Wheat Penny Errors


GovMint.com

 
Wheat penny errors have created some of the most valuable coins in the history of the Lincoln Cent. Very rare to come by these days, flawed pennies are highly sought after by avid coin collectors. The fascination with wheat penny errors is nothing new - some of these coins almost immediately began disappearing out of circulation after being released to the public due to hoarding by collectors.

The most common wheat penny errors seen were typically caused by a build up of dirt and grease in the die that resulted in the image being only weakly or partially imprinted on the coin. Because normal use of a coin tends to wear down the image, only non-circulated coins with errors are considered valuable. This creates a rarity of authentic wheat penny errors, which makes them very desirable to coin collectors.

1956 P LINCOLN WHEAT PENNY, CENT, (BIE) ERROR COIN, , ER 11
1956 P LINCOLN WHEAT PENNY,  CENT,  (BIE)    ERROR COIN, , ER 11 $8.95
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1956P LINCOLN WHEAT CENT / "B I E" ERROR / DIE CRACK BOTTOM OF SHOULDER / UNC #1
1956P LINCOLN WHEAT CENT / $9.80
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1957-P LINCOLN WHEAT CENT (w/DIE BREAK ON "5" IN DATE)
1957-P LINCOLN WHEAT CENT (w/DIE BREAK ON $4.00
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1925 S/S LINCOLN WHEAT PENNY, CENT, (RPM 002) MINT ERROR COIN, AF 258
1925 S/S  LINCOLN WHEAT PENNY, CENT,  (RPM 002) MINT ERROR COIN,  AF 258 $52.95
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1931 P LINCOLN WHEAT PENNY, CENT, (LAMINATION) ERROR COIN, AF 603
1931 P  LINCOLN WHEAT PENNY, CENT,   (LAMINATION)  ERROR COIN,  AF 603 $22.95
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1953 S/S LINCOLN WHEAT PENNY, CENT, (RPM 011) BU ERROR COIN, AZ 084
1953 S/S LINCOLN WHEAT PENNY, CENT,  (RPM 011) BU  ERROR COIN,  AZ 084 $40.95
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1936 P LINCOLN WHEAT PENNY, CENT, (LAMINATION) ERROR AY-81
1936 P  LINCOLN WHEAT PENNY, CENT, (LAMINATION)  ERROR   AY-81 $52.95
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1955 Lincoln Wheat One Cent Doubled Die Obverse PCGS AU 55
1955 Lincoln Wheat One Cent Doubled Die Obverse PCGS AU 55 $1,750.00
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Among the several types of wheat penny errors, there are two that are the most valuable and rare. The first of these to show up was a number of pennies minted in Denver in 1922 with no mint mark on them due to errors with the die. The Denver mint normally printed a "D" just under the date on their coins. However, in 1922 the "D" showed up very little on some and on others not at all. Uncirculated, one of these pennies with no mint mark is today among the most valuable of varieties of the Lincoln Cent.

Another rare, and the most well-known, wheat penny error was the 1955 Doubled Die Error. The die used to mint these pennies was accidentally imprinted twice, the second just off the mark from the first. The effect was that the lettering and date on the front side of the coin appeared as a double image. There were approximately 20,000 of these coins minted in one night before the error was noticed. Despite the flaw, the U.S. Mint decided to release the pennies anyway in hopes that the public would not notice. As a matter of fact, they were largely noticed, and this created another massive hoarding of pennies. A 1955 Doubled Die Error wheat penny is today considered a must-have by serious Lincoln Penny collectors.

Both interesting and desirable, authentic wheat penny errors are scarce and valuable. They have been a long-time source of fascination to coin lovers, and will no doubt continue to be even more so in the future.