Not every day, you come across a penny collection worth millions of dollars. There are only a handful of collections in the world that are worth more than just a few hundred dollars.
So what makes these penny collections so valuable? The answer lies in the rarity and history of the coins.
This blog post will take a rare look inside one of history’s most valuable penny collections.
In 2019, an ordinary-looking penny is in the news because it was sold for $204,000 after attracting nearly 30 bids. One-cent is one of the first coins available in the market since the beginning of the U.S. monetary system. The penny was once made of copper, but now it is mostly zinc with a thin copper coating.
The value of the penny has been debated over the years as its purchasing power declines. In 2013, TIME magazine published an article called “Why Pennies are Worthless,” stating that the cost to produce a penny exceeded its face value. However, certain pennies are not worthless. We have compiled the top 20 of the most valuable pennies in history. Check it out
23 Most Valuable Penny Collections in History:
1. 1999 Wide AM Reverse
The first one on our list is a Memorial Reverse Penny. The red version of this coin was last auctioned with the price of $2,300, and that was on August 15, 2011. So on an estimate, a brand-new coin can get around $500, and a used one can earn approximately $45.
2. 1995 Doubled Die Obverse
One of the easiest coins to find. The 1995 Double Die Obverse can be an excellent coin for someone new to coin collecting. However, it is pretty common to find this coin; it is not as valuable as other rare coins in the market. Nonetheless, it did fetch around $5,000 during an auction in 2017.
3. 1983 Double Die Reverse
One of the strongest of the Lincoln Cent Series, made from copper-plated zinc. This 1983 Double Die Reverse Lincoln cent was auctioned off for $7,050 in 2017
4. 1972 Doubled Die Obverse
In 2019, this coin was sold for $14,000. The 1972 Doubled Die Obverse penny is one of the most valuable coins in the Lincoln penny series. In addition, this coin is considered central in the Lincoln cent series because it is Type 1.
5. 1992 Close AM Reverse
Only 3 1992-P Close AM varieties have been discovered as of 2009. The only non-error coin in the entire Lincoln cent series. It was sold in an auction for $25,850 in 2017.
6. 1873 Doubled ‘Closed 3’ Indian Head Penny
Not many of this Indian Head Penny are available in existence nowadays. In total, there are only about 500 of these coins available.
For that reason, it is pretty expensive to get a hold on. For example, this coin fetched $54,625 from an auction in 2000.
7. 1922-D Lincoln, No D, Strong Reverse, Die Pair 2
About 15,000 to 20,000 of these coins were produced. A penny without a mint mark was sold in an auction for $82,250 in 2013.
8. 1922 Lincoln No D Strong Reverse and Weak Obverse Wheat Penny
One of the hardest pennies to collect due to its popularity. Most collectors would love to have this in their collection. Because of that reason, this coin comes with a premium. In 2008, this coin was sold for $92,000 in an auction.
9. 1914-S Lincoln Penny
It is extremely rare to find an uncirculated piece of this penny. However, a mint-quality of this penny was auctioned in 2006 for $105,800.
10. 1944-D Lincoln Penny
An error that leads to being one of the most in-demand pennies you can have in your coin collection. To get one of these is pretty hard, though; it is believed that no more than 10 are available right now. Nevertheless, it was sold in an auction for $115,000 in 2007.
11. 1872 Indian Head Penny
It is hard to find a perfect one for this coin. A mint condition would fetch 6 figures, just like the one sold in an auction in 2007 for $126,500.
12. 1969-S Doubled Die Obverse
This is one of the rarest coins in the most wanted penny collection. It is in demand because it was considered a counterfeit once upon a time. In 2008, in an auction, this coin was sold for a whopping $126,500!
13. 1926-S Lincoln Penny
It is hard to find a perfect one for this coin. A mint condition This penny is scarce, and because of that, a penny in excellent condition would be very expensive. In 2006, a perfect condition coin sold for $149,500.
14. 1877 Indian Head Penny
Only 852,500 coins were made, and few survived the time change. The highest known value of this coin is $149,500, sold in 2007.
15. 1914-D Lincoln Penny
Scarce equals high value, and this penny, especially if you want to find a mint-condition piece. With only 1 million coins ever produce, which is low for a penny. The highest price it ever sold was $158,625 in 2018.
16. 1856 Flying Eagle Penny
This penny kickstarted the penny collection as a hobby. This coin was minted for presentation to members of Congress and other dignitaries. It was produced from 1856 to 1858, and only 2000 were made in 1856. It was sold in an auction for $172,500 in 2004.
17. 1909 V.D.B. Matte Proof Lincoln Penny
This is the rarest coin from the Matte Proof Lincoln coin produced from 1909 – to 1916. This is widely considered as “The Key Date“. Experts estimate there are about 200 of these coins available right now. This coin was sold in an auction in 2014 for $258,500.
18. 1958 Doubled Die Obverse Lincoln Penny
What can I say about this penny? Only 3 known examples are available. Super rare! The highest known transaction for this coin was $336,000 in 2018.
19. 1944-S Lincoln Steel Penny
In 2021, this coin was sold for $408,000. Unfortunately, only two of these pennies are known to exist.
20. 1943-S Lincoln Cent
It is said only 5 of these pennies are available now. A great penny to have in your collection, but it is extremely rare and expensive. In 2020, this coin was sold for $504,000!
21. 1943 Bronze Lincoln
One of the most desirable American coins. There are a few stories on why this is one of the hottest coins. One of them is an old bronze planchet stuck and accidentally pressed to feed the coin at the end of 1942. Is this the most expensive coin ever? There are plenty of debates on this. This coin was sold for over 1 million!
22. 1793 Chain 1C Periods
The scarcest major variety of the 1793 Chain penny collection. Sold in an auction for $1,380,000 in 2012. Only 70 pieces are known to be available.
23. 1943-D Lincoln Bronze Penny
$1.7 million. That is the price of this coin sold to an anonymous buyer in 2010. There is only one known example of this coin.
Before you go…
So check your pocket or your coin holder; you may have a coin worth hundreds if not thousands of dollars. Then, the next time you are at an auction or browsing through eBay, take a look and see if any of these rare penny coins are in your possession. Who knows, maybe you could be the owner of the most valuable penny collection in history!
Check out my next article: “The Best Coin to Collect in 2023: U.S Coin Version.“