The 10 Most Valuable Wheat Pennies You Should Know About

Collecting rare coins can be an exciting and rewarding hobby. Among the various coins that collectors seek, wheat pennies hold a special place. These coins, minted between 1909 and 1958, feature the iconic wheat stalks on the reverse side and Abraham Lincoln’s profile on the obverse. While most wheat pennies are relatively common, a few are highly valuable due to their rarity and unique characteristics. In this article, we’ll explore the ten most valuable wheat pennies that you should know about.

1. 1909-S VDB Wheat Penny

The 1909-S VDB wheat penny is one of the most sought-after coins by collectors. It was the first year the Lincoln cent was minted, and the initials “VDB” (for designer Victor David Brenner) are prominently displayed on the reverse. Only 484,000 of these pennies were minted, making them extremely rare. A 1909-S VDB in excellent condition can fetch thousands of dollars.

2. 1944 Steel Wheat Penny

During World War II, copper was needed for the war effort, so the U.S. Mint produced pennies from steel coated with zinc in 1943. However, a few 1944 pennies were accidentally struck on steel planchets leftover from the previous year. These rare 1944 steel pennies are highly valuable, with prices reaching into the tens of thousands of dollars.

3. 1943 Copper Wheat Penny

Conversely, while 1943 pennies were supposed to be made of steel, a few were mistakenly struck on copper planchets. These 1943 copper pennies are incredibly rare and valuable, with some selling for over $100,000. Their unique history and scarcity make them a prized possession for any collector.

4. 1914-D Wheat Penny

The 1914-D wheat penny is another key date for collectors. With only 1.2 million minted, this penny is hard to find, especially in good condition. A well-preserved 1914-D wheat penny can be worth several thousand dollars.

5. 1922 No D Wheat Penny

In 1922, the Denver Mint was the only facility producing pennies. Some of these coins were struck so weakly that the “D” mint mark is missing entirely. These “No D” pennies are rare and highly collectible, often selling for thousands of dollars.

6. 1955 Double Die Wheat Penny

The 1955 double die penny is famous among collectors due to its noticeable doubling on the obverse. The date and the word “Liberty” appear twice, making this coin unique and highly sought after. A 1955 double die penny in good condition can be worth tens of thousands of dollars.

7. 1909-S Wheat Penny

While not as rare as the 1909-S VDB, the 1909-S wheat penny is still valuable due to its low mintage of 1.8 million. This coin, especially in higher grades, can be worth a significant amount, often reaching several hundred dollars or more.

8. 1931-S Wheat Penny

The 1931-S wheat penny had a relatively low mintage of only 866,000 coins. Its scarcity and historical context during the Great Depression make it a valuable addition to any collection. Prices for a 1931-S penny can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars, depending on the condition.

9. 1917 Double Die Wheat Penny

Another notable double die penny is the 1917 version. This coin features doubling on the obverse, particularly noticeable on the date and lettering. Collectors prize these coins for their unique appearance and historical significance. A 1917 double die penny can be worth several thousand dollars.

10. 1924-D Wheat Penny

Rounding out our list is the 1924-D wheat penny. With a mintage of just over 2.5 million, this coin is relatively scarce, especially in higher grades. A well-preserved 1924-D penny can fetch hundreds or even thousands of dollars, making it a desirable find for collectors.


Whether you’re a seasoned collector or just starting, these ten wheat pennies are worth keeping an eye out for. Their rarity, historical significance, and potential value make them exciting finds for any numismatist. Happy hunting, and may your collection grow with these valuable wheat pennies!

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