Unsearched Wheat Pennies - Buying Wheat Penny Rolls

If you are new to coin collector, or just want to have some fun filling up a coin album without spending a lot of money, buying rolls of unsearched wheat pennies can be a fun pastime. Actually, it is also a great way to introduce kids to the hobby of coin collecting. Most young numismatists will enjoy sorting through bags and rolls of wheat pennies looking for key dates.

You should also tell them to keep their eyes open for wheat cents returned to them in change. As coins like this can remain in circulation for many years and there were billions of them produced, it happens fairly frequently. Starting your young collector off with coins that are found in circulation is a very inexpensive way to introduce them to a fun hobby.

Lincoln Cents Folder #1, 1909-1940
Lincoln Cents Folder #1, 1909-1940

Young collectors will find it fun to put their newly discovered wheat pennies into these coin folders designed for the Lincoln cent.

A Guide Book of Lincoln Cents (Official Red Books)
A Guide Book of Lincoln Cents (Official Red Books)

The definitive guidebook to the Lincoln cent. Covers all coins issued year by year.


Buying rolls of pennies isn't just for kids either! Coin collectors love finding unsearched wheat pennies. Unsearched means that no penny has been removed from the lot, regardless of the value of the penny.

Just keep in mind that it can be difficult to come across a lot that is truly "unsearched". So be sure to check seller's feedback before using Buy It Now or placing a bid on any auctions. That will tell you if other buyers are happy with their coin purchases.

Collectors will find that eBay is a valuable resource for both unsearched pennies and individual Lincoln coins. If you are just looking to fill a coin album, such as the Lincoln folders or a Dansco type set, it is very easy to fill in your missing holes by searching for specific dates that you are missing. If you collect certified coins, you will find plenty of coins certified by PCGS, NGC and Anacs at great prices as well.

Lincoln Wheat Cent
Lincoln Wheat Cent

About the Lincoln Wheat Cents

Theodore Roosevelt was the man who decided the United States needed an artistic coin, such as the ones in use in Europe. The Lincoln cent design was created by bronze sculptor, Victor David Brenner, with the first circulation of V.D.B. pennies entering into circulation beginning in 1909. Twenty-five million pennies were released on August 2, 1909.

Certain people (at the US Mint) were not happy with the artist’s initials showing on the reverse of some of the coins. There were six different cents that were minted in 1909. Two of them were Indian Head cents (from the San Francisco and Philadelphia mints, respectively) and the other four were Lincoln head cents.

There are two with V.D.B., from the Philadelphia (no mint mark) and San Francisco mints (S mint mark) and two without. The San Francisco VDB coins, or S VDB pennies, are the rarest and so highly desired by collectors. The initials were subsequently removed by the end of the first year of issue, making these coins quite popular today with collectors.

The Lincoln head side of the coin (known as the obverse) has remained with us ever since. This is the longest running image on a coin in America. In 1959, the wheat image on the reverse was changed to the memorial design.

In 1942 and 1942, with World War II happening, the government had nearly all the tin removed due to a metal shortage. This changed the metal in pennies from bronze to brass.

By late 1942, they removed the copper, changing the penny into one made of steel coated with zinc, making is silver in color and easily confused with the dime. These pennies did not hold up well with use and in 1944, the mint went back to using brass alloy to manufacture pennies.

In 1955, there was a mistake made, which resulted in a double impressions on 20,000 to 24,000 pennies. This mistake lead to many people taking a new interest in coin collecting.

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Comments 8 comments

PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 5 years ago from Dallas, Texas

Loved the illustrations and information here. Years ago we used to sort through my Uncle Casey's coin bags. He had a massive paper route and many folks paid him in loose change. We spent hours looking for certain years, mints and denominations. It was a fun family time together and we found some rare coins.

Nan 5 years ago

Thanks for the information on coin collecting!

AlanSwenson profile image

AlanSwenson 5 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

You can also get rolls of pennies from you bank for face value and each roll has about 1-2 wheat pennies in it. So if you buy a standard $25 box you will get 50 or more wheats and then you can return the rest and get another box. Time consuming but a fun and cheap hobby if you are into coins.

Design Diva profile image

Design Diva 5 years ago from Canada

Really interesting and great information. I enjoyed reading your hub and will have to look at the old coins I have a little closer.

Sinea Pies profile image

Sinea Pies 5 years ago from Northeastern United States

When I was growing up my dad used to sort through every coin he got as change, at the end of the workday day. Mom would complain that that was "all he did".

He knew! Old pennies with the mint marks and wheat engravings, Indian head nickels in mint condition, silver dollars, silver quarters...well, you get it. Even two dollar bills.Coin collectors had a lot of foresight when they started their search as those coins were in circulation. Great hub! Brings back great memories.

Dobson profile image

Dobson 5 years ago from Virginia

I have several wheat pennies and intend to sit down soon to enumerate the amounts of each year of the pennies. I don't know if I have any rare ones yet, but will come back here to re-read once I search mine.

What a great hobby this is!

Adventure Colorad profile image

Adventure Colorad 5 years ago from Denver,CO

I usually put my loose change in a jar, then roll it when I fill up the jar. Last week I found 3 "Wheat Pennies" in my loose change, goes to show that you never know when they will turn up.

Joe Macho profile image

Joe Macho 5 years ago from Colorado

Searching rolls of unsearched wheat pennies is a great way of finding key and semi key dates. Like you mentioned, it's always good to check a seller's feedback before purchasing. I've had good and bad luck before. Thanks for the great hub

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