Rare Pennies Found in Circulation
If you're in the hunt to become the next millionaire from a penny plucked from pocket change, good luck! It's not that I don't believe you can't find one, it's more or less just the fact that the odds aren't even remotely in your favor. However, with that said, there's still quite a few valuable pennies in circulation today. Sure, you won't strike it rich if you do find one, but with some of these rare pennies in circulation reaching $500 in value, you'd be glad you took a minute to glance at your pocket change! There's billions of pennies currently in circulation, so there's always the chance that you could find something. This article will explore six of the most valuable pennies in circulation.
Six Valuable Pennies in Circulation:
Lets face it, somethings are just too good to be true. When I read articles saying that there's a chance of finding 1955 double die and 1943 copper cents in circulation, I can't help but chuckle. Sure, there's not an overwhelming populous of coin collectors, but I can almost guarantee that they've removed virtually all these coins from circulation. Not to mention, there is only a handful of 1943 copper cents in existence! So, without taking a fantastical approach, I've focused on six modern mintage Lincoln Cents that have a reasonable chance of being found in circulation.
Coin Guides - American Cents
#1. 1983 Double Die Reverse
Characteristics: The term 'Double Die' refers to an error in the minting process, in which the coin was struck twice. This double striking of the die leaves the coin's design looking slightly overlapped. In the 1983 Double Die on the reverse side, the words 'ONE CENT' indicate this error. It may be difficult to spot with the naked eye, but upon placing the coin under 10x magnification, it should be clear that there is two layers of words.
Value: Since this coin is most likely going to be the hardest of my six pennies to find, it does pull in higher values. Specimens in mint state condition are currently selling for $275.
#2. 1984 Double Ear
Characteristics: The 1984 double ear penny is often also referred to as a Double Die Obverse error. The error that can be seen on the coin is a second earlobe below the full ear on Lincoln's head. The 1984 double ear Lincoln cent can be easily spotted without magnification.
Value: Recently I've observed I slight increase in the prices of this error penny. It might indicate that these are getting to be a little harder to find in circulation. Right now specimens in mint state condition are selling for around $230.
#3. 1992D Close AM
Characteristics: This minted Lincoln Penny isn't an error at all, but instead a rare variety. You'll need to look at reverse of the coin and closely observe the "AM" in America. If the coin in question is the rare variety, the A and M will be so close to each other it will look as if they are touching. Regular minted coins from this year will have a noticeable gap between the two letters.
Value: This penny proves to be a pretty rare variety, pulling in values of $500 in mint state condition, but with almost 4.5 Billion pennies produced at the Denver Mint in 1992, there's a good chance that these still exist in circulation.
#4. 1995 Double Die Obverse
Characteristics: This is the latest recognized error Lincoln Penny that the Mint produced. Although there are different degrees of Doubling on the 1995 Penny, the word "Liberty" is a good indication of the Double Die Error. This error might be hard to see with the eye, but magnification should reveal the 'layered' lettering.
Value: I hear stories of people finding these coins in rolls of common circulation pennies. If you do happen to come across one, they are worth $50 in mint state condition.
#5. 1998 Wide AM
Characteristics: All pennies minted for circulation after 1993 depicted the word "AMERICA" with the letters A and M nearly touching. Due to the use of a Proof die on regular minted coins, the 1998 Wide AM was born. If you have one of these variety coins, there should be a small space between the A and the M. If they look nearly touching, its normal.
Value: This variety of Penny is worth about $15 in mint state condition. Even though its mintage is unknown, it's value tells me that they might be fairly common. They might just be one of the easier to find error coins in circulation. Keep your eyes peeled!
It's fairly hard with the naked eye to distinguish between Close and Wide AM varieties, so an inexpensive magnifier may be needed.
#6. 1999 Wide AM
Characteristics: This coin features the same Proof die reverse as the 1998 Wide AM coin. If you have a rare variety penny, it will have a small space between the letters A and M in "AMERICA".
Value: This is definitely one of the most valuable pennies in circulation, as its values can reach $500 in mint state condition.
Now that you've read through this list of valuable coins in circulation, you'll hopefully be able to go out there and find a few for yourself. I'm curious to hear about your discoveries, so please tell me what you found and how you went about finding it! As always, good luck!
Can't seem to get enough of American coins? Be sure to check out these other great articles. There's plenty of information covering error coins in circulation and value guides for all your favorite coins!
- Value of Jefferson Nickels
- Valuable Buffalo Nickels
- Liberty Head Nickel Values
- Valuable Roosevelt Dimes
- Mercury Dime Values
- Value of Barber Dimes
- List of State Quarters Errors
- Uncommon State Quarters
- Valuable Washington Quarters
- Standing Liberty Quarter Values
- Key Date Barber Quarters
- Values for Kennedy Half Dollars
- Franklin Half Dollar Values
- Valuable Walking Liberty Half Dollars
- Valuable Barber Half Dollars
- Seated Liberty Half Dollar Values
- Sacagawea Dollar Value
- Values of Susan B Anthony Dollars
- Valuable Eisenhower Dollars
- Peace Dollar Values
- Valuable Morgan Dollars
- Release Dates of Presidential Dollars