Lincoln wheat pennies minted from 1909-1958 was designed by Victor D. Brenner. The design includes Abraham Lincoln on the pennies to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth. When the wheat pennies were first produced in 1909-Victor D. Brenner minted his initials (VDB) on a limited quantity of the pennies in 1909.
The introduction of the wheat pennies to the American economy was the first cents to have the motto “In God We Trust” stamped on the coins. Wheat pennies from 1909-1942 was produced in bronze that consisted of .950 copper and .050 tin and zinc. Also, these pennies were minted at Philadelphia, Denver and San Francisco mints. The most valuable wheat pennies during this era in American history is the 1909 (S) in which there were 484,000 wheat pennies produced with the initials (VDB). These pennies are valued from $850-$2,000 dollars depending on the condition of the pennies. Another valuable penny during this time period is the 1914 (D) wheat penny there were 1,193,000 of these produced and are valued from $250 -$3,000 depending on the condition of the penny. The 1922 wheat penny with no mint mark of (D) are highly valuable and are valued at $750-$30,000 depending on condition. The 1922 wheat penny missing the (D) mark production quantity is relatively unknown but the error was due to a worn die that struck these pennies during production. Another wheat penny during this period that has high value is the 1917 wheat penny that has a double-die obverse and is valued between $200-$5,000 depending on condition and grade of coin. The 1936 wheat penny is valuable as well because some of these were minted with a double-die obverse as well and are valued between $25-$300.
In 1943 the wheat pennies minted were produced as zinc-coated steel because of the war and the shortage of copper during this period of time. Some of the 1943 (D) pennies had some errors due to a boldly doubled mintmark and are valued between $10-$1,000 depending on grade of the coin.
From 1944-1958, wheat pennies were produced in the bronze combination as years 1909-1942 were produced. In 1944, there were some errors on the 1944 (D) wheat penny that had a D minted over an S mintmark. These are valued between $100-$500 depending on condition and grade of the coin. Also, in 1946 the wheat penny had another error where the 1946 (S) wheat pennies had an S minted over a D mintmark and these pennies are valued between $35-$250 dollars. One of the most valuable wheat pennies ever minted is the 1955; some of these pennies had a double-die obverse and are valued between $1,500-$13,000 depending on condition and grade of the coin.
The wheat pennies mentioned above are the most valuable in the coin collector world and if you’re ever so lucky to own or find one of the key dates above you should send the coin off for grading because you can really increase your value of the coin. If you find any of the key dates of the wheat pennies you should use proper care in handling the coin and don’t use any chemicals to clean the coins. This could ruin the value of the specific coin. You should seek help with a professional coin collector where they can help you in cleaning and getting the coin graded.
2011, “A Guide Book of United States Coins”, Kenneth Bressett