The United States has had many rare and valuable pennies throughout its history. Some of the earliest rare pennies are the 1793 Liberty Cap cent and the 1794 Flowing Hair cent. These coins were minted in limited quantities and have become highly sought after by collectors due to their age and rarity. The 1793 Liberty Cap cent is a copper penny struck in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in early 1793. It features a portrait of Lady Liberty wearing a cap on the obverse with the words “LIBERTY” around it and a wreath enclosing “ONE CENT” on the reverse side. Unfortunately, only around 12,000 were ever produced, making it one of the most prized collectibles among numismatists.
The second rare penny from this era is the 1794 Flowing Hair cent. This coin features an attractive design with a portrait of Lady Liberty facing right, wearing long flowing hair and a ribbon tied at her neck on its obverse, with 15 stars circling it and “LIBERTY” written above it. On its reverse side is an eagle perched atop a bundle of arrows and an olive branch with “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” written above it and “ONE CENT” at its bottom center. While not as scarce as the 1793 Liberty Cap cent, only 36,103 coins were ever minted, making them highly desirable amongst collectors today.
Another important rare penny worth mentioning is the 1909-S Lincoln Wheat Cent, produced for only one year in San Francisco, California – making it one of the lowest mintage cents ever made since production began in 1909. This coin features a portrait of Abraham Lincoln facing left on its obverse with his name written above him and wheat stalks along either side. In contrast, its reverse side has two wheat stalks standing upright with “ONE CENT” inside their stems and “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” written above them in small letters at their top center point. Of all 1909-S Lincoln Wheat Cent coins that were produced, only 484,000 pieces remain today, making this coin extremely rare and highly valuable to collectors even though they are considered expected date coins by professional numismatists.
Top 10 Most Expensive Pennies Ever Sold On Auctions
- 1943-S Lincoln Copper Penny – Auction value of $282,000: Known as the “King of Lincoln Cents,” this rare penny was struck in 1943 by accident at the San Francisco Mint when a few copper planchets were inadvertently left in the hopper that should have contained only zinc-coated steel planchets.
- 1909-S VDB Lincoln Wheat Penny – Auction Value of $115,000: The 1909-S VDB is one of the most iconic and sought-after Lincoln Wheat pennies ever minted by the US government. It was created to commemorate the 100th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln’s birth, and it features his initials (V.D.B.) on its reverse side near the bottom of the coin’s design.
- 1873 Indian Head Cent – Auction Value of $100,000: The 1873 Indian Head Cent is a scarce coin, with only two known examples. Its sale price in 2019 set a record for being one of the most expensive pennies ever sold at auction, fetching nearly six figures for its new owner.
- 1792 Birch Cent – Auction Value of $95,000: The 1792 Birch Cent is widely considered America’s first official penny, with just three known specimens surviving today – all owned by private collectors who paid six-figure sums for them at auction.
- 1914-D Lincoln Wheat Cent – Auction Value of $85,500: This highly collectible penny was struck at Denver Mint, and while it’s not especially rare in terms of mintage numbers compared to other coins on this list, a mere 24 examples have been graded MS65 or higher by Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS), making it exceedingly valuable among coin collectors and investors alike.
- 1944 Steel Wheat Penny – Auction Value of $77,750: This unique penny was unintentionally issued during World War II due to a shortage in copper and other metals necessary for producing standard pennies during wartime production demands from 1944 to 1946 and is identified by their distinctive silver color caused by zinc coating applied over their steel planchets.
- 1916 “Mercury” Dime – Auction Value of $70,500: This dime was initially referred to as a “Mercury Dime” because its design closely resembles Liberty wearing a winged cap which many thought compared Mercury – the Roman god associated with financial gain – but has since been officially renamed as “Winged Liberty Head Dime” due to increasing public criticism surrounding its alleged reference to pagan gods or practices.
- 1856 Flying Eagle Cent – Auction Value Of $61,688: This relatively scarce cent features an obverse depicting an eagle flying above the words ‘United States Of America’ written across a divided arc along with a wreath beneath it on its reverse side – both designs which would later become more standardized over time until they eventually evolved into what we now know today as modern day US coins such as quarters or dimes etc.
- 1910-S Indian Head/Buffalo Nickel – Auction Value of 5,000:This highly sought-after nickel was designed by James Earle Fraser, who also designed Buffalo Nickel released several years prior. Still, this particular version noticeably differs from its predecessor due to its detailed depiction of an American Indian chief on its obverse side and buffalo pictured on its reverse, popularly known today as ‘Indian Head/Buffalo Nickels.’
- 1914 Coronet Double Eagle Gold Coin-Auction Value Of$50,820:The Coronet Double Eagle gold coins were produced between 1907 and 1933 and are easily distinguished from other US coins due to their large size (around 34mm) along with their obverse, which features Lady Liberty draped in stars facing leftward while her right-hand holds an olive branch bearing 13 olives representing original 13 states united within the United States itself.
One additional penny worth mentioning is the 1922 No D Plain Lincoln Wheat Cent which also has special significance amongst collectors due to its scarcity and the unique story surrounding its production. Even though all Lincoln Wheat Cents from 1922 should have had “D” mint marks stamped over them, denoting where they were minted (Denver), some did not receive this stamp for unknown reasons – giving rise to certain specimens being significantly more scarce than others.’
It is estimated that less than 4% (or around 20 million) out of all 500 million plain cents from 1922 lacked any noticeable mint mark making these coins very desirable amongst modern-day collectors who specialize in variety collecting or trying to complete sets containing every date/mint mark combination possible within given series’.
Numerous rare pennies can be found within US currency, which can be suitable investments for those looking to add interesting pieces to their collections or understand more about America’s fascinating history through numismatics – whether you’re a first-time collector or a seasoned veteran!
If you like bills and coins, you should learn more about Gold and Silver IRAs. You can protect your retirement fund if you invest in IRA precious metals. Investors with gold IRAs can hold physical metals such as bullion or coins. Get a free pdf about Gold IRA.
GET GOLD IRA GUIDE
If you do not want to own them in physical form precious metals, you can trade gold, silver, and metals as CFD with the minimum commission: