If you are into coin collection, then you must be familiar with the wheat penny. Also known as the “Wheat Cent” or “Lincoln’s Wheat Penny”, wheat pennies were the classic coin minted from the early 21st century. It was the first coin that features the profile of the 16th president of the US Abraham Lincoln. It was in 1909 when the first wheat penny was released. It was made mostly of copper and has its engraver’s initials inscribed in it. However, shortly after that, the engraver’s initials were removed as it was said to be blatantly displayed.
The San Francisco Mint in 1909 was still not capable of producing a large number of coins, and so, only 484,000 V.D.B. Lincoln Wheat Pennies were made. It was during World War II when the steel versions of a wheat penny were released because of limited resources of copper. However, due to a minting error in 1943, a small amount of copper blanks was left in the minting machine which resulted in a few copper wheat pennies. These 1909 and 1943 copper wheat pennies that are still existing today are valued from $2,000 t0 $50,000 today.
Many of these wheat pennies still exist today. If you are looking for some to add to your collection, then these 7 rare wheat pennies are a must-have for every coin collector.
- 1909-S V.D.B. Wheat Penny
This was the first wheat pennies engraved by the well-known medalist Victor David Brenner. The initials of the engraver were found on the reverse, and at the center just below the wheat stalks. Its face value is $0.01, however, it can easily command for an average of $950, while one in certified mint state (MS+) could be worth $2,200 at an auction.
- 1909-S Wheat Penny
The 1909-S wheat penny is another product of the San Francisco mint. There are only 8 recorded wheat pennies of this category existing today. The 1909-S wheat penny can be valued at around $116, while one in certified mint state (MS+) can be owned for $550 at an auction.
- 1914-D Wheat Penny
The 1914-D Wheat Penny is considered the most valuable wheat pennies without error. A 1914-D Wheat Penny of an average condition can be valued at $281, while one in certified mint state (MS+) could reach up to $5,500 at an auction.
- 1922 “Plain” Wheat Penny
The 1922 “Plain” Wheat Penny is one of the most popular wheat pennies that many collectors are looking to have despite its error. However, it was produced in a mint in Denver and because of an error, the coins never had a trace of D under the date on the coins. A 1922 “Plain” Wheat Penny of an average condition can be valued at $21, while one in certified mint state (MS+) could reach up to $5,000 at an auction.
- 1931 S Wheat Penny
The 1931 S Wheat Penny was produced in the San Francisco mint with only a total of 866,000 coins. This small amount of production is what makes this wheat penny very rare and popular today. A 1931 S Wheat Penny of an average condition can be valued at $100, while one in certified mint state (MS+) could reach up to $200 at an auction.