US Lincoln Cent (Penny)  1909 to Date
US Lincoln Cent (Penny) 1909 to Date

Most people think that old fashioned wheat-backed Lincoln cents (pennies) are very valuable. In fact, millions and millions of them were minted and all but a handful carry no significant value. When worn or in average circulated condition, most wheaties are worth a few cents each. Even in fully uncirculated condition, coins dated after 1933 are worth a few US dollars each. For most coins before 1934, here is how the catalog values run:

LINCOLN CENTS DATED BEFORE 1934 (except as noted below):
worn: less than $1 US dollar catalog value
average circulated: $2
well preserved: $4
fully uncirculated: $15


Below are the valuable dates and mint marks for circulated wheaties. If you have one of these, you have a valuable coin. If your wheatie does not appear on this list, it is worth the values summarized above. The value after each date and mint mark gives approximate catalog value for problem-free coins in average circulated condition. Coins in better condition will be worth much more. Problems include cleaning, spots, scratches, stains, and similar damage. If problems are present, the values go WAY down.

KEY DATE LINCOLN CENTS (catalog values are for average circulated condition)
1955 doubled die: $1800 see this link
1931S: $100
1924D: $50
1922: $1500
1922D: $20
1914D: $350 (pictured)
1914S: $30
1913S: $25
1912S: $35
1911S: $49
1910S: $23
1909S: $130
1909S VDB: $700 see this link
1909 VDB: $11

If you have one of these, congratulations. Lincoln cents are aggressively collected by thousands of people. As such, valuable dates are often counterfeited. A few jeweler's tools and a steady hand can transform a 1914 cent into a 1914D cent, multiplying its value 100s of times. Be careful for fake wheaties. If you have doubts, contact CoinQuest and we can help. Never buy an expensive coin from someone you do not trust.

Use our Important Terminology page to convert these catalog values to actual buy and sell values. Actual values are substantially less than catalog values.

Lastly, there is a common-held misbelief that 1943 steel cents are valuable. This is not true. They, too, are worth a few cents each, like their copper cousins. It is a 1943 copper cent that is worth tens of thousands of dollars. For a picture of a steelie, check this CoinQuest link.

Coin: 715 , Genre: United States
Requested by: , Wed, 24-Jun-2009 18:32:01 GMT
Answered by: Paul, Sat, 31-May-2014 16:10:31 GMT
Reviewed by CoinQuest. Appraisal ok., Wed, 18-May-2016 16:33:49 GMT
Requester description: 1939 Lincoln cent
Tags: us usa lincoln cent penny peny cents pennys pennies copper wheat wheatie steelie steel one coppers bronze coppery brass cupro weat wheats ones beard hair grain hairdo hairline grains


I have a lincoln penny from 1969 and it looks like it has an 8 or s under the date. Is this worth keeping? - Edgar
It will be worth less than 3 US cents for about the next 25 years. - CoinQuest (Paul)

I have a 1944 Lincoln penny with an s, could this be a valuable coin - Jennifer
No. The 1944S is a common date and worth very little. - CoinQuest (Paul)

Never thought I would discover a website on coins that is short and to the point. It seems to be a very wise website. I like it. - Mike
Thanks. Our clientele are mostly non-collectors. We are very shallow on purpose. I'd appreciate your reading of the the ABOUT page [Press Here]. - CoinQuest (Paul)

I have a 1989, copper, U.S.A, one cent coin and I am wondering if it is worth anything right now
- viv
It is worth almost nothing. It is not even made out of copper -- only copper-plated zinc. - CoinQuest (Paul)

Hi, i have 1911 and 1916 lincoln one cent with no mint mark. Is it worth anything? - amanda
Value depends on condition. Values are shown above under LINCOLN CENTS DATED BEFORE 1934. See our Important Terminology page for pictures of coins in different conditions. - CoinQuest (Paul)

I have a 1976 Lincoln penny with the liberty bell by his head and the U.S. pic by his mouth. The penny is silver. Is it worth anything? - lydia
These are novelty items made by entrepreneurs who try to sell them for a few dollars each. They are worth essentially zero. They are stamped and plated by hand. - CoinQuest (Paul)

I have what looks like a 1922 wheat penny but the last 2 looks like its turned crazy or is half a 2 and half a 4?.? Could this be valuable? And it does have a D under the date
- Mike
1922D is a 'better date' Lincoln, but we have never seen one as you describe. If the odd 2 is due to damage inflicted after it left the mint, then it has no additional value. If, however, the odd 2 was made at the mint, then it is an 'error coin' with good additional value. To tell, we need to see a picture. To send pics, start an e-mail exchange using the Contact button at the top of the home page. - CoinQuest (Paul)

i have a 1961d one cent good condition, but my question is why on ebay a penny that looks just like my penny its been sold for over 3000,00. its new, thats all i can see whats the difference between my cent and the one on ebay. i would like to know if there is a value for this coin? thank ou - Malisa
The ones that sell for that much are either key dates, varieties (like a doubled die), or coins that are a very high grade and are hard to find in such a grade. The date on the coin matters and a 1961 D cent is common and definitely not worth thousands of dollars. - CoinQuest (Todd)

I have a folder titled Lincoln Cent Story. It has 9 pennies in it. One is called a Shell Casing. It is dated 1945. What is it worth? - Michaela
Lincoln cents dated 1944 and 1945 were made with recycled shell casings from WWII. Some of them have discolorations from other substances found in the casings, and some appear normal. The value is the same as described in the first paragraph on this page. - CoinQuest (Todd)

Came across a 1950 cent that appears to have a slight imprint but revered and upside down ...any thoughts or suggestions - Sherman
Find a coin dealer in your area and take it to him or her for an in-person inspection. Be careful about 'upside down.' When you flip a coin from top to bottom you get a different result than when you flip it from left to right. - CoinQuest (Paul)

I have a 1984 American cent it has Lincolns head on one side and the Lincoln memorial on the other and it says on it 'in God we trust.' Does anyone know how much its worth?? - JRA

I have a 1952 penny with a d mint mark. Does it. Increase value at all? - Justin Valero
Circulated, it will be many decades before 1952 cents gather collector value over 50 cents each. Fully uncirculated coins will get there much faster. - CoinQuest (Paul)

I have a circulated 1914 D Lincoln wheat penny. Looking to sell for the best price. Does not look to be an altered 1944. Any input? Never done this before. - Richard
CoinQuest doesn't buy or sell coins, but we do have a free ad service if you'd like to create one. Just click 'Buy and Sell Coins' to get started. Ebay is another option, as well as finding a local coin shop to see what they'll offer you for it. Keep in mind that a dealer will offer you less than a collector would -- they have to make a profit. - CoinQuest (Todd)

i have a 1919 one cent penny is this valuble? - Sharon
Please read the page. - CoinQuest (Paul)

Hi I have one with 1937 on it. Is it worth keeping. thanks - T.W.P.
It's worth a few cents in circulated condition - but it's a neat old coin! - CoinQuest (Todd)

I have a Lincoln united states of America One cent coin liberty on left side of head and the date on right which says 1956 under the 9 and to the Right a little in the date is what looks like an L
The 'L' is most likely what remains of the 'D' mint mark, which indicates your coin was minted in Denver. - CoinQuest (Todd)

I have a1982 lincon penny thats larger and thicker than a regular penny,and has 2 colors
The bronze 1982 cents do weigh a bit more than their zinc counterparts - 3.11 grams versus 2.5 grams. If you'd like us to have a look at it, please CLICK HERE. - CoinQuest (Todd)





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