Pennies are amongst the most famous collectibles, also though lock are amongst the smallest circulating coins and contain no bullion value. Yet, these coins, many of i m sorry contain at the very least a small amount of beneficial copper, are amongst the most beloved collectibles.

For numerous collectors, pennies room the an initial coins they ever incorporate in your sets. And countless collectors spend a lifetime building and improving on their sets that pennies. 

This, of course, leads one to wonder what the most an useful pennies are. Most of the Lincoln Wheat cent one encounters indigenous the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s space worth only a couple of cents each. And also worn Lincoln Memorial cent struck native 1959 through 1981 space worth around 2 cent for their copper value. Circulated Lincoln cent made because are usually worth their challenge value.

But there room several an important pennies precious much more than simply a couple of cents apiece. this is a overview of 10 of the most beneficial pennies made due to the fact that 1900: 

1. 1909-S Indian Cent

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Image: USA CoinBook

The lowest-mintage circulation to win of the Indian cent series is the 1909-S, which to be struck to the tune of just 309,000 pieces. Values start at roughly $300 for even well-worn specimens, and prices climb above $1,000 for uncirculated pieces.

2. 1909-S VDB Lincoln Cent

1909-S "VDB" Lincoln Wheat cent. Image: USA CoinBook

There is possibly no 20th-century coin an ext famous than the 1909-S VDB Lincoln cent. It is a penny the is the object of desire because that not simply Lincoln collection enthusiasts but likewise for every collectors who want to own this widely known rarity.

Only 484,000 piece were made, and far fewer exist today, advertise prices above $600 for well-worn examples and more than $1,300 for uncirculated specimens.

3. 1914-D Lincoln Cent

Image: USA CoinBook

This early mint significant Lincoln cent is a extremely regarded rarity the rises come the ranks of gift a an essential alongside the top 1909-S VDB penny. Just 1,193,000 to be made, and also the variety of survivors is however a fraction of that figure today. The 1914-D Lincoln cent sells for around $150 in well-worn grades and well end $2,200 in uncirculated grades.

4. 1922 level Lincoln Cent

Image: USA CoinBook

For part time, the occurrence of a 1922 Lincoln penny without a mintmark led numerous in the numismatic ar to i think it to be a Philadelphia strike. However, mint records verified no Lincoln cents were made in ~ the Philadelphia Mint in 1922 and also that every pennies to be struck in Denver the year.

Apparently, heavy die polishing brought about the obliteration that the “D” mintmark ~ above the obverse the a small variety of 1922 pennies, every one of which space worth about $500 and up also in well-worn condition. The tiny handful of rare uncirculated specimens begin at over $10,500 a piece.

5. 1931-S Lincoln Cent

Image: USA CoinBook

During the leanest years of the good Depression, the United claims Mint clamped down on the manufacturing of many coins, consisting of the Lincoln cent. In 1931, the U.S. Mint greatly decreased the variety of Lincoln cent it produced. The san Francisco Mint struck only 866,000 examples of the penny the year.

While many collectors conserved 1931-S Lincoln cents from work one, this worry remains a scarce semi-key coin worth roughly $65 in circulated graded and $100 and also up in uncirculated grades.

6. 1943 copper Lincoln Cent

1943 copper (bronze) Lincoln penny

In 1943, the United states Mint began striking Lincoln cent out that zinc-coated steel to assist save copper for world War II ammunition. Much more than one billion 1943 steel cent were struck, but a couple of were accidentally make from copper planchets. It"s unknown exactly how many exist, yet the number totals approximately two dozen from the Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco Mints combined.

Regardless the condition, 1943 copper pennies tend to sell for approximately $125,000 and up.

7. 1944 stole Lincoln Cent


The an ext common 1943 steel Lincoln cent. Image: USA CoinBook

The 1943 steel cent were officially a one-year-only production, but a couple of leftover stole planchets to be inadvertently stamped v 1944-dated Lincoln cent die intended for bronze production. This are about as rare as the 1943 bronze pennies and also generally profession hands in the community of $75,000 to $125,000 apiece.

8. 1955 Doubled dice Lincoln Cent

Image: USA CoinBook

One that the most well-known varieties ever struck was the 1955 doubled dice Lincoln cent. The coins led to a stir once they appeared in circulation and also helped fuel a surge in coin collecting throughout the 1950s and also early ‘60s.

The 1955 doubled dice penny shows heavy doubling in the obverse inscriptions and also the date. The is worth $1,000 and up even in well-worn condition, with uncirculated specimens acquisition $2,000 or more.

9. 1969-S Doubled dice Lincoln Cent

Image: USA CoinBook

One that the most an useful doubled die ranges ever developed is this 1969-S penny error. This issue numbers just a handful of specimens and also is worth an ext than $30,000.

Doubling is apparent on the obverse in the inscription and date however not the mintmark. The mintmark was hand-punched ~ above the dice after it to be hubbed (the process of creating a working die, whereby the copy on this coin would have actually occurred).

10. 1972 Doubled dice Lincoln Cent

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Image: USA CoinBook

Another doubled dice Lincoln cent rounds out the height 10 ~ above this list of most beneficial pennies, through this extremely popular variety from 1972. The 1972 doubled die penny shows significant doubling top top the obverse and is most noticeable in the date and inscription “LIBERTY.”

There are numerous classifications that 1972 doubled die pennies, but the rarest and most preferable are commonly categorized as “Class I” or something similar. These space worth around $200 in circulated grades and $300 or much more in uncirculated grades.

Getting the many Money for your Coins

Whether you have an important pennies or various other coins her wish come sell, it’s ideal to take them come a coin dealer that is reputable, ready to educate you on what you have, and also pays fair prices. Work-related with a coin dealer that has been affiliated in the numismatic market for plenty of years, has actually affiliations with establishments such as expert Coin Grading Service and Numismatic Guaranty Corporation, and also hires very experienced experts who room willing to answer your inquiries with courtesy and also skill. 

Joshua McMorrow-Hernandez is a journalist, editor, and also blogger who has actually won multiple awards from the Numismatic literature Guild. He has additionally authored countless books, including works profiling the history of the United states Mint and United states coinage.