These Valuable Pennies Are Well Worth As Much As $2 Hundred,000—and They Is Probably In Your Pocket

Most pennies are well worth 1 cent, however to coin collectors, a few are well worth greater than their weight in gold.


Earlier this yr, an ordinary searching penny made headlines whilst it was located some of the possessions of a person named Don Lutes. The 1943 bronze Lincoln cent attracted almost 30 bids and bought for $204,000 in January, according to Heritage Auctions, the enterprise that carried out the sale.

“The then 16-yr-vintage Lutes acquired the copper-colored penny in exchange at his excessive school cafeteria in 1947,” David Stone, a coin cataloger for Heritage, told CNBC Make It.

Lutes owned the coin until his death in 2018. In failing fitness, he consigned it to Heritage. Proceeds of the sale went to the Berkshire Athenaeum in his native land of Pittsfield, Massachusetts, in keeping with the Dallas-based public sale residence.Hunting for precious pennies

“One-cent coins were around for the reason that the beginning of the U.S. financial gadget,” Stone stated. “Several prototypes for the cent had been produced in 1792, consisting of the large Birch cent.”

The best known 1792 Birch cent sold at a Heritage public sale in 2015 for almost $2.6 million, making it the maximum ever paid for a one-cent piece at auction, he stated.

A penny’s worth depends on its high-quality and rarity. While maximum pennies are simplest really worth a couple of dollars, noticeably coveted ones is probably sitting for your pocket or caught someplace in your couch cushions.

The odds are long, but they’re nonetheless properly well worth searching for. So earlier than you assert, “Keep the alternate,” test to see when you have any of these valuable pennies:

(Image: Heritage Auctions,

Only a handful of these bronze pennies had been observed, which includes the one found with the aid of Lutes. “The maximum valuable Lincoln cent sold privately in 2010 for $1.7 million,” said Stone.

In order to keep copper for the struggle attempt, the U.S. Mint switched to creating pennies from zinc-covered metal planchets, in place of the standard bronze coin blanks, Stone explained. At least, that’s what changed into speculated to manifest.

As destiny would have it, “a number of the antique bronze planchets got stuck in the huge tote boxes that the Mint used to feed the coin presses at the stop of 1942,” he said. “The few bronze cash that were struck went ignored and were given released into stream.”

Today, the 1943 bronze Lincoln cent is defined as “the maximum well-known blunders coin in American numismatics” — and the chances of locating one are astronomically towards.

Stone estimates that 15 to twenty are recognised to creditors nowadays, although it’s possible that there are some which have now not yet been accounted for.

“A pleasant circulated example, like Lutes’ coin, ought to promote for round $150,000 to $two hundred,000. Heritage auctioned a similar one — in slightly decrease grade — for $186,000 in advance this month,” he stated.

Due to its fee, a few counterfeits have been created with metallic cores. If you think you have observed a 1943 Bronze Lincoln, the Mint suggests testing it with a magnet first. If it sticks, it’s now not copper.

(Image: Heritage Auctions,

Doubled dies are created while the hub imprints an additional photo onto a die — or stamp — causing some misalignment. The doubling occurs from errors within the minting system, James Bucki, a coin professional at The Spruce Crafts, defined to CNBC Make It.

The doubling at the 1969-S Doubled Die Obverse is specially distinguished inside the words “LIBERTY” and “IN GOD WE TRUST,” he stated. (Collectors check with the obverse of a coin because the the front or “heads” aspect — normally bearing a portrait.) Also, look for the letter “S” right beneath the 12 months 1969, this means that it became created on the San Francisco Mint.

Bucki estimates that 1,000 or much less were made before the Mint determined its error. A coin in desirable situation may want to pass for approximately $seventy five,000. Last year, one bought for $35,000, according to Coin World, a famous information and evaluation internet site for collectors.

(Image credit score: Heritage Auctions,

“On the opposite of the 1992 Close AM, the proper foot of the ‘A’ and left foot of the ‘M’ in ‘AMERICA’ contact,” stated Stone. (Most pennies minted that 12 months have very particular areas between those letters.)

This came about due to the fact within the Nineties and early 2000s, the Mint used one of a kind dies for producing coins for circulation and evidence cash for collectors, defined Bucki.

But due to a mixture-up, a proof die became used for the opposite of the coin earlier than it changed into speculated to be used starting in 1993. It’s probable that a whole run of 250,000 pennies have been printed this manner, he said. That makes them lots easier to find than the 1969 Doubled Die cash.

Bucki estimates that a 1992 Close AM coin in fairly new circumstance could be worth about $20,000, even as a used one may want to sell for round $2,000 to $3,000. One sold at a Heritage sale in 2012 for greater than $20,000, in line with Coin World.

(Image credit: Heritage Auctions,

Similar to the 1969 Doubled Die, the doubling on this penny is mainly outstanding in the words “LIBERTY” and “IN GOD WE TRUST” — with some mild doubling on the date, stated Stone.

Bucki estimates that as a minimum 250,000 cash launched with the doubled die. “I recognize multiple human beings who have found these in their pocket exchange.”

A used this kind of might be really worth approximately $one hundred, while a cleaner one may want to move for $500, he stated.

(Image credit score: Heritage Auctions,

Although the doubling on these coins isn’t as outstanding as it’s far on the 1972 Doubled Die cash, Bucki said it’s pretty major within the word “LIBERTY,” specifically within the letter “B.” There’s additionally some mild doubling on the date.

“These are one of the simplest treasured pennies to find,” he stated. “I’ve discovered one myself.”

Being extra not unusual, they are additionally much less treasured. Stone estimates that a coin in precise condition ought to promote for up to $forty five.

(Image credit: Heritage Auctions,

The 1999 Wide AM penny is the complete opposite of the 1992 Close AM.

“The everyday run became speculated to have the letters ‘A’ and ‘M’ in ‘AMERICA’ almost touching, and the unique proof cash have been purported to have a much wider space between the ones letters,” said Bucki.

Once again, the mint erroneously used a evidence die to strike normal circulation coins. He estimates that a coin in new condition may be really worth around $500, while a used one may want to fetch up to $45.

(Image credit: Heritage Auctions,

In this case, the doubling is at the reverse of the coin.

“It’s particularly apparent inside the words ‘ONE CENT’ and ‘E PLURIBUS UNUM.’ It looks like you’re seeing double,” said Bucki.

Roughly 250,000 of these pennies have been minted, he said. A used coin could promote for $seventy five or much less, while a cleaner one should pass for round $2 hundred.How to cash in on your pennies

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