You May Have A $7,000 Penny In Your Pocket

Source: TikTok/@coinhub

When you think about a penny, it’s usually something you take out and drop in a jar because it’s not worth anything. Well, if it’s a Lincoln Penny, it could buy a lot since each one is worth around seven thousand dollars. Let’s examine why this penny is worth so much.

The Worth of a Penny

Source: Flickr/Erik Sagen

Typically, a penny is one cent, and while it’s still in circulation, almost no one glances twice at the pennies they get as change. Some people still have jars in their homes where they collect pennies. Most of those jars might be worth an entire three to five dollars in currency.

In general circulation, a penny is worth just as much as it says on the label – one cent. However, not all pennies are created equal. The very method of creating a penny might make it more expensive than the one cent it stands for.

Pennies Have Several Important Markings

Source: Flickr/Mark Morgan

What sets a penny apart from any other piece of round metal? Well, it has several markings that make anyone with the penny know it’s legal tender. There’s the motto (“E Pluribus Unum”) on the outside of the back of the penny, the mint symbol (P for Philadelphia, D for Denver), and the denomination “one cent.”

In front, there’s an embossed image of Abraham Lincoln, the year the coin was minted, and “In God We Trust” written above Lincoln’s head. These markings are all important, as they tell anyone using the coin that this is legitimate and can be used to buy things in the US.

The Lincoln Penny Is a Rarity

Source: Flickr/ Karen

In 1983, a series of pennies were minted that seemed like they were riddled with mistakes. The first obvious thing was that the mint sign (which mint forged the coin) was missing altogether. That would be bad enough, but it gets worse.

Usually, the mint strikes the coin once to emboss the markings on it. This particular coin was hit twice, meaning that there’s a shadow effect to the writing. This is known as a “double-die coin” and marks it as unique among the other pennies in circulation.

Low Circulation Adds to the Rarity

Source: Flickr/ foreverseptember

Normally, when a coin is minted, the batch is checked, and if it meets muster, it goes out into circulation. The Lincoln Penny snuck by the quality control measures and went right into circulation. However, not all of the pennies that were minted made it out.

In this case, around 5000 Lincoln Coins went into circulation. This wasn’t such a big deal because the mint would pull copies of the coin as it came in, out of circulation. This means there’s probably even less than the initial 5000-coin run circulating.

How To Find Out If You Own a Lincoln Penny

Source: TikTok/ @coinhub

The first and most obvious thing is if the penny’s minting year on the front says 1983. Not all pennies minted in 1983 are Lincoln Pennies, but this is the first sign that you might have a coin worth much more than the one cent it was minted for.

On the back is where the real clues are. The mint symbol would generally show a P or a D depending on where it was minted, but this space would be blank on a Lincoln Penny. The double-die effect is also prominent, so check if the words are doubled. If they are, you have a winner.

How Come These Are So Expensive?

Source: Flickr/Mark Morgan

Coin collectors want rare coins, and since the Lincoln Penny stands out as a rare coin, it’s on many of these collectors’ wish lists. The value of a collectible coin has little to do with the minted value. It’s all about the supply and demand of the coin in question.

Since there are only 5000 or so Lincoln Pennies ever minted, there is a low supply. That’s even before the mint starts taking the ones that come back out of circulation. When you remove that supply, the amount of available coins goes down, making any one of them expensive.

What Should You Do If You Find a Lincoln Penny?

Source: Flickr/ Nikkorz

The very first thing anyone should do when finding a Lincoln Penny is don’t rush off. Calm down and verify the coin. Coin collectors look at the condition of a coin before they even consider buying it. The condition is reflected on a rating scale.

When you get your Lincoln Penny, you should get it graded to determine how much it’s worth. The $7,000 Lincoln Penny, for example, was graded at MS68. The scale goes all the way up to 70, but only the coins that are in the most pristine condition will get a 70.

Never Clean Your Lincoln Penny

Source: Wikimedia/Daniel Schwen

One of the first mistakes newcomers to penny-hunting make is trying to clean the coin. A coin’s grime, dirt, and impurities might make it look bad, but cleaning it can damage the finish and reduce its value significantly.

Cleaning marks also reduce the graded value of a coin. If you get one that’s in terrible shape, don’t even think about running water over it since you don’t know what sort of reaction it would cause. It’s better to be safe than sorry and keep it grimy.

Not the Only Modern Coin Worth Money

Source: Wikimedia/Stricklins

While the 1983 Lincoln Penny is worth a lot, it’s not the only modern minted coin that could bring in the big bucks. In fact, there is another modern coin that is worth several times more than the 1983 Lincoln Penny.

The 1969-s Lincoln Cent is another rare coin, and this one is worth about a hundred thousand dollars. The Lincoln Cent was also a double-die coin, being struck twice, and has an even more interesting history than the Lincoln Penny.

Do You Have a Fortune In Your Pocket?

Source: Flickr/Mike

Before you unpack all your pennies in your piggy bank, remember that these coins are scarce. While you might have one, the chances are good that you might also have none. Trillions of pennies are in circulation, making the chances of having one of these rare ones very small.

If you manage to get one of them, you should get it graded as soon as possible. Auction houses that deal with the sales of collectibles usually need them to be graded before they even hit the auction block. Good luck with your penny hunting!

What do you think?

200 Points
Upvote Downvote
Charlotte Clad

Written by Charlotte Clad

Charlotte Clad is a brilliant writer who possesses the remarkable ability to craft content that goes viral and leaves an indelible mark on readers. With an innate passion for storytelling and an unwavering commitment to her craft, Charlotte has consistently pushed the boundaries of creativity to captivate audiences worldwide.

As a prolific writer, Charlotte has the rare gift of turning ordinary subjects into viral phenomena. Her articles and narratives resonate deeply with readers, igniting discussions and spreading rapidly across the digital landscape. Charlotte's work has not only garnered millions of views but has also sparked enduring conversations, establishing her as a respected and influential figure in the realm of viral content.

Leave a Reply


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

GIPHY App Key not set. Please check settings

The Notorious Gold Ring Scam That’s Hitting Gas Stations Everywhere

Most Americans Can’t Pass This Test. Quiz Yourself On These 25 Questions About The Colonial Period