1920 Wheat Penny Value (Rare Errors, No Mint Mark, Price)

The 1920 Lincoln wheat pennies have a particular place in coin collecting. Although a significant 405,665,000 of these pieces were created throughout three mints, their age has caused many to wear out, making those in mint condition especially desirable.

Wheat pennies, also known as Lincoln cents, were released in 1909 to commemorate Abraham Lincoln’s 100th birthday, succeeding the Indian Head cent, which had been in circulation from the mid-19th century.

Let us look at the value of the 1920 wheat penny depending on its condition, mint mark, and toning.

1920 No Mint Mark Wheat Penny

ConditionPrice
Good Condition$0.22
Very Good Condition$0.33
Fine Condition$0.39
Very Fine Condition$0.56
Extra Fine Condition$2.55
AU (Almost Uncirculated) Condition$4.52
Mint State 60$17
Mint State 63$31

1920 D (Denver Mint) Wheat Penny

ConditionPrice
Good Condition$1.13
Very Good Condition$1.71
Fine Condition$3.30
Very Fine Condition$7.18
Extra Fine Condition$21
AU (Almost Uncirculated) Condition$45
Mint State 60$91
Mint State 63$121

1920 S (San Francisco Mint) Wheat Penny

ConditionPrice
Good Condition$0.56
Very Good Condition$0.73
Fine Condition$1.71
Very Fine Condition$2.55
Extra Fine Condition$11
AU (Almost Uncirculated) Condition$39
Mint State 60$121
Mint State 63$205

Design and Symbolism

  • The wheat penny’s obverse (front) has an image of Abraham Lincoln, while the reverse (back) shows two wheat stalks enclosing the words “ONE CENT.”
  • The wheat stalks represent agriculture, recalling Lincoln’s humble beginnings as a country child.

Varieties

  • 1909 VDB: The first year of issue included the initials “VDB” (for designer Victor David Brenner) on the reverse. Due to public outcry, the initials were later removed.
  • 1914-D: A scarce and valuable coin from the Denver Mint.
  • 1922 No D: An error coin without the mint mark, making it highly sought after.
  • 1943 Steel Cent: During World War II, copper was needed for ammunition, so pennies were temporarily minted in steel.
  • 1955 Double Die Obverse: A famous variety with a noticeable doubling of the date and lettering.

Composition & Design Changes

To aid in the war effort, pennies were produced of zinc-coated steel rather than copper in 1943. These are usually referred to as steel cents. Following the war, in 1944, they returned to the original bronze composition (95% copper, 5% tin, and zinc). The design was revised in 1959 to include the Lincoln Memorial instead of the wheat stalks. The reverse of the Memorial displays the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Some wheat pennies are highly valuable, particularly those in mint condition or of specialised kinds. Mint markings, quality, and rarity are all important factors that influence value. Collectors frequently seek after full sets of wheat pennies.

Legacy

Wheat pennies invoke nostalgia and transport us back to a time when these coins were part of everyday interactions. They remain popular among numismatists and history buffs.

What is the most valuable wheat penny?

The most valuable wheat cent is a numismatic treasure, sought for by both collectors and enthusiasts. Let’s look at some of the uncommon and desirable varieties:

1914-D Wheat Penny

  • This dime, minted in Denver, is extremely rare due to its limited production.
  • It can be sold for $500 to $1,000 in excellent condition

1922 No D-Wheat Penny

  • A intriguing mistake coin with no mint mark (often found on the reverse).
  • Collectors value these highly.
  • In good condition, it may be worth $1,000 or more.

1955 Double Die Obverse

  • One of the most popular coin.
  • The date and letters are doubled due to a die mistake during minting.
  • In immaculate condition, it can sell for more than $1,000.

1943 Copper Wheat Penny

  • During World War II, the 1943 Copper Wheat Penny was coined in steel to conserve copper.
  • However, a few copper planchets were unintentionally put into production.
  • Only a few exist, making them extremely precious.
  • The 1943 copper cent could be worth more than $100,000.

1958 Doubled Die Obverse

  • This variant features noticeable doubling on the obverse.
  • In immaculate condition, it can be worth several thousand dollars.

Condition Matters

  • The value of a wheat cent is determined by its condition (graded by organisations such as PCGS or NGC).
  • Coins in mint condition (uncirculated) or with minimum wear are worth more.

What is the difference between a Wheat penny and a Steel Cent?

Wheat PennySteel Cent
Wheat pennies, sometimes known as Lincoln cents, were first produced in 1909 to commemorate Abraham Lincoln’s 100th birthday.During World War II, copper was in short supply due to its high demand for military applications.
The US Mint shifted from copper to zinc-coated steel for penny manufacture in 1943.
The obverse (front) shows an image of Abraham Lincoln.Steel pennies have a distinctive grey tint.
Reverse (Back) features two wheat stalks, which is how they received their nickname.They were frequently mistaken for dimes due to their similar colour and weight.Unfortunately, they rusted easily.
Steel pennies were manufactured for just one year (1943).
Composition originally struck with 95% copper.While historically significant, they were not as popular among collectors as copper wheat pennies.
Because of their distinctive design and historical significance, they have grown in appeal with collectors.Despite the intended goal to create steel pennies exclusively in 1943, a small amount of steel wheat coins were also coined in 1944 due to remaining

Identifying a 1944 Steel Wheat Penny

Magnet Test

Use a magnet to determine whether steel pennies are attracted to magnets or copper pennies are not.

Colour


Steel pennies have a distinct grey colour, as opposed to copper pennies, which are reddish-brown.

Date

Check the date; if it’s a 1944 penny, look at its qualities.

1920 Wheat Penny Errors

Collectors cherish the 1920 Lincoln wheat pennies. Let’s look at their value and some interesting errors:

1920 No-Mint Mark Wheat Penny

  • The Philadelphia mint produced 310,165,000 of these pieces in 1920.
  • Despite the high mintage, uncirculated coins are scarce on the market.
  • Brown-toned specimens might cost anywhere from $10 and $70.
  • Red-brown ones cost between $20 and $120, but immaculate red examples of the best grade can sell up to $6,600.
  • Here’s a look at their value based on condition:
    • MS 60: $12 to $14.40
    • MS 63: $17 to $20.40
    • MS 65: $220 to $260

1920 D Wheat Penny (Denver mint)

  • Denver made 49,280,000 of these coins in 1920.
  • Depending on their ranking, they range in price from $60 to $450.
  • Rare red-toned examples can get upwards of $14,000 to $16,000 at auction1
  • A 1920 D MS 66 RD Lincoln wheat cent sold for an amazing $31,050 at Heritage Auctions in 2007.

1920 Wheat Penny (San Francisco Mint)

  • The 1920 S penny is the most uncommon of the lot, with only 46,220,000 being minted.
  • Worn, circulating coins are inexpensive, whereas brown mint-state c
  • Coins can sell between $85 to $690.
  • These coins resemble hidden treasures waiting to be uncovered.

Related Post

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  3. 1961 Penny Value (Rare Errors, No Mint Mark, Price)

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