it is not.
#2 – 1943 Copper Wheat Pennies
With an average value of $60,000, these 1943 pennies can reach $86,000 in numismatic auctions. As with the steel ones, they are thought to have been minted by mistake.
Watch out! Given the price of these 1943 pennies with copper, many counterfeits are in circulation. Although many of them are actually from 1948, the ‘3’ has been modified to look like an ‘8’. In this case, if you test the magnet and it sticks to it, you know it is a fake.
In fact, almost all of the 1943 pennies were made of steel. However, due to the minting error or perhaps forgetfulness of some copper plates, during this year these copper pennies made that are so expensive today were minted.
By the way, experts believe that there are still many yet to be discovered!
#3 – 1873 Indian Head 1873
What pennies are worth money? Among the most valuable pennies, the next in line is the Doubled Liberty, which normally costs only $20, but in MS+ status can achieve whopping values of $10,000.
How to identify the Doubled Liberty variety?
Luckily it’s very simple – the word Liberty on the Indian’s head appears double-embossed (see image below for reference).
Types of Indian Head Pennies
The 1873 Indian Head one-cent piece comes in two types, depending on the opening of the ‘3’ in the year ‘1873’ embossment. In the photo above, the variety is the open type. On the other hand, the closed variety has a smaller opening between the upper and lower segments of the number ‘3’. Time to get your magnifying glass out!
Both varieties are valuable cents. But we coin enthusiasts are always talking about the Doubled Liberty. Otherwise, its maximum price is around $300.
What are pennies made of?
Copper, steel or zinc. The history of US pennies is full of variations and ‘secrets’ that offer excellent opportunities for great profits!
#4 – 1914 Wheat Penny D
This tiny penny ranks third in this select group of pennies worth money. It is a rare American penny minted at the Denver Mint (hence the D) and can fetch prices of up to $5,500.
#5 – 1922 Wheat Pennies D
Two versions of this wheat penny, named for the crop depicted on its reverse, and minted at the Denver Mint, are known to exist – without the ‘D’ and with the weak ‘D’. Given the difficulty of verifying them, it should be the job of an expert to authenticate it. The most coveted is the one without the D, which could be worth several thousand dollars – $33,000 to be exact. For the rest, the standard price is $175.
#6 – 1877 Indian Head Pennies
Less than one million of these coins were issued in 1877. If we compare it with the following issue numbers of 7.9 and 5.9 million, we can understand why they are so expensive without having to search for hidden rarities. It reaches values of an enormous $3200.
#7 – 1926 Wheat Pennies
According to cointrackers.com, this Philadelphia penny is a treasured collector’s coin, as it can be worth a whole lot of money – $3000.
Bonus – How much are 1964 US Pennies worth?
While the standard price is usually the obvious value of one cent, if the coin is in a MINT state, this 1964 penny can cost about $12 (this includes 1964 D pennies too). In that year, almost 4 million Proof coins were issued, reaching a current price of $1.75.
Apasionado de las inversiones, historia y coleccionismo de monedas en general. Licenciado en Antropología Cultural por la UNED y graduado en Informática por la Universidad de Cádiz. Escribo en diversos medios digitales especializados en coleccionismo, subastas y antigüedades.
A fan of investments, numismatics, history and coin collecting in general. Graduate in Cultural Anthropology and computer science. I write in several digital media specialized in collecting, auctions and antiques reviews. I like reliable information, so my main sources are the American Numismatic Association (ANA), the Numismatic Literary Guild (NLG) and numismatic publications: CoinWeek, COINage, The Numismatist, Numismatic News, Coin Dealer Newsletter and Coin Values.