19 Most Valuable Wheat Pennies Worth Money

From the year 1909 until 1958, a special coin was minted, one that would become iconic in American numismatics: the Wheat Penny. If you ever find yourself examining one of these, flip it over, and you’ll see its distinct wheat stalk imprints which aptly justify its moniker. But what stands out even more is the distinguished face on the coin’s front side – none other than Abraham Lincoln, America’s 16<sup>th</sup> President. While we dive deeper into the allure of these coins, let’s also delve into some intriguing snippets about this iconic president and the forces that elevated his stature.

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Renowned Wheat Penny Collections

Lincoln’s Debut on Currency: The True Tale

It might intrigue many to know that Lincoln was the pioneer in making a human appearance on US currency. Why was this so noteworthy? Remember, during the birth of America, the idea of featuring living leaders on coins was seen with skepticism, mainly because it had shades of the British monarchy – something the founding fathers were not particularly fond of. Before Lincoln, coinage usually showcased monarchs from the era of colonization.

When monarchs were later omitted from coins, symbolism took over. Images encapsulating the idea of liberty, such as representations of indigenous Americans or figures reminiscent of the Statue of Liberty, were the norm. Hence, the introduction of a real figure, especially someone as influential as Lincoln, was groundbreaking.

Celebrating Lincoln’s Century Mark with Pennies

Lincoln, by the turn of the 20<sup>th</sup> century, had been resting in peace for almost 50 years. But, the year 1909 wasn’t just any year; it marked the centennial of Lincoln’s birth. This momentous occasion saw a flurry of activities, with people commemorating the event through various memorabilia. This outpour of love and respect included suggestions to the Mint for a special tribute – perhaps a coin or a note to immortalize Lincoln’s pivotal role in shaping the nation. Such a coin would also symbolize a significant deviation from tradition, given the staunch opposition of figures like George Washington, America’s first president, to the portrayal of presidents on coins. Yet, it seemed destiny had its plans, and the timing was impeccable.

The Tale of the 1909 Lincoln Wheat Cent: A Testament to Craftsmanship and Controversy

In the early 20th century, a copper coin, slightly smaller than a modern-day dime, emerged as a centerpiece of American numismatics. The Lincoln Wheat Cent, a coin crafted predominantly from copper, with a splash of tin and zinc, graced pockets from 1909 to 1942. This coin’s unique composition resembled the ‘French bronze’, making it stand out from its contemporaries.

The mastermind behind this creation was none other than Victor David Brenner, an illustrious sculptor of his time. Yet, the journey to finalize this coin’s design was not without its hurdles.

  • Mintage Year: 1909
  • Origin: San Francisco Mint
  • Rating: MS64
  • Market Worth: Approximately $3,199

Originally, the task of designing the coin was given to the talented Augustus Saint-Gaudens. However, fate intervened, and he fell ill, ultimately passing away before the masterpiece could be realized. President Teddy Roosevelt, a patron of arts and aesthetics, believed that currency should be a canvas for showcasing artistry. Thus, in the quest for excellence, he sought the expertise of both Saint-Gaudens and Brenner.

A Tribute to Artistry and A Dash of International Inspiration

  • Mintage Year: 1909
  • Origin: San Francisco Mint
  • Rating: MS63
  • Estimated Worth: Roughly $3,261

Inspiration can strike from the most unexpected sources. When Brenner took up the mantle, he drew parallels from French coins. Imagine a coin showcasing branches of an ancient tree, alongside a figure representing Liberty in her full glory. Although captivating, this concept didn’t resonate with the Mint authorities.

Undeterred, Brenner reimagined his concept. Those branches evolved, becoming symbolic wheat stalks, representing the nation’s prosperity, embracing the coin’s value and origin.

Yet, the story doesn’t end there. Brenner, in an act of pride and ownership, stamped his surname on the coin’s front. Facing resistance, he then revised this by imprinting just his initials, ‘VDB’, on the coin’s reverse. However, this choice too faced its fair share of critique at the Mint.

The Enigmatic 1955 Lincoln Cent: A Tale of Intrigue

In a time long gone, the engravings on a coin were considered as much a work of art as a mark of authenticity. The VDB insignia, a tiny mark almost lost to the naked eye, was once a controversial feature on wheat pennies. However, it vanished after numerous objections and was absent until 1918 when it reappeared, subtly concealed near Lincoln’s shoulder at the coin’s foundation.

  • Year: 1955
  • Place of Manufacture: Philadelphia (No Mint Mark)
  • Quality: MS64
  • Estimated Worth: $3,750

But the real treasure lies in the history of the man etched on the coin, Abraham Lincoln. Forget the tales of him battling supernatural creatures, the real-life saga of Lincoln is rich and engrossing. Let’s explore further!

A Homage to Lincoln’s Birthplace: The 1912 Lincoln Cent

The bicentennial penny bears witness to Lincoln’s humble beginnings, born in a Kentucky cabin immortalized on the coin’s reverse. This was just one of four designs, each celebrating a unique facet of a life filled with wisdom, courage, and perseverance.

  • Year: 1912
  • Place of Manufacture: Philadelphia (No Mint Mark)
  • Quality: PF65
  • Estimated Worth: $4,700

Young Lincoln’s hands knew the toil of manual labor, working diligently in Indiana. Yet, his thirst for knowledge was unquenchable, and through relentless self-study, he became a lawyer. To him, education was not merely a means, but a passion.

The Historical 1914 Lincoln Cent: A Symbol of Progress

A cent bearing the year 1914 carries a reflection of a man who became synonymous with the fight for freedom. As an Illinois politician, Lincoln played pivotal roles in different parties, most notably the Whig and later the Republican Party. Strangely enough, in those times, Republicans were seen as the progressive force.

  • Year: 1914
  • Place of Manufacture: Denver (Mint Mark: D)
  • Quality: MS63
  • Estimated Worth: $4,000

Lincoln’s steadfast stance against slavery set the stage for one of history’s most profound chapters. Upon his victory in the 1860 election, the southern slave states sought separation. Lincoln’s determination to reunite the nation and abolish slavery led to the Civil War, forever altering the course of history.

The Tale of the 1922 Lincoln Cent Without a Mint Mark

In the annals of American history, Lincoln stands as a figure both revered by the masses and criticized by his contemporaries. It wasn’t merely his charismatic presence but also his astute political strategy that set him apart. Allying with War Democrats and Radical Republicans, he faced opposition from the Confederate supporters and a faction known as the Copperheads.

These Copperheads, who were essentially Democrats against the war, had their differences with Lincoln which culminated in a tragic plot, resulting in his assassination in 1865. Yet, in the years before, Lincoln masterfully navigated the political landscape, leveraging these factions’ differences, wielding power with a mix of firmness and public endorsement.

Within the realm of numismatics:

  • Year: 1922
  • Mint Designation: Absent (Result of a Denver Die defect)
  • Assigned Grade: Not mentioned
  • Monetary Worth: $2,750

Journey to 1955: The Lincoln Cent with a Double Imprint

Taking a moment to delve deeper into Lincoln’s lineage, one finds the story of a man influenced by ancestral heroics. The name ‘Abraham Lincoln’ wasn’t introduced with the 16th President. It harkens back to his grandfather, Captain Abraham Lincoln, who faced his end during a confrontation with Native Americans. A witness to this tragic event was young Thomas Lincoln, a mere eight years old, who in remembrance named his offspring after his father.

Would such a traumatic event color Thomas’ political beliefs? As it turns out, when Thomas became a patriarch, he relocated his family to Indiana, known for its opposition to slavery. Their religious institution, the Separate Baptist Church, held strong convictions against alcohol, the institution of slavery, and even the act of dancing – indeed, a stringent assembly!

For coin enthusiasts:

  • Year: 1955 (With a Double Minting)
  • Mint Designation: None specified (Originating from Philadelphia)
  • Assigned Grade: MS62
  • Monetary Worth: $2,480

To delve deeper into the captivating world of rare pennies, consider watching this insightful

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A Glimpse into 1909-1961D Cent Collection

Abraham Lincoln, renowned for his leadership, also had a quieter, introspective side. From a tender age, he showed an aversion to manual tasks, immersing himself in books. By the age of 9, tragedy struck as his mother passed away, leaving his elder sister, Sarah, only 11 then, to step into maternal shoes. Alas, fate was unkind, for Sarah passed away at 21 during childbirth, her infant joining her in the tragic demise. By his late teens, young Lincoln had endured the loss of his immediate family. But life gave him another chance at familial bonds when his father wed Sarah Bush Johnston, a widow with three children. Abraham found solace and affection in the company of his stepmother.

  • Diverse Years of Coinage
  • Assorted Mint Origins
  • Varying Coin Grades
  • Appraised at: $2,100

The 1914-D Denver Mint Lincoln Cent: The Strength and Struggles of Abe

Despite his scholarly inclinations, Lincoln was no stranger to physical prowess. Standing tall, his athletic build was a testament to his capabilities, and his reputation in wrestling circles was legendary. He may not have been keen on manual work, but he diligently contributed to the family’s income. On the personal front, love played a game of hide and seek. Ann Rutledge, his initial love interest, tragically passed away. A subsequent romance with Mary Owens faded as mutual apprehensions surfaced. However, destiny had its plans. In November 1842, Mary Todd entered his life as his beloved wife, though their journey to matrimony had its share of hiccups, including a brief separation in January 1841.

  • Specific Year of Mintage: 1914
  • Originated from: Denver Mint
  • Coin’s Condition: MS61
  • Valuation Stands At: $2,500

The Peculiar Tale of the 1955 Lincoln Cent

The 1955 Lincoln cent stands out, not only due to its Double Die design but because of its pristine condition, reminiscent of untouched stories from the past. This particular piece was crafted in Philadelphia, bearing no mint mark, and gleams with a brilliant shine as if it just left the mint. A collector might be willing to part with a considerable sum, approximately $2,499.99, to own this treasure.

Lincoln’s personal life, in a parallel to this coin’s rarity, had its own unique twists. After canceling his engagement in 1841, it wasn’t until two years later that he once again walked down the aisle with Mary. Despite any initial hesitations, he became a dedicated family man. While his peers from the law firm might’ve seen his sons as unruly, Lincoln’s tender and lenient nature towards his children was undeniable. However, fate dealt a cruel hand as three of their sons never got to experience adulthood, leaving a profound impact on both Lincoln and his wife.

The 1941-D Lincoln Cent and A Lesser Known Chapter of Lincoln’s Life

Another intriguing coin, the 1941-D Lincoln cent, hails from Denver. Though its condition remains undisclosed, its value stands firm at $2,000. Yet, its year of minting sparks a curious juxtaposition with Lincoln’s own lesser-known stint.

After serving in the Black Hawk War, Lincoln did not head straight into politics or law. Instead, he opted for an entrepreneurial venture and teamed up with William Berry. Together, they took over a general store in New Salem. This wasn’t just any store—it was a hub where townsfolk gathered, as they had procured licenses to serve liquor.

Ironically, even though Lincoln hailed from a teetotaler household, he found himself co-running a tavern! And while many tales narrate Lincoln’s moments of setbacks, this venture was a roaring success. But the store’s booming business became too much for Lincoln to handle, especially with Berry frequently being indisposed. Recognizing his talents elsewhere, Lincoln transitioned back to where his heart truly belonged – the realm of politics and advocacy.

Read More : 19 Most Valuable Indian Head Penny Worth Money

The 1909 San Francisco Tribute Coin

In the era preceding the great wars, Abraham Lincoln, the face of our pennies, had quite the history in the political arena. Picture this: during a fervent electoral battle, an overbearing heckler troubled one of Lincoln’s ardent supporters. Lincoln, in an unmatched show of bravado, physically confronted this tormentor. Such acts might have contributed to his remarkable performance in New Salem, where he secured a whopping 277 votes from a pool of 300. Yet, across the broader state, his fortune dwindled, and he found himself ranking 8th amongst 13 contenders.

  • Epoch: 1909
  • Origin: San Francisco Mint
  • Standard: Almost Perfect (MS64)
  • Appraisal: $2,900

Not one to be deterred by setbacks, Lincoln didn’t follow the typical route into law. He didn’t walk the well-trodden path of joining an established law firm as an intern. Instead, he immersed himself in volumes of legal literature, both borrowed and purchased. His dedication bore fruit in 1836 when he passed the bar examination. This wasn’t his sole focus, however. By 1834, he was back in the political fray, clinching a victory and representing Illinois in the House for four terms.

The 1914 Denver Minted Cent

Our beloved penny figure, Lincoln, was a perpetual learner. To hone his legal prowess, he borrowed legal papers from notable figures like Thomas Drummond and John Todd Stuart. The ties grew stronger, as he eventually partnered with Stuart in his legal practice. In an interesting twist of fate, Lincoln’s better half, Mary, was kin to Stuart. But here’s an intriguing piece of trivia: while Lincoln is celebrated for ending slavery, he initially treaded a delicate line. He neither fully embraced abolition nor slavery. Instead, he believed in a balanced approach, advocating for free territories without the taint of slavery.

  • Epoch: 1914
  • Origin: Denver Mint
  • Standard: Pristine (Brilliant Uncirculated)
  • Appraisal: $2,450

In the early days of his political journey, Lincoln held a more nuanced view on slavery. He envisioned a plan where freed slaves would find new homes in Liberia. Simultaneously, he believed in compensation for slave owners and even considered measures to recapture runaway slaves. There was a draft legislation in this regard, but it never saw the light of day.

A Glimpse into the 1909-S VDB Cent

This coin, minted in San Francisco in 1909, is not just any coin. Its pristine condition, bearing the mark of ‘MS63’, makes it not only rare but also worth a cool $2,400. The sheen on this coin tells a story of impeccable craftsmanship and its key date nature.

Yet, what’s more fascinating is the president it represents. Lincoln, the man on the coin, was multifaceted. While he is best known for his stance against the divisive issue of slavery, his commitment to advancing contemporary banking structures and imposing infrastructure taxes further solidified his role as a visionary. His political journey wasn’t straightforward. He faced defeat in 1843, only to reclaim his seat in 1846. Adhering to his promise, he served for just a single term and then dove back into his legal profession.

Speaking of which, imagine Lincoln in a courtroom today, capturing audiences with his brilliance. His knack for details was evident when he used his prowess to debunk testimonies, mastering the art of cross-examination.

Here’s a tidbit: did you know Lincoln was an inventor? In 1849, he designed a mechanism to aid boats in navigating shallow waters. While he never commercialized it, this invention is a testament to his diverse talents.

The Intriguing 1955 Doubled Die Cent

Fast forward a few years, and another Lincoln cent emerges, this time from Philadelphia in 1955. It might seem just a year older, but its doubled die characteristic coupled with its ‘MS60’ grade pushes its worth to approximately $2,069.22.

Lincoln’s courtroom tales are legendary. Picture this: In a case that had everyone on the edge of their seats, he ingeniously used an almanac to defend his client from a murder charge. The crux? Disproving a witness’s claim about the moonlit night of the crime. A masterstroke that led to the verdict: Not guilty!

Before we wrap up, it’s worth mentioning that Lincoln’s evolving views on slavery played a pivotal role in shaping American history. He initially supported the ‘free soil’ ideology, allowing existing slave states to persist while preventing new free states from adopting slavery. Yet, by 1854, he boldly voiced his opposition to slavery, a stance that arguably set the stage for his journey to the presidency.

The Curious Case of the 1944 Penny and Lincoln’s Journey to Presidency

You’ve probably heard of the penny dated 1944 with a distinctive anomaly – missing any specific mint stamp. In some circles, this penny has garnered quite the attention, so much so, that its value has surged to a surprising $2,300. Yet, let’s travel back to 1854, a year of significance for another Lincoln story.

Abraham Lincoln, an ambitious politician, had the golden opportunity to take a seat that year. However, with his eyes on the bigger prize – the Senate – he relinquished the position. Although fate wasn’t in his favor and he lost the Senate race, Lincoln’s strategic brilliance was evident. He endorsed Lyman Trumbull, much to the dismay of his own Whig fanbase who disapproved of Trumbull’s anti-slavery stance.

Fast forward to 1858, and the stage was set for another monumental showdown. Lincoln, representing the Republicans, squared off against the Democrat, Stephen Douglas, in a series of debates that captured the nation’s attention. Though victory eluded him once more, these debates highlighted his eloquent speech and moral vision. These captivating performances set the stage for his ascent to the presidency in 1860.

Penny Details:

  • Date: 1944
  • Mint Origin: Philadelphia (Though no mark present)
  • Quality Rating: Not mentioned
  • Current Worth: $2,300

The Lincoln Wheat Penny Collection: 1909-1958

Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States, stands as an iconic figure for many. While his image garners immense respect, it’s essential to delve deeper into his historical stance. Lincoln’s initial vision was not the absolute cessation of slavery. Instead, he pondered on the idea of sending freed Africans to another land and curbing the extension of this institution into states where it wasn’t practiced.

  • Span of Collection: 1909 through 1958
  • Distinctive Marks: Variety observed
  • Coin Quality: Diverse
  • Estimated Worth: Approximately $2,040.99

Lincoln was not one to promote outright abolition, believing it wasn’t feasible in his era. The Civil War, initiated under his leadership, was driven more by his determination to maintain the unity of the states than by the cause of the enslaved. However, the tragic end he met solidified his position as a champion for justice, ensuring that he will forever be recognized favorably in the annals of history.

Reflection: Do you possess any rare pennies? We’d love to hear about your unique collection in the comments below!

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