The ever popular Lincoln wheat penny was first produced by the U.S. Mint in 1909. While the original edition pennies from 1909 can have significant collectable value, other editions of the Lincoln penny can be highly desired by coin collectors as well. A 1933-D, for example, may be valued at $2.30 or more. A 1931-S could be worth $40 or more. Obviously, some mint years may be worth considerably more than others, while the minting location may also play a role in the value of a penny.
In addition to the penny’s mint year and edition, the coin’s overall condition is important when it comes to determining its value. Coins that have been well-preserved over the years can be valued significantly higher than similar coins that have wear and tear or damage.
Lincoln Penny Value – What Dealers Pay
Both coin dealers and coin collectors are willing to pay a higher premium for Lincoln Wheat Pennies that are in superior condition and of a higher grade. In fact, the values of collectable wheat pennies in good condition can range from several dollars to over $1000. If you have a Lincoln Wheat Penny in great condition from a year that is sought after by dealers and collectors, you may benefit from having your penny graded by an NGC or PCGS grading service.
By having your penny graded, you may be able to get a closer idea as to what your penny may be bought or sold for. The grading process is extremely thorough and may account for even very subtle grading points while also considering collector and dealer demand.
Lincoln Wheat Penny Value is Conditional
To accurately gauge the grade of your Lincoln Wheat Penny, you must perform a close examination of the coin. One simple way to do this is to examine the wheat stalks on the coin’s reverse. If the parallel lines at the top of the wheat stalk are showing, the coin is likely in fine or even better condition. If the penny has experienced significant wear and tear due to handling over the years, there is a good chance these lines at the tops of the stalks will be worn down or even non-existent. In this case, the coin may be considered to be in good or a lesser condition. If the lines at the tops of the wheat stalks remain crisp, clear and robust, the coin may be in extremely fine condition. Of course, the coin’s other details must also be in excellent condition to be assigned a grade of extremely fine, with little to no signs of wear or erosion.
The bottom line is this: The better the overall condition of your Lincoln Wheat Penny, the more desirable it may be for dealers and collectors, and thus the more valuable.
Coin Grading Can Provide Peace of Mind
If you have a Lincoln Wheat Penny that is in excellent condition and you are not sure how it might be graded, submitting your coin to NGC or PCGS to have it professionally graded may be a good idea. Coin grading services are in tune with the market and can give you a great idea as to how your Lincoln Wheat Penny may be valued. The small fee you incur for having your penny graded can be well-worth it to know you are getting fair market value for your coin if you wish to sell it. Coins that have been graded typically sell for higher premiums than non-graded coins, so your investment in grading may pay for itself.
Mintmarks and the 1909 VDB
An “S” mintmark found under the date of a Lincoln Wheat Penny indicates that the penny was minted by the San Francisco Mint. Collectors desire these coins and they may trade for higher premiums than common date wheat cents.
A “D” under the date indicates that the penny was minted in Denver, while lack of a mintmark indicates that the penny was minted in Philadelphia.
Mint year 1909 also produced some wheat pennies with the designer’s initials, “VDB” for Victor D. Brenner. These initials may be found along the bottom rim of the coin just below the wheat stalks. Because fewer pennies were minted with the engraved initials, check your 1909 Lincoln Wheat Penny to see if it has the VDB engraving.
Lincoln Wheat Penny Values Are Rising
The value of your Lincoln Wheat Penny is always changing and may increase over the years. This can happen for numerous reasons such as new collectors buying these coins or established collectors adding to their collections. In addition, new varieties such as double-dies or over-dates may be discovered adding to the allure of Lincoln Wheat Pennies.