10 Rarest Pennies in the United States in 2023

10 Rarest Pennies in the United States, In 1792, the young nation of the United States constructed its first Mint in the city of Philadelphia. During that period, the nation’s capitol was located in Philadelphia.

Since that time, the United States Mint has established other branches in the cities of San Francisco, Denver, and West Point.

In 1793, the United States Mint began production of the country’s first official coins, and a few of these first one-cent coins are now considered to be among the rarest pennies in existence.

When the first tiny coins were minted in the late 1850s, coin collecting did not become a popular hobby until much later in that decade. The hobby of coin collecting, also known as numismatics, has seen a meteoric rise in popularity over the years, which has contributed to an increase in the cost of rare pennies and other coins.

In general, the pennies on this list are so uncommon because only a very small number of copies have survived to the present day, and as a result, their value typically ranges from tens of thousands to well over a million dollars.

1. 1793 Chain Large Cent

Rarest Pennies in the United States
Rarest Pennies in the United States
  • Estimated Number in Existence: about 1,500 (36,103 were made)
  • Year Created: 1793
  • Mint: Philadelphia
  • Value (based on highest price ever paid at auction): $2,350,000

The United States Mint in Philadelphia produced the first official one-cent currency in the history of the United States in 1793.

It was called the Chain Large Cent. As with the other two designs for the huge one-cent coin issued in 1793, the front of the Chain Cent features a portrait of Lady Liberty. However, as the name suggests, the reverse of the Chain Cent features a ring of chains.

About 36,103 Chain cents were struck, however, only a small percentage of them are still in existence.

There are around 1,500 1793 Chain cents that have survived to the present day. The majority of 1793 Chain Cents are currently in bad shape, but there are a few that have been preserved in flawless form.

There have been many transactions using 1793 Chain Cents that have resulted in prices greater than $1 million, with one of these transactions reaching $2.35 million in 2015.

2. 1793 Liberty Cap Large Cent

Rarest Pennies in the United States
Rarest Pennies in the United States
  • Estimated Number in Existence: Total number unknown; only 2 in mint condition (about 11,056 were made)
  • Year Created: 1793
  • Mint: Philadelphia
  • Value (based on highest price ever paid at auction): $1,450,000

The Liberty Cap enormous Cent is the most sought-after and valuable of the three enormous one-cent pieces that were struck in 1793.

It is estimated that only 11,056 Liberty Cap Large Cents were struck at the mint, and of those, only two are known to exist today in flawless condition. There has never been a 1793 Liberty Cap Large Cent sold for more than 1,450,000 dollars.

One of the very first pennies or coins worth one cent to be issued in the United States was called the Liberty Head Large Cent.

It was the third design of a one-cent piece to be proposed in 1793 by the new Philadelphia Mint, which at the time was attempting to settle on a design that would be used permanently for its new coinage. Joseph Wright, a portrait painter whose most well-known works are paintings he did of George and Martha Washington in 1783, was the one who came up with the concept for the Liberty Cap.

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The French medalist Augustin Dupre’s 1783 Libertas Americana Medal served as an inspiration for Wright’s design of Lady Liberty. The medal represented Lady Liberty as a young woman with her hair flowing in the wind.

3. 1856 Flying Eagle Cent

Rarest Pennies in the United States
Rarest Pennies in the United States
  •  Estimated Number in Existence: sources vary – between 1,500 to about 2,150 were made; up to 3,000
  • Year Created: 1856
  • Mint: Philadelphia
  • Value (based on highest price ever paid at auction): $172,500

Collectors place a premium on 1856 Flying Eagle Cents, making it one of the most desirable types of pennies ever produced. It is a well-known fact that the Flying Eagle cent from 1856 is so well-liked that it is mostly credited with popularising coin collecting in the United States.

The size of earlier one-cent coins, which were roughly equivalent to a half dollar and were disliked because they were so enormous, was reduced for the introduction of the Flying Eagle Cent.

In the beginning, there were approximately 634 1856 Flying Eagle cents minted as presentation pieces. These cents were handed to members of Congress and other dignitaries. A small number of further Flying Eagle Cents were struck, and these coins were presented to additional notable people.

Following the approval of the smaller coins by Congress, around 3,000 further 1856 Flying Eagle Cents were struck, some of which were distributed to collectors, and the rest were used in general circulation. The significance of the 1856 Flying Eagle Cent within the context of American history contributes to the coin’s high value and collectibility.

4. 1909 VDB Matte Proof Lincoln Cent

 

  • Estimated Number in Existence: less than 200 (1,194 were made)
  • Year Created: 1909
  • Mint: Philadelphia
  • Value (based on highest price ever paid at auction): $258,500

Matte-proof pennies were created between 1909 and 1916, and the 1909 VDB Matte Proof Lincoln Cent is the rarest of all of the matte-proof pennies produced during that period. There were approximately 1,194 1909 matte-proof pennies produced with the designer’s initials, V.D.B. However, for whatever reason, it is believed that fewer than 200 of these coins still exist today.

Even though the 1909 VDB Matte Proof is the rarest matte-proof penny in circulation today, the 1916 and 1915 matte-proof pennies are the only other coins in the matte-proof series that were struck in smaller quantities than the first 1,194 1909 VDB Matte Proofs.

There are currently more matte proofs from 1916 and 1915 in circulation than there were in 1909. In 2010, a 1909 VDB Matte Proof cent set a new record price of $258,500 when it was sold.

5. 1969-S Doubled Die Obverse

Rarest Pennies in the United States

It is a fascinating tale that connects the 1969-S Doubled Die Obverse coin to several counterfeit pennies created in the same year that also exhibit doubled die markings (the lettering on the front of the penny was stamped twice and misaligned, creating a “shadow” effect). These counterfeit pennies also feature doubled die markings.

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Two individuals by the names of Roy Grey and Morton Goodman started the production of several thousand forgeries and sold them to a collector before turning themselves into the Secret Service.

In 1970, Cecil Moorhouse and Bill Hudson found the first authentic 1969-S Doubled Die Obverse pennies. This discovery was made possible by the Secret Service’s efforts to recover as many of the counterfeits as they could.

During the process of recovering the fakes, the Secret Service discovered many legitimate doubled die pennies, but because they believed the coins to be faked, they had them destroyed, which has made them much more scarce.

It is thought that just around 100 genuine 1969-S Doubled Die Obverse pennies were ever made, and it is estimated that only about 31 of these coins have ever been certified and registered.

6. 1943 Bronze Lincoln Penny

Rarest Pennies in the United States

To produce enough ammunition for the fight during World fight II, the United States government required the whole country’s supply of copper.

As a result of this, the United States Mint abandoned the use of copper coins in 1942 and switched to producing steel pennies for the first and only time in 1943. However, in 1943, the Philadelphia and San Francisco mints were responsible for striking the majority of the standard copper-coated bronze pennies.

This occurred because the changeover to the new steel plates took longer than expected. The rarest example of a penny on this list is from Denver and is a specimen that is quite uncommon.

Only roughly twenty of these bronze pennies are known to exist, and they were struck at the Philadelphia and San Francisco mints.

It is estimated that only about 15 of these extremely rare bronze pennies from 1943 still exist today. In 2012, one of these 1943 bronze pennies from San Francisco was sold for a price of $1 million to the same guy, Bill Simpson, co-owner of the Texas Rangers, who had previously purchased a 1943 bronze penny from Denver for a price of $1.7 million.

7. 1943-S Lincoln Cent Struck on Bronze

Rarest Pennies in the United States
Rarest Pennies in the United States
  • Estimated Number in Existence: 6
  • Year Created: 1943
  • Mint: San Francisco
  • Value (based on highest price ever paid at auction): $282,000

The 1943-S Lincoln Cent that was mistakenly stuck on a bronze planchet is such an uncommon blunder that only six known examples have been confirmed by experts. This is because bronze planchets are extremely difficult to work with.

In 1943, all pennies were supposed to be produced on zinc-plated steel planchets, but a minor number of errors happened at the San Francisco mint as well as the Denver mint (those coins are also on this list). Those faults resulted in the production of pennies that were not on the zinc-plated steel planchets.

According to a notion that has gained widespread acceptance, the bronze pennies that were minted in 1943-S were produced when a small number of unused bronze planchets from 1942 were accidentally combined with zinc pennies that were already in circulation.

A couple of the bronze Lincoln Cents from 1943-S that are known to exist have been sold at auction for significant prices. In the year 2016, a bronze Lincoln Cent from 1943-S sold for an astounding price of $282,000!

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8. 1944-S Lincoln Steel Penny

Rarest Pennies in the United States
  • Estimated Number in Existence: 2
  • Year Created: 1944
  • Mint: San Francisco
  • Value (based on highest price ever paid at auction): $282,000

The 1944-S Lincoln Steel Penny is extremely rare for the same reason as the majority of the other pennies on this list: it was struck with an error during production. In 1944, the metal composition of pennies was planned to change from steel to copper or bronze. T

he zinc-coated steel planchets that were leftover from 1943 were used to make the extremely rare steel coins from 1994. All three mints combined produced approximately 35 steel pennies, but only two steel pennies from the San Francisco mint are known to have survived.

The 1944-S Lincoln Steel cent is the second rarest cent in circulation in the United States since there are so few of them still in circulation.

The 1944 steel pennies are notoriously difficult to find, which makes them a target for counterfeiters. Checking a steel penny to determine if it has a magnet in it is the most reliable method for authenticating it.

9.

  • Estimated Number in Existence: 1
  • Year Created: 1943
  • Mint: Denver
  • Value (based on highest price ever paid at auction): $1,700,000

The 1943-D Lincoln Bronze Cent is the rarest penny in the United States since it is so uncommon that there is just one known example of it.

This makes it the rarest penny in the entire world. The circumstances surrounding how this bronze penny came to exist are shrouded in secrecy, however, it is widely held that a former worker at the Denver Mint was the person who struck the coin in secret.

The employee took a discarded bronze planchet from 1942 to make the one cent, and then he kept the coin for many years before giving it to one of his children. Coin experts say this is how the coin came to exist.

According to one version of events, the scarce Denver bronze cent from 1943 was designed by John R. Sinnock, who was the head engraver at the United States Mint at the time.

Regardless of how this penny came into existence, the fact that it is so uncommon led to its sale at auction in the year 2010 for a price of $1,700,000.

10. 1926-S Lincoln Penny

Rarest Pennies in the United States
Rarest Pennies in the United States
  • Value: $149,500
  • Grade: PCGS MS-65 Red
  • Sold: January 2006; Heritage Auctions, Orlando, FL, FUN Signature Auction

On the surface, there is nothing visually spectacular about this coin. While it is uncirculated and retains its original copper-red color from the day it was minted, the date and mintmark combination sets this coin apart from all others.

One factor contributing to this coin’s significant value is its low mintage. Only nine other Lincoln wheat pennies have a lower mintage.

Also, in the 1930s and 40s, most coin collectors acquired their coins from circulation, so it is not hard to find a circulated example of a 1926-S Lincoln penny. But it is scarce to find an uncirculated 1926-S Lincoln penny with its original copper-red color.

Rarest Pennies in the United States 2023 – Newshub360.net



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