SOME of the most valuable coins in US history are pennies embossed with President Abraham Lincoln.
A collector recently paid $1,975 for a 1909-S VDB Wheat Cent, a particularly rare Lincoln penny with a controversial history.
According to the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS), the 1909-S VDB penny is “one of the favorites in the entire series of US coins” among collectors.
To understand why this penny is so valuable, you need to know a little more about the man who gave the VDB penny its name and design.
History of the VDB Pfennig
Victor David Brenner was commissioned to design a penny with the face of Abraham Lincoln in 1909 to commemorate the 16th President’s centenary.
Brenner made Lincoln pennies for four decades, but no design garnered as much attention as his 1909 version.
He printed his initials – VDB – on the back of the original 1909 Lincoln Wheat Cent design, drawing the ire of many at the time.
According to PCGS President Ron Guth, journalists in particular had concerns about the placement of Brenner’s initials.
Mr Guth wrote that reporters argued it was “far from unremarkable and the initials were free, illegal advertising for the designer”.
The initials were removed from future designs and 72 million pennies were minted that year without the VDB.
The Value of VDB Lincoln Pennies
This VDB penny was minted in San Francisco where 484,000 were made.
As a result, the coin is considered a deadline penny, meaning it is one of the most desirable cents in US history.
These coins are easily distinguished from their Philadelphia counterparts that year thanks to the “S” below the year of issue on the obverse of the cent.
Philadelphia coins do not have such a letter indicating where they were made.
The value of VDB-S pennies can vary by grade and condition – the USA Coin Book lists the highest and lowest prices as $2,277 and $847 respectively.
This recently sold coin was originally listed for $1,000 and four bidders exchanged 17 bids before it sold for $1,975.
Uncirculated variations of VDB coins can be worth more than $5,000, according to PCGS auction data.
If you happen to find a 1909 San Francisco penny without Brenner’s initials on the back, you can still sell it for a decent profit – these coins can be worth $70 to $350 per PCGS.
A 1909 Philadelphia penny, on the other hand, can fetch you anywhere from $5 to $20 at auction.
How to find valuable coins
There are many ways to find rare coins.
The first thing you should do is look around your house or places where you might be storing loose change.
You can also try using an outdoor metal detector or stop by your local bank and ask for a roll of coins.
You can easily exchange bills for coins and get so much change that you can sort by standouts for free.
To check if your coins are worth anything on eBay, search by full name, select the “sold” listing, then toggle the search to “highest value”.
This way you get a feel for what collectors are willing to pay for your coins.
You can either sell the coin on eBay or through a specialized website like Coinappraiser or USA Coin Book.
And beware of potential counterfeits when buying online.
To avoid this, it’s worth checking the history of the seller and whether or not the coin on the listing has been certified.
For more coin news, a collector spotted a flaw in some 2021 pennies that can make them worth hundreds of dollars.
https://www.the-sun.com/money/5929751/rare-lincoln-penny-vdb-letters-sells/ Rare Lincoln penny is selling online for $1,975 – the exact date and letter to look for will make your coins worth thousands