Penny Sells For $1,112 - Check Your Pockets For One Like It

By Dave Basner

May 13, 2022

Photo: Professional Coin Grading Service/

You probably don't think much about the loose change in your pocket - the nickel is worth five cents, the dime ten, and the quarter 25, but that's not always the case. In fact, a penny just sold for over 100,000 times its face value - $1,111.85.

It was a 1909-S VDB Lincoln cent, and it is one of the most valuable pennies in circulation. Like other pennies from that year, it features Lincoln's face on the front and a pair of stalks of wheat framing the words "One Cent" on the back. The coin was designed by Victor David Brenner to celebrate what would've been Lincoln's 100th birthday, and although Brenner went on to design coins for 40 years, something he did on the 1909 one made it incredibly valuable - he put his initials on it.

The addition of "VDB" to the penny made many people angry. According to the Professional Coin Grading Service, reporters at the time said it was "far from inconspicuous" and that it "amounted to free, illegal advertising for the designer."

Only 484,000 of the VDB pennies were minted before the design was changed. If you find one in good condition, it can be worth over $2,000, while one in bad condition is still worth hundreds. This latest penny to sell went up for auction with an opening price of 99 cents but because it is a favorite for collectors, there was quite the bidding war for it.

Be sure to look carefully at your coins - even if you don't have a VDB penny, you could have something as valuable. Any errors on a coin can greatly increase its value. Learn what to be on the lookout for here, and get more info on the VDB penny here.

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