Wheat Penny Values and Key Dates - A Collector's Guide
The Lincoln wheat penny has long been a staple in the Lincoln cent series, and plenty of collectors have found it to be an immensely popular coin to collect, with some years fetching thousands of dollars. It’s important to know which key dates are worth more than others, as well as which years are the most valuable of all. Check out this guide on wheat penny values and key dates to learn more about what makes these coins so special!
The Early Years
The Lincoln cent, introduced to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth which replaced the Indian Head penny in 1909, is a penny made of bronze. Like the other denominations of American coins circulating in 1909, it features the head of former president Abraham Lincoln on one side. Originally called wheat cents for their design resemblance to wheat kernels. The year 1909 saw the introduction of the Lincoln cent and contains some key dates that are worth collecting.
Where should you set expectations when searching for valuable dates?
We do not guarantee that this Lincoln Wheat penny is worth enough to pay off your car, support your family, or put your kids through college. In most cases, Lincoln Wheat pennies are worth less than ten cents each. We would go so far as to say that with exceptions such as major mistakes and rare varieties, all Lincoln wheat pennies after 1933 are worth no more than 10 cents in worn condition. Weathered 1943 steel pennies often trade for 5 to 10 cents each in less-than-desirable condition. The chance is small, however, that any of the Lincoln Wheat cents you’ve found in pocket change are worth any more than face value.
Now, What Makes ``Cents`` About Wheat Penny Values!
Many common-date Lincoln Wheat pennies aren’t worth more than 10 cents, but there are plenty of Lincoln Wheat cents that are worth a lot more. In addition to the four major key dates on regular issue, there are numerous semi-key dates, varieties, and errors to be found in this series.
Key wheat cent dates to look for
Lincoln Wheat Cent key dates include:
Important semi-key dates are:
Better dates—that might not qualify as the most important, but are more important than the lesser dates—include
What Can These Wheat Pennies Be Worth?
The table below provides estimated retail values for the Lincoln cents above, as well as the values for the Wheat penny years not specifically mentioned. Value breakdowns are for coins with grades in the VG8 to VF20 range and the MS62 to MS64 range.
*Values above are for problem-free coins with no signs of damage, including holes, major gouges, scratches, or cleanings.
Why Collect Lincoln Wheat Cents?
Not only is the Lincoln penny one of the most collected United States coins, it’s also the most recognized of all the coins in the world. While the Lincoln Wheat cent is a long-obsolete coin that has been gradually disappearing from circulation over the past decades, it remains one of the first coins most people start collecting. Nevertheless, even many of the most advanced collectors only collect Lincoln cents for the rest of their lives.
Many numismatists devote their attention to Lincoln Wheat cents, largely because of the complex and prolific nature of the series. In addition to repunched mintmarks and other minor and major die varieties, new discoveries continue to be made among the Lincoln Wheat pennies.
Lincoln Wheat pennies are collected in cardboard folders, deluxe albums, and museum-quality Lucite holders. There are also collectors who are interested in high-grade Lincoln Wheat pennies and use these coins to create registries of their collections. It doesn’t matter how you collect Lincoln pennies.
As seen, Lincoln Wheat penny values range from affordable to expensive.
The Lincoln Cent Series caters to everyone regardless of wealth and experience. Thus, the Lincoln Cent Series reigns as one of the most beloved coin series. It rightly has a sizable following in the United States and around the world, among many collectors.
We Leave All the Fun Of Searching In Your Hands!
With the price of copper skyrocketing, unsearched bags of Wheat Pennies have become extremely popular. We have literally bought hundreds of thousands of these wheat pennies and do not have the time to go through them, so we count them and bag them just as they are when they come into the shop. Because we get our wheat pennies and other coins from multiple sources, there is no telling what you will find in one of these bags. Each bag is guaranteed to be unsearched and to give you many hours of numismatic pleasure!
Check out our selection of unsearched bags of wheat pennies! All include varying dates from 1909 – 1958.