April 12, 2024
Learn how to identify valuable pennies, from everyday change to rare coins, and start your penny-hunting journey today!


If you’re looking for a way to make some extra money, you might want to start by looking in your pocket change. Did you know that some pennies are actually worth more than their face value? The problem is, how can you tell which ones are valuable and which are not?

That’s where this guide comes in. In this article, we’ll show you how to identify valuable pennies, from everyday change to rare coins. Here’s what we’ll cover:

The Top 5
The Top 5 “Wheat” Pennies to Look for in Your Pocket Change

The Top 5 “Wheat” Pennies to Look for in Your Pocket Change

First, let’s talk about wheat pennies. These are pennies that were minted between 1909 and 1958. They’re called wheat pennies because of the design on the back, which features two stalks of wheat. Here are the top 5 wheat pennies to look for:

  1. 1909-S VDB
  2. 1914-D
  3. 1922 (no mint mark)
  4. 1931-S
  5. 1955 Doubled Die

The 1909-S VDB is the most valuable of all wheat pennies, with a value of up to $2,000. The 1922 penny without a mint mark is also quite valuable, with a value of around $500.

To identify these pennies, look for the wheat design on the back and check the year and mint mark (if there is one) on the front.

7 Rare Pennies Worth a Pretty Penny

If you’re looking for even more valuable pennies, here are 7 rare pennies that could be worth a pretty penny:

  1. 1793 Chain Cent
  2. 1793 Wreath Cent
  3. 1794 Liberty Cap Cent
  4. 1856 Flying Eagle Cent
  5. 1877 Indian Head Cent
  6. 1909-S VDB (again!)
  7. 1914-D (again!)

These coins are rare because they were only minted in small quantities or for a short period of time. For example, the 1793 Chain Cent was the first penny ever minted by the United States government, with only 36,103 coins made.

To identify these pennies, you’ll need to check the year, mint mark, and design. Some of them, like the Flying Eagle Cent, have a unique design that is different from other pennies.

But why are these coins worth so much? The value depends on a combination of factors, including rarity, condition, and demand from collectors.

The Secret to Finding Valuable Pennies in Everyday Life

Even if you don’t have any rare coins in your pocket change, there are still ways to find valuable pennies in everyday life. Here are some tips:

  • Check vending machines and parking meters
  • Look for loose change on the ground
  • Ask friends and family members to look out for valuable coins for you

These tips might seem simple, but they can lead to some successful finds. For example, one person found a 1909-S VDB wheat penny in a vending machine!

The Most Valuable Pennies You Might Have in Your Coin Collection

If you have a coin collection, there’s a good chance you might have some valuable pennies in it. Here are some of the most valuable pennies:

  1. 1943 Bronze
  2. 1944 Steel
  3. 1955 Doubled Die
  4. 1974 Aluminum
  5. 1992 Close AM

The 1943 Bronze penny is especially rare, with only a few known to exist. The 1944 Steel penny is also rare, as it was only minted by mistake for one year.

To determine the value of a coin, you’ll need to consider factors like rarity, condition, and demand from collectors. A coin dealer or appraiser can help you determine the value of your collection.

How to Determine if Your Penny is Worth More Than One Cent

So, how can you tell if your penny is worth more than one cent? Here are some factors to consider:

  • Rarity
  • Condition
  • Demand from collectors

For example, the 1909-S VDB wheat penny is rare and in high demand from collectors, which is why it’s worth so much.

You can also look up the value of a particular coin in a coin price guide or ask a coin dealer or appraiser.

3 Simple Tricks to Spot Valuable Pennies and Add to Your Savings

If you’re looking for more ways to find valuable pennies, here are 3 simple tricks:

  • Look for coins with errors or unusual designs
  • Check old coin rolls or bank bags
  • Learn about the different types of pennies and what makes them valuable

By using these tricks, you might be able to add some valuable coins to your savings.

Collecting Pennies as a Hobby: The Quest for Rare Coins

Finally, collecting pennies can be a fun and rewarding hobby. You can search for rare coins, learn about history and culture, and connect with other collectors.

If you’re just starting out, here are some tips:

  • Start with a specific area of interest, like wheat pennies or error coins
  • Invest in a coin price guide or reference book
  • Join a local coin club or online forum to connect with other collectors

There are many different kinds of rare coins to look for, from early American pennies to modern error coins. The quest for rare coins can be an exciting and lifelong pursuit.


We’ve covered a lot in this guide, from wheat pennies to rare coins to collecting as a hobby. But the most important thing to remember is that valuable pennies can be found anywhere, from your pocket change to old coin rolls to your own collection.

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