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Most pennies are worth 1 cent, but to coin collectors, some space worth more than their weight in gold.

You are watching: How much is a 1792 penny worth

Earlier this year, an plain looking penny made headlines when it was found among the possessions the a guy named Don Lutes. The 1943 copper Lincoln cent attracted nearly 30 bids and sold because that $204,000 in January, follow to heritage Auctions, the company that performed the sale.


"The climate 16-year-old Lutes received the copper-colored penny in adjust at his high college cafeteria in 1947," David Stone, a coin cataloger for Heritage, told glossesweb.com make It.

Lutes owned the coin till his fatality in 2018. In failing health, the consigned it come Heritage. Proceeds that the sale saw the Berkshire Athenaeum in his hometown the Pittsfield, Massachusetts, follow to the Dallas-based auction house.


"One-cent coins have been about since the beginning of the U.S. Financial system," rock said. "Several prototypes because that the cent were developed in 1792, including the huge Birch cent."

The ideal known 1792 Birch cent sold at a heritage auction in 2015 for nearly $2.6 million, making it the most ever before paid for a one-cent item at auction, that said.

A penny's worth relies on that is quality and rarity. While most pennies are just worth a few bucks, very coveted ones can be sit in your pocket or grounding somewhere in her couch cushions.


The odds are long, however they're still fine worth looking for. So prior to you say, "Keep the change," inspect to watch if you have any type of of these an important pennies:

1. 1943 bronze Lincoln


(Image: heritage Auctions, HA.com)

Only a handful of this bronze pennies have been discovered, consisting of the one discovered by Lutes. "The most valuable Lincoln cent offered privately in 2010 for $1.7 million," said Stone.

In bespeak to keep copper because that the battle effort, the U.S. Mint switched come making pennies native zinc-coated steel planchets, rather of the normal bronze coin blanks, rock explained. At least, that's what was an alleged to happen.

As fate would have actually it, "some that the old bronze planchets obtained stuck in the big tote bins that the Mint used to feeding the coin presses at the finish of 1942," the said. "The few bronze coins that were struck went unnoticed and also got released into circulation."

Today, the 1943 copper Lincoln cent is explained as "the most renowned error coin in American numismatics" — and the odds of detect one are astronomically against.

Stone approximates that 15 come 20 are recognized to collectors today, back it's feasible that there space a couple of that have not however been accounting for.

"A nice circulated example, favor Lutes' coin, could sell for about $150,000 come $200,000. Heritage auctioned a similar one — in slightly reduced grade — for $186,000 earlier this month," the said.

Due come its value, part counterfeits were created with stole cores. If friend think you've found a 1943 bronze Lincoln, the Mint says testing it through a magnet first. If it sticks, it's no copper.

2. 1969-S Doubled dice Obverse


(Image: heritage Auctions, HA.com)

Doubled dies are produced when the hub imprints secondary image ~ above a dice — or rubber stamp — leading to some misalignment. The doubling occurs from failure in the minting process, James Bucki, a coin professional at The Spruce Crafts, explained to glossesweb.com do It.

The doubling on the 1969-S Doubled dice Obverse is specifically prominent in the words "LIBERTY" and also "IN GOD we TRUST," he said. (Collectors describe the obverse that a coin as the front or "heads" next — usually bearing a portrait.) Also, look for the letter "S" right below the year 1969, which means it was produced at the mountain Francisco Mint.

Bucki approximates that 1,000 or much less were made before the Mint found its error. A coin in great condition could go for around $75,000. Critical year, one offered for $35,000, follow to Coin World, a famous news and evaluation website for collectors.

3. 1992 Close to be Reverse


(Image credit: heritage Auctions, HA.com)

"On the turning back of the 1992 close AM, the ideal foot of the 'A' and left foot of the 'M' in 'AMERICA' touch," said Stone. (Most pennies minted that year have very definite spaces in between those letters.)

This came about because in the 1990s and also early 2000s, the Mint used various dies for developing coins for circulation and also proof coins for collectors, explained Bucki.

But as result of a mix-up, a proof dice was offered for the turning back of the coin prior to it was claimed to be used beginning in 1993. It's likely that whole run that 250,000 pennies were printed this way, he said. That renders them much less complicated to discover than the 1969 Doubled dice coins.

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Bucki approximates that a 1992 Close to be coin in fairly new condition could be worth about $20,000, when a supplied one could sell for roughly $2,000 to $3,000. One marketed at a Heritage revenue in 2012 for an ext than $20,000, according to Coin World.