If you collect coins or have random pennies lying around the house because you don't like carrying loose change, it's time to listen up. That's because some pennies in this world are worth serious money - especially if they're rare, like the ones on this list. Depending on its history and how many were produced, some go for up to $20 million! So, it's probably a good idea to look through your coin stash and see whether you happen to have one (or maybe even three) of the most valuable coins out there. Keep reading to see what treasures you might have hiding in plain sight.
1914-S Lincoln Penny - $105,800
The 1914-S Lincoln Penny was minted in San Francisco, and around four million of them were minted at the time. But it's not the number of this rare penny that makes it stand out from the crowd. What makes it truly unique is the fact that the 3.11-gram coin was made with a much higher percentage of copper than the average coin. It's not hard to understand why this one's a special find.
Anyone who still has one of these valuable pennies lying around will be able to spot it, and if you want to sell it, you could be sitting on a cool $105,800.
1858 Flying Eagle Cent Penny (8 Over 7 Variety) - $11,083 (Uncirculated Mint State)
Many of the coins on this list have featured design flaws, and it's these design flaws that make them priceless to some collectors. After all, very few of them exist, making them some of the rarest coins of all time. And that's exactly why so many people are after the 1858 Flying Eagle Cent Penny. This rare coin not only has one engraving flaw, it actually has three engraving flaws!
The first can be seen on the eagle's wing, as some of it has been cut off. The number eight has also been printed over the top of a number seven, and there's a small die chip found just above the year date.
1873 Doubled 'Closed 3' Indian Head Penny - $12,650
In the coin world, the gap between numbers can make a huge difference to the quality of the coin. And when it came to the Indian Cent penny, two different designs made their way into circulation. There was the "Open 3," whereby the gap between the numbers seven and three in the year "1873" was wide, and then there was the "Closed 3," where the gap was neat and much smaller.
In the end, only one million "Closed 3" coins made their way into circulation, which means it's considered to be quite rare today. As a result, anyone with this coin could expect a return of around $12,650.
1888 Indian Head Penny (Last 8 Over & Variety) - Up to $39,064 (Uncirculated Mint State)
By looking at this penny, can you see what makes it so special? Well, if you look closely, you might see that the year 1888 was actually printed on top of the year 1887. You can see a small amount of the number seven popping out under the number eight, and that's what makes it so rare and valuable. And while only a few of them exist today, those with an uncirculated mint state could be sitting in a gold mine.
Those with coins that are thought to be in "good" condition can earn up to $1,300 from their coin, but a mint-condition Indian Head Penny will get you a lot more. Almost $400,00, to be exact!
1804 Silver Dollar Class I - $4.1 Million
There are so many different coins out there, but have you ever heard of the "King of Coins"? Well, that honor has been bestowed upon the 1804 Silver Dollar. But one thing you might not know about the Silver Dollar is that it's not just one coin. There are three classes of them overall, and with a price tag of $4.1 million attached to it, there's no doubt about the fact that Class I is the rarest of them all.
What's interesting about this coin, though, is the fact that it wasn't actually minted in 1804; it was minted after the 1930s. But the Lady Liberty coin, complete with 13 stars, is still considered to be one of the rarest of them all.
1793 Flowing Hair Liberty Cap Large Cent Penny – $19,950
Over the years, many variations of the Lady Liberty Cap cent made their way into circulation. But one of the most impressive subtypes was the 1793 Flowing Hair Liberty Cap Large Cent Penny. This particular variation was type III of the coin and was minted in 1793 as a way to honor those who bravely served in the American Revolution. And the reason why it's so rare and expensive is because of its appearance.
Over the years, the weight of this coin was reduced to around 11 grams - and it was this weight that resulted in the coin having plain edges. This rare characteristic means it's worth $19,950 today.
1969 S Lincoln Penny Doubled Die Obverse – $126,500
The money business is full of scandal, and there's no doubt about the fact that the 1969 S Lincoln Penny Doubled Die Obverse has seen its fair share of drama over the years. The copper and zinc double die coin was first minted in 1969, and it's believed that the double die feature was a result of improper preparation of the die. However, that's not what made it famous. People trying to forge it made it famous.
This eventually resulted in the government destroying almost all of them. But an uncirculated coin made its way out of the woodwork in 2008 and sold for an almighty $126,500.
1922 Lincoln No D Strong Reverse and Weak Obverse Wheat Penny – $48,000
If you didn't already know, Wheat Pennies are incredibly rare - and they could result in you pocketing some serious cash. And the 1922 Lincoln No D Strong Reverse and Weak Obverse Wheat Penny are no different. Three versions of this coin made their way into circulation, but this particular variation was the sharpest and the clearest of them all, thanks to the fresh die. However, this coin didn't spend a lot of time in circulation.
Not only did this coin miss the mint mark, but the NGC refused to attribute this coin for almost two decades. Because of this, it's now considered to be worth $48,000.
1856 Flying Eagle Penny – $172,500
It's clear to see just by looking at this rare penny that it's a special one. The flying eagle image is iconic and one that collectors love. However, that's not the only feature that makes this coin stand out from the crowd. This 4.70-gram coin was originally much larger, but the government decided to reduce the size and mix the copper with nickel in 1856 when they started to struggle with the cost of mintage.
After just a short while in circulation, these beautiful coins were replaced with the popular Indian Head pennies. Because of this, they've been known to sell for upwards of $172,500.
1907 Golden Eagle Wire Edge - $2.8 Million
If you're not sure whether you have a 1907 Golden Eagle Wire Edge coin in your collection, there is a way to check. Your coin should be minted between the years 1938 and 1907 and should offer two different sides. One side offers an image of Lady Liberty with a crown that reads "Liberty," while the other is a heraldic eagle. Amazingly, this is one of the most used minted coins in U.S. history, but it's still worth a fortune.
To be precise, a 1907 Golden Eagle Wire Edge from Mint 64 is the rarest of them all, and it even sold at auction in 2017 for a whopping $2.8 million.
1917 Lincoln Wheat Cent (Doubled Die Obverse) - $6,504 (Uncirculated Mint State)
Sometimes a coin flaw is barely visible, but even the tiniest imperfection could cause it to be drawn out of circulation. This was the case for the 1917 Lincoln Wheat Cent, as this rare Wheat Penny suffered a design flaw as a result of poor die stamping. If you look closely, you should be able to see that the letters and numbers on this coin were actually stamped twice and in slightly different places. This makes them overlap.
Although this flaw is small, the imperfection means that the rare coin is even more desirable. Because of this, it's expected that an uncirculated mint condition coin could fetch up to $6,504.
1872 Indian Head Penny – $126,500
The Indian Head Penny will always be one of the most desirable coins for collectors. Not only is the image iconic, but the coins themselves are unique. In the case of the 1872 Indian Head Penny, this one stands out from the crowd because it was the lowest minted among the whole series of Indian Head pennies. It's no wonder collectors look for this gem.
However, the condition of these coins has deteriorated over the years - which is why only mint-condition coins can grab a higher price tag. In recent years, one sold for $126,500.
1913 Liberty Head Nickel - $4.5 Million
Although some of the coins on this list have been found in attics across the United States, it's highly unlikely that you'll have a 1913 Liberty Head Nickel lying around. That's because only five of these coins made their way into circulation before they were destroyed - although rumors of a sixth coin have been bandied around for decades. And it's this rarity that has made it one of the most valuable pennies in the world.
In 2018, one of these 1913 Liberty Nickels made its way to auction, and it blew collectors away with its selling price. After all, not many coins sell at $4.56 million.
1955 Doubled Die Obverse Lincoln Wheat Cent - $17,057+ (Uncirculated Mint State)
Rare Wheat Pennies don't come up very often, but there are some that are infamous in the coin-collecting community. And the1955 Doubled Die Obverse Lincoln Wheat Cent is one of them. Although this coin isn't exactly old, an engraving error is what makes it stand out from the crowd. That's because the letters and numbers on this coin were duplicated during the minting process, which makes the letters look 3D.
Although this was a costly mistake for the mints, today, this rare penny is a desirable collector's item. And a coin in an uncirculated mint state has previously been sold for over $17,057.
1795 Reeded Edge Cent - $1.26 Million
Although many of the coins on this list are pennies, cents have also found their place in the collector's market. This is especially true for the 1795 Reeded Edge Cent. In fact, this coin is considered to be the rarest of all of the big cent coins! And that's because the coin was developed as more of an experiment rather than for general circulation, but they were extremely low-grade.
All in all, only seven of these coins have been confirmed to exist. And you might want to check if you have one because one sold in 2008 for $1.26 million.
1877 Indian Head Penny – $149,500
With its bright-red copper color, the Indian Head Penny is considered to be one of the best-preserved thanks to its high copper content. But that's not the only reason why it's considered to be one of the most valuable pennies out there. Only 852,500 of these coins ever made their way into circulation, and the iconic Indian head is now a popular design for collectors across the globe. So, it's worth a lot.
To be more specific, this coin could result in almost $150,000 going straight into your bank account. This was proven in August 2007 when one sold at auction for $149,500.
1944-D Lincoln Penny – $115,000
Most of the coins in circulation today were made on purpose, but did you know that the 1944-D Lincoln Penny was actually made by accident? Rumors suggest that the rare penny was made by mistakingly striking a blank silver coin. But in 1944, a copper planchet version of the coin made its way into circulation. And it's been noted that these coins either have an "S" or a "D" mint mark.
However, it's estimated that there are no more than ten Denver mint marks on this particular coin. Because of this, it's considered extremely rare, and one sold for auction in 2007 for $115,000.
1907 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle - $7.6 Million
With a price tag of $7.6 million attached to it, there's no doubt about the fact that the 1907 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle is one of the most expensive and valuable coins out there. The rare penny was designed back in 1907 by the esteemed sculptor Augustus Saint-Guadens. He was tasked by President Roosevelt to create a design that would make people fall back in love with the coinage system. And this is what he produced.
This $29 gold coin was minted with a high relief pattern, but this proved to be expensive - so it didn't last long. Amazingly, it's even more expensive today.
1943 Bronze Lincoln Penny – $372,000
Coin mistakes aren't exactly common, but they're not uncommon, either. Sometimes mistakes do happen, and that's exactly what happened in 1943 during the production of the Bronze Lincoln Penny. Although the rare penny was made from copper, zinc, and tin, it was mistakenly struck in bronze. It wasn't meant to be circulated but was eventually found in circulation in 1957 by a 14-year-old boy while he was looking through his loose change.
Amazingly, the teenager was offered $20,000 for the coin - but he turned the offer down. It was eventually sold at auction in 2019 for $204,000 before being sold again in 2021 for $372,000.
1914-D Lincoln Penny – $158,625
If you have a 1914-D Lincoln Penny lying around, there's a high chance that it's not in great condition. However, that's to be expected. These valuable pennies are known for their poor survival rates and their poor condition - and that's because they were in circulation for years. But despite this, they're still considered to be valuable. And that's why collectors have often tried to alter the 1944 D Lincoln Pennies to look like them.
However, what makes the 1914-D cents stand out from the crowd is their incredibly small mint mark and the large gaps between the numbers in the year. If you have one, you could sell it for $158,625.
1825 Coronet Liberty Head Large Cent - $3,125 (Uncirculated Mint State)
Lady Liberty has adorned American money for centuries, and in 1825 she even adorned one side of the 1825 Coronet Liberty Head Large Cent. But this coin isn't just valuable because of her presence. It's actually considered to be a rare coin because the design was slated by the general public, with some telling the master engraver Robert Scot that he had designed "a spectacularly ugly head of Ms. Liberty."
Because of this, a re-design was issued - and only a small number of this particular coin made its way into circulation. Today, it's considered to be a major collector's item.
1909 V. D. B. Matte Proof Lincoln Penny – $258,500
As you can tell from the name of this penny, this coin was a little different from other Lincoln pennies out there. In fact, the 1909 V.D.B. Matte Proof Lincoln Penny was one of the first Lincoln pennies in circulation. Not only was it struck with a matte-proof die, but you can see this from the inclusion of the designer's "V.D.B" initials at the bottom. These initials were later removed, which makes this one extremely rare.
Only 1,194 of the original coins with the designer's initials were ever produced, which is why they're so rare today. Those who have one of them lying around could expect up to $258,500 for them.
1933 Double Eagle - $7.6 Million
While many of the rare pennies on this list are harmless, the same can't be said for the 1933 Double Eagle. This coin has been associated with horror stories, superstition, and even the criminal underbelly. That's because this coin was never meant to be put into circulation. However, many of them somehow made their way out into the world - and since then, the coin has been associated with extremely bad luck.
Only a few of these coins are thought to be out there today, and due to their association with bad luck, it's no surprise that people want to get rid of them. And if you have one, you could get $7.6 million for it.
1343 Edward III Florin - $6.8 Million
With such an impressive price tag on a coin, you'd expect it to be pretty special. And it's safe to say that this one is extremely special. That's largely because it's so old! The Edward III Florin can be traced back to 1343, making it one of the oldest coins to ever be sold at auction. But what makes this coin even more impressive is that only three of them are known to have survived.
Known as the "double leopard," one of these coins was found in near-perfect condition by a metal detectorist in 2006 - and it was later sold for a whopping $6.8 million.
1936 Lincoln Wheat Cent (Doubled Die Obverse) - $2,524 (Uncirculated Mint State)
Rare Wheat Pennies are a favorite among coin collectors. The two stalks of wheat on the coin have become a legendary image, especially as they were replaced by the Lincoln Memorial in 1959. Because of this, Wheat Pennies minted before this year are a hot commodity. This is certainly the case for the 1936 Lincoln Wheat Cent (Doubled Die Obverse) anyway, especially as this particular coin had a subtle engraving error.
Although it's not obvious, the words and letters on this coin seemed to be stamped twice, causing an overlap. As a result, the coin is thought to be worth $2,524.
1871 Indian Head Cent (Shallow “N”) - $1,082 (Uncirculated Mint State)
In 1870, Indian Head Cents were all the rage. The design was extremely popular; the cents were in high circulation. Because of this, mints across the country continued to produce this coin - but by the time 1971 came around, the die was pretty old and worn. Because of this, it was less powerful and wasn't as able to create a strong imprint in the coin. This is seen in the 1871 Indian Head Cent with its shallow "N."
Not only that, but the "E" is also less obvious than on those produced with a newer die. Because of this, collectors are willing to pay over $1,000 for one.
1894 Indian Head Cent (Double Date) - $1,268 (Uncirculated Mint State)
While double dates can be fun in the real world, they're not as great for mints who have to deal with the flaws in their production. However, countless coins have been stamped with double dates over the course of history, and the 1894 Indian Head Cent is a prime example of that. This rare and valuable penny stands out from the crowd due to the fact that the number "94" was mistakenly stamped twice.
What makes it even more unique, though, is the fact that not all of the 1894 Indian Head Cents feature this mistake. Because of this, those that have the double date mistake are considered to be more expensive.
1926-S Lincoln Penny – $149,500
Those who know the history of coin mintage will know that 1926 was a bad year - especially in San Francisco. Although it's not known exactly why, coin mintage was extremely low that year. But that's not all. The quality of coins was also very poor that year due to the fact that the dies were heavily used. But there was one good coin to come from 1926, and that was the 1926-S Lincoln Penny.
This coin's impeccable detail came from the fact that it was struck by a new die, which means that it's now worth a small fortune. If you have one of these lying around, it could catch $149,500 at auction.
1909 S Indian Head Cent - $1,318 (Uncirculated Mint State)
The Indian Head design was hugely popular during the late 1800s, but by the time the 1900s came around, many believed that the design had been used too much. Because of this, the government decided to focus on new designs that celebrated President Lincoln. And while the Indian Head coin wasn't axed altogether, very few of them were minted. And this 1909 S Indian Head Cent was one of them.
This 1909 coin is a rare find due to the fact that Indian Head coins weren't as common during the 1900s. Because of this, collectors are willing to shell out over $1,000 to buy one.
1821 Coronet Liberty Head Large Cent - $12,535 (Uncirculated Mint State)
During the early 1800s, Lady Liberty was on many coins - thanks to master engraver Robert Scot. He designed a side profile of Lady Liberty and drew her so that she had a "Liberty" headband around her head. However, he also wanted to depict her in a more mature way. And while he stood by his design, it did not go down well with those that saw it. In fact, most people hated it.
Because of this, it didn't take too long for the 1821 Coronet Liberty Head Large Cent to be replaced. But if you have an uncirculated mint condition version of this coin, you could sell it for over $12,000.
1869 Indian Head Cent (“9 Over 9” Variety) - $1,226 (Uncirculated Mint State)
During the 1800s, most of the coins in circulation were die-stamped by hand. But as they didn't have machines to do this for them, this left much more room for error - and it's these errors that coin collectors look out for today. In terms of the 1869 Indian Head Cent, the error can be seen within the number nine. And if you look closely, you can see that the number nine was stamped twice.
As if that wasn't enough, a second number, six, is also visible. Because of this, anyone who finds one of these in their attic could expect a return of around $1,226.
1795 Cap Large Cent (Jefferson Head - Lettered Edge) - $285,279 (Very Fine Condition)
Although there's a chance that you might have some of the coins on this list, the chances of you having a 1795 Cap Large Cent are extremely low. That's because only three of these coins were ever minted - and it's believed that they weren't even minted at an official mint. Instead, rumors suggest that they were designed and produced by one single man looking for an elusive government contract.
It's been noted that John Harper created these unique coins himself and printed the words "One Hundred for a dollar" around the edge. That's why it's now worth $285,279 if in perfect condition.
1857 Flying Eagle Cent - $1,027 (Uncirculated Mint State) - $9,669+ (Proof Coins)
1857 was a life-changing year for American currency. After all, the Large Cent had been a staple in the currency business for decades. But in 1875, the government decided to scrap these larger and more expensive coins for something more affordable. They didn't stop producing them immediately, though. Instead, they started to phase new, smaller coins into the system - which is why these 1857 Flying Eagle Cents were produced that year.
As these coins were new and in development, only a few of these "proofs" were produced during that particular year. Now, these proofs can fetch $9,669+ in a mint state.
1992 D Lincoln Memorial Cent (Close AM Variety) - $558+ (Uncirculated Mint State)
While many of the rare and valuable coins on this list may have been minted way before you were born, this one was probably minted even after your children were born! Yes, the 1992 D Lincoln Memorial Cent made its way into circulation just over two decades ago, but that doesn't mean that it's any less special. In fact, collectors will pay over $500 for it if they find one in an uncirculated mint state.
That's because this particular penny features a unique design whereby the distance between the letters "A" and "M" is extremely close. These will fetch way more than those with a wider gap.
1864 Indian Head Penny With 'L' on the Ribbon – $161,000
In 1864, the United States government made a bold move when it came to the make-up of their pennies. Instead of sticking with their copper-nickel mix, they decided to switch things up and try out a bronze alloy. So, when it came to making the 1864 Indian Head Penny, they used copper, zinc, and copper. And to make it stand out from the crowd, they added the letter "L" to Lady Liberty's ribbon.
There's no other coin quite like this anymore, and if you happen to have one that didn't make it to circulation, you could sell it for $161,000 (only if you were willing to part with it, of course).
2007 C$1M Coin - $4.1 Million
While many of the most expensive coins on this list are incredibly old, the same can't be said for the 2007 C$1M Coin. However, the hefty price tag of this coin makes sense when you realize that the rare coin was made from 99.999% pure gold. It's considered to be the world's largest coin and even holds a place in the Guinness Book of World Records. And we have the Canadian Royal Mint to thank for this one.
The coin depicts the late Queen Elizabeth II and weighs a massive 200 pounds. So, it's no wonder that the coin sold for $4.1 million at auction in 2010.
1999 Lincoln Memorial Cent (Wide AM) - $558+ (Uncirculated Mint State)
As 1999 was just under two decades ago, there's a high chance that you have a few 1999 coins lying around your house. But what makes this particular coin so popular? Well, the 1999 Lincoln Memorial Cent isn't too out-of-the-ordinary when you first look at it. But when you take a closer look, you can see that there were two different styles to this one design. There was a "closed" style and a "wide style."
In terms of this coin, the wide gap between the letters is more desirable for collectors. And while it won't supply you with thousands, you could sell it for over $500 if you have one.