Rare Penny Guide

by coinman on September 2, 2011

With many pennies circulating around you daily, it is important to know which ones you should jealously keep to yourself from the loose change you get in a store. Rare pennies are divided into two groups namely Classic rare coins dated from 1793 to 1954 and Modern rare coins dated from 1955 to the present.

Getting classic rare coins is actually difficult. This is because there were only about 5.7 million coins minted in this period. There are not many of these coins still in circulation. These classic coins are considered rare because most of them have been lost in floods, destroyed by fires, and even buried and forgotten in ancient underground treasures. A few of the top classic coins and their values if found in good condition include the following:

  1. The 1852 rare half cent – this is a truly rare mintage whose total number of coins is still unknown.

    1852 Half Cent

  2. Large cent pennies include the 1793 chain type valued at $5400 as well as the wreath type valued at $1690.
  3. The 1877 Indian penny valued at $660
  4. The Lincoln Cents which include the 1909 S VDB that is valued at $450 and the 1922 plain that is valued at $500 probably because its exact mintage is unknown.

Modern rare pennies are dated from 1955 to present and most are still in circulation. To be a savvy collector of modern rare pennies, you’ll need to learn why most of these coins are considered rare and of high value. Most modern rare coins derive their value from minting errors.

The following are some of the modern rare pennies that you should hold on to if they ever fall in your hands.

  • The famous 1943 S penny

1943 S Penny

This is one of the best coins to start with especially since the last one sold recently went for almost $60,000 in an auction. However, you should be wary of many counterfeits of this coin circulating in the market. Most of the coins circulating by 1943 were made from zinc coated steel because copper and nickel were in short supply due to their use in the war. There were nevertheless 40 or so copper pennies that were accidentally made from copper blanks in the press. You can easily tell if the 1943 penny you have is made of copper rather than steel using a magnet. If it does not stick to the magnet, it is copper which should prompt you to rush to the nearest dealer for authentication.

  • 1955 Double-Die Obverse that is valued at $25,000 for an uncirculated coin and up to $2340 for a coin that has been in circulation but in good condition. It is one of the most valuable and famous modern rare coins. The double die on the 24,000 coins in 1955 resulted from a misalignment in the production of the coin.
  • The 1982 ‘No P’ Dime. Prior to 1980, all dimes minted in Philadelphia lacked a mint mark and instead had a small letter P above the date. An error happened in 1982 where the mark was omitted for a number of coins making them P-less and of great value. The “No-P” dime is valued at between $100 and $3,000.

Other modern rare coins include the 1960 ‘D over D’ coin valued at $300, and the 1990 Proof no “S” mintmark coin valued at $3,250. The abovementioned coins are simply meant to guide and shed some light on the most sought after pennies and their value according to the most recent prices.

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