The bronze alloy of your 1946 penny isn’t just ordinary copper! All 1946 wheat pennies contain a special blend of copper from recovered ammunition shell cases that were salvaged from United States military training grounds. Why were shell cases used to make pennies? (Spoiler alert: a 1943 silver wheat penny is NOT made from silver! 1943 Silver Pennies Are Made Of Zinc-Plated Steel When I first got into coin collecting back in the early 1990s, I thought — like so many people who ask me about their coins here at The Fun Times Guide — that my silvery 1943 pennies were actually made from silver.
When collecting Lincoln Cents be sure to watch out for rare wheat pennies and other valuable pennies. Some of them can be worth several hundred dollars each, on up to a few thousand dollars for some coins.
First off, let me say that you should keep any wheat penny that you find since they are all worth at least three times face value. Keep in mind that I am referring to wholesale price. This is the price that a coin dealer would be willing to pay you for the coins.
Most prices that you see quoted in coin price guides are for retail price, or the price that you would likely have to pay a dealer for a coin. To see retail prices of your coins, check out Professional Coin Grading Service Daily Price Guide for Lincoln Cents (1909-1958).
If you want to see Lincoln Penny Values, or what your wheat cents will bring if you sell them, Coin Values Discovery is a great site for that.
Below you will find a list of rare wheat pennies as well as some other valuable pennies that you should keep an eye out for, including error coins.
Valuable Wheat Pennies (1909-1958)
- Wheat Penny Key Dates:
- 1909-S VDB
- Wheat Penny Overmintmarks:
- 1909-S over horizontal S
- 1944-D over S
- 1946-S over D
- 1956-D/S (dual mintmark)
- Double Dies:
- 1917 - obverse
- 1936 - obverse
- 1955 - obverse
- 1943-D - Boldly doubled mintmark.
- 1958 - Double Die Obverse - only 2 known
- 1922 'Plain' - due to a worn die in which the mintmark became filled. Look for a 'Strong' reverse variety as it is the most valuable.
- 1943 Copper Penny - This particular 1943 penny is rare. It is believed that about 40 of these were struck but only 12 of these coins have been confirmed to exist.
- 1944 Steel Penny - 27 are known to exist from the Philadelphia Mint with no mint mark and 7-10 from Denver (D). Only 1 1944 Penny made of steel is known to exist with an S mintmark.
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Return From Rare Wheat Pennies to Valuable Pennies.
Learn More About Rare Lincoln Memorial Pennies
1946 Wheat Penny No Mint Mark
Return to Lincoln Cents.
See mintages for the Lincoln Penny.
Return to US CoinsSee Where the Mint Mark is located