1909-S VDB Wheat Penny: Do You Need This in Your Collection?

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Written By Natasha Jones
I'm Natasha Jones, an avid collector of coins, stamps, and paper money. My passion drives me to seek unique finds, from antique shops to international exchanges. I enjoy connecting with fellow collectors through forums and meet-ups, sharing discoveries and insights. Collecting, for me, is about preserving history and building a community around this shared interest.

The 1909-S VDB Wheat Penny is a rare coin that was minted in San Francisco in 1909.  

I will take a closer look at the features of this coin and what makes it so special.

Key Takeaways:

1. The 1909-S VDB Wheat Penny is a rare and valuable coin that was minted in San Francisco in 1909.
2. Its features include the initials “VDB” on the reverse side, low mintage, and historical significance.
3. The current market value of the 1909-S VDB Wheat Penny is affected by factors such as condition, rarity, and demand.

Is it Worth Collecting?

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So, is it worth collecting?

If you’re a serious collector looking to complete a set or add a rare coin to your collection, then the 1909-S VDB Wheat Penny is definitely worth considering.

However, if you’re just starting or collecting for fun, it might not be the best choice due to its high price

Ultimately, the decision to collect the 1909-S VDB Wheat Penny is up to you and your personal collecting goals.

Features of the 1909-S VDB Wheat Penny

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As a coin collector, I have come across many rare and valuable coins, but the 1909-S VDB Wheat Penny stands out as one of the most sought-after coins in the US.

Here are some of the features that make this coin unique:

  1. Designer
    • The 1909-S VDB Wheat Penny was designed by Victor D. Brenner, a Lithuanian-born American sculptor, engraver, and medalist.
    • President Theodore Roosevelt commissioned Brenner to design the new cent coin in 1908, and his design was chosen among many others.
  2. Mintage
    • The 1909-S VDB Wheat Penny has a relatively low mintage of 484,000, making it one of the rarest in the Lincoln Cent series.
    • The “S” mint mark on the obverse side of the coin indicates that it was minted in San Francisco.
  3. Composition
    • The 1909-S VDB Wheat Penny is made of 95% copper and 5% tin and zinc, giving it a reddish-brown color. The coin weighs 3.11g and has a diameter of 19mm.
  4. Historical Significance
    • The 1909-S VDB Wheat Penny is significant not only for its rarity and value but also for its historical significance.
    • It was the first coin to feature the likeness of Abraham Lincoln, who had been assassinated just 44 years earlier. 
    • The coin was also released during a time of great change in the US, as the country was transitioning from an agricultural to an industrial economy.

Current Market Value

GradesPrice as of November 2023
Good (G-4)$803
Very Good (VG-8)$868
Fine (F-12)$993
Very Fine (VF-20)$1,109
Extremely Fine (EF-40)$1,256
About Uncirculated (AU-50)$1,494
Uncirculated (MS-60)$1,899
Brilliant Uncirculated (MS-63)$2,332

The current market value of the 1909-S VDB Wheat Penny varies depending on its condition.

According to APMEX, the coin’s average value in the circulated condition is estimated to be around $800 up to $1,200, while a mint state coin could be valued at around $1,800 up to $2,000+ for a brilliant uncirculated condition

However, it is important to note that the condition of the coin greatly affects its value.

Factors such as scratches, wear and tear, and discoloration can significantly decrease its worth.

It is also worth mentioning that the 1909-S VDB Wheat Penny has been known to fetch even higher prices at auctions and private sales due to its rarity and historical significance.

Overall, the 1909-S VDB Wheat Penny is a valuable and highly sought-after coin among collectors.

Its rarity and historical significance make it a must-have for serious collectors of the Lincoln Wheat Penny series.

Factors Affecting Value

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When it comes to determining the value of a 1909-S VDB Wheat Penny, there are several factors to consider.

  1. Condition
    • Coins that are in mint condition or close to it will fetch a higher price than those that are heavily circulated or damaged.
  2. Rarity
    • The 1909-S VDB Wheat Penny is considered one of the rarest and most sought-after coins in the United States.
    • Only a limited number of these coins were minted, and many were later melted down, making them even scarcer.
  3. Historical Significance
    • The 1909-S VDB Wheat Penny is historically significant because it was the first year that the Lincoln cent was minted.
    • Additionally, the initials “VDB” on the coin represent the designer, Victor David Brenner, and were later removed due to controversy.
    • Collectors who value the historical significance of the coin may be willing to pay a higher price for it.

Before you go…

Overall, the 1909-S VDB Wheat Penny is a valuable and fascinating piece of American history that should be considered for any serious collector’s collection. Its rarity and unique design make it a highly sought-after item, and its value is likely to continue to increase over time.

Check out my next article: “1884 Liberty Nickel: Do You Need This in Your Collection?

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