The Old Pennies That Are Worth Collecting

Old pennies have come to be widely appreciated as valuable assets both by individuals, archivists and museums. Having featured at certain times in history, their unique features which are more often attributed to errors in minting, have made the coins stand out thus increasing demand. In this regard, rare coin collectors have made it their job to find and collect the old pennies. But which ones have the greatest value. Let’s look at those that stand out. 

The Old Pennies That Are Worth Collecting

Rare Pennies Worth Collecting

The 1943 Steel Penny

The Steel pennies were made during World War II. They were primarily intended for use in preserving copper that was utilized by the army fighters. This variety of pennies lasted for only one year, in which a short stay in use is attributed to their acute scarcity, and therefore astronomical demand. It’s thus one of the rare coins that are worth collecting. So if you are lucky to collect any Steel penny from 1943, you should know that it’s worth much more than it looks.

The 1943 Bronze Lincoln Cent

Interestingly, the coin was generated by the United States Mint by mistake. They were released into circulation long after the U.S Mint had switched to minting pennies from Zinc-coated steel in order to preserve the copper for war. However, a few bronze coins got stuck in the huge tote bins and later released.

They are a few in number and therefore hard to find. But if you get lucky enough to lay your hands on any, then you are sure to fetch about USD $500.

The 1992 Close AM Reverse Dime

This coin had a unique spacing of letters “AM” in the word AMERICA, which eventually made the variety to stand out from the rest. And as if outstanding accomplishments are achieved through errors, the coin was produced as a result of die mix-up, where a proof die was used for the reverse of the coin, earlier than intended by a year.

That error alone made the coins unique and worthy collecting.

The 1992 Double Die coin

The double die idea suggests that the inscriptions on each leaf of the coin are doubled. This is especially visible on the words “LIBERTY” and “IN GOD WE TRUST”, where each letter of the word appear to be inscribed twice. To see this doubling, however, you will need a 6X magnifying lens. That is how you can be able to authenticate the double die coin.  

If you collect any and are willing to make money out of it, then you can be certain that the penny will fetch you between USD 100 and USD 500, depending on whether the penny is new or relatively used.

The 1999 Wide AM Reverse

Unlike the 1992 close AM reverse coins, this variety that was minted seven years later had letters AM in AMERICA widely spaced. Still, this was attributed to a minting error, whereby the proof die was used to strike the normal circulation coins instead of proof coins for collectors.

A 1999 Wide AM penny will fetch you up to a modest USD 500 when new, and about USD 100 if relatively old. And that is just a more reason to collect the penny.

The Ben Franklin Half-Dollar penny

These 1948 variety half dollar coins bear the image of former United States President Benjamin Franklin, alongside the image of a bald eagle. Call it intentional cashing in on the controversy, as President Franklin was opposed to the use of the eagle’s image on the penny. Instead, he highly favoured the use of a wild turkey’s image.

However, a sigh of relief would soon after following Ben, when his portrait was replaced with that of President John N. Kennedy in 1964; and therefore, he did not have to oppose the idea anymore. This was an honour to the latter, having been assassinated a year before in 1963.

Hence, the fact that the pennies were circulated at the height of a controversial opposition to the image in use, and that the change of the portrait was in honour of another president makes it a whole interesting idea all the same. This is besides the fact that the coin was not used for a very long tie enough, as would have been hoped for.

For the Ben Franklin Half Dollar, a clean and relatively new one will earn you about USD 125, while a used one will earn you USD 12. Why not start collecting Ben’s half dollar pennies already!


These are some of the old pennies that are worth collecting, not only for the financial value that they return to the efforts but also for the historical memories! If you are a rare coin collector looking to start, then you know some pennies you should keep an eye on.

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About Dequiana Jackson

Dequiana Jackson, Founder of Inspired Marketing, Inc., helps overachieving women entrepreneurs conquer limiting beliefs and create marketing plans that win. This includes one-on-one marketing plan development, digital product creation, web design and content marketing. Dequiana is the author of Know Your Business: How to Attract Ideal Clients & Sell More and runs the award-winning blog,

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