One of the most looked down upon coins is probably the one that we use the least. The penny, it sits in our coin jar waiting for us to exchange our full jar of coins for some extra pocket cash. But, what if I told you that some of those pennies in your pocket or change jar, are worth more than your entire change jar? Some of those pennies are the most sought after coins that numismatists collect. Here’s our list of the top 5 most valuable pennies.

No.5 – 1923 Wheat Penny

This Lincoln wheat penny can be a bit of a crapshoot. Due to how many were produced, this coin can be worth as little as $.75 or as much as $750. One of the reasons being is that this sought after coin has no mint mark. It is one of the few years where the coin was produced outside of the Philadelphia mint.

No. 4 – 1909 VDB-S Lincoln Penny

This is one of the most coveted pennies by Numismatists. The VDB-S penny comes from when the Lincoln Penny was first minted. The VDB are the artist’s initials who designed the Lincoln cent and the S comes from the coin being minted in San Francisco. Only 484,000 were minted with the artist’s initals as there was public outcry for them being removed. A coin in good condition with the VDB-S mint mark can be worth just shy of $3,000. Makes it worth checking your pennies to see if you have one of these jewels hiding in your change drawer.

No. 3 – 1914-D Lincoln Wheat Penny

The 1914 minted out of Denver is considered a key date for the Lincoln Penny collectors. With only 1.1 million of this coin minted from the Denver Mint, this date has become a keystone to many collections as it is one of the most valuable non-error wheat pennies. One of these found in  good condition can fetch up to $4,300! Nice down payment on a house or car, if I do say so myself.

No. 2 – 1943 Copper Wheat Penny

The 1943 copper wheat penny is considered one of the crown jewels of collectors. The reason being is that there are very few in existence. Due to the copper shortage during WWII most of the copper used for pennies was re-purposed towards the war effort. Any of the copper pennies that were released that year were mistakes by the mint and as such were never supposed to be in circulation to begin with. Due to this, there are numerous fakes in collecting circulations. If you do have one that is real, you could be sitting on a coin worth up to $100,000! Not to shabby for old Abe’s coin.

No. 1 – 1944 Steel Wheat Penny

Coming in at Number 1 is the 1944 steel wheat penny. This penny that was issued during WWII was to replace the copper one during the war years. But because of the weak composition not many were made, which made this coin extremely rare. Like the 1943 copper wheat penny, this coin could be worth more than $100K!

Well that’s it, who knew that pennies could be so valuable? Definitely worth taking a look through your change drawer or old coin box. Now if you excuse me, I have some coins to sift through.

Gary Dyner is the owner of Great American Coin Company. Connect with him on Google+.

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Great American Coin Company