What is a Wheat Penny?

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If at any time you have a good number of pennies with you, take a hard look at them. You could be having a wheat penny whose worth could be more than thousands of dollars. But apart from the value it can fetch in the market a wheat penny can be a collector’s item.


What is a Wheat  penny?

Wheat pennies are one-cent coins that were minted from 1909 until 1958 and were basically made of zinc, copper and tin. Wheat pennies were the first batch of coins in the U.S. which had a human face on it. The coins had ears of wheat embossed on one side, with the other side having the face of President Abraham Lincoln. The wheat penny is known by other names such as Wheat Back, Lincoln wheat Ear Cent, Wheat Head, Straw Penny and Wheatie.

Victor David Brenner, a New York sculptor designed both the sides of the wheat penny. The design incorporating the face is easily identified and has long been popular in the world of minting. Since the wheat pennies are no longer being minted they are a collector’s treasure.

The letters on a wheat penny denote the mint from where they originated. Thus “D” would stand for Denver, “S” denotes San Francisco while an absence of any letter would mean they were produced in Philadelphia. The value of a wheat penny would be based on its quality and ratings. “EF” would mean extremely fine, “VF” indicates very fine, while “F” means fine. Similarly “VG” means very good and “G” would be good.

You would know that you are in possession of the most rare wheat penny if the coin is marked ‘1909-S VDB’. Here ‘VDB’ is the name of the designer of the coin-Victor David Brenner. This particular is a collector’s treasure and is valued up to $12,000.

If you are interested in coins or collecting wheat pennies, the first step would be to join any local club and become a member of the American Numismatic Association (ANA). You may get a chance to have a 1922 wheat penny which may be worth up to $ 3,500. So the value of a wheat penny depends on its rarity and can be worth up to a few thousand dollars.

Which are the valuable Wheat Pennies?

The 1909-S VDB wheat pennies are considered the most valuable with the poor quality coins fetching up to $1000 while the high graded ones are valued to be over $ 12, 000. The original VBD coins were first minted in 1909 in San Francisco and the numbers amounted to 484,000 wheat pennies. Later about 28 million 1909 VDB wheat pennies were produced by the Philadelphia mint. These pennies are more common and have a value of only $3.

About 1.2 million of the 1914-D wheat pennies were minted with the uncirculated coins fetching over $25,000 in auctions. The circulated coins are worth $100 to $200. The 1914-S wheat pennies are worth about $ 10.

The 1915-S, 1922 No-D, 1924-D, 1926-S, 1926-D, 1943 copper wheat pennies, 1955 double –die wheat pennies all have differing values depending on the condition of the coins. In fact any other wheat penny would be worth about 10 cents. It is easy to check out the exact values by referring to a coin value guide.

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