4 Rare Pennies With Cool Backstories

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4 Rare Pennies With Cool Backstories

14 October 2015
 Categories: , Blog

If you love coin collecting, then you probably love a good story about a coin's history. Part of the joy in collecting coins is to learn the history behind them. Some coins have a cooler story then others. Below are 4 Lincoln pennies that have all have a very interesting story associated with their production. Even though some of them are super expensive, it is still fun to learn about them.

1909 Lincoln Penny (The VDB-S Penny)

This penny replaced the Indian head penny. The designer was a man named Victor David Brenner. He was an immigrant from Austria that had garnered praise for his portraiture and engraving. Because of this, he was selected to design the new penny, which was to feature President Abraham Lincoln.

Brenner signed his engraving in an unusual way; he placed his initials prominently at the bottom of the wheat image on the back of the coin. This received a lot of criticism from people who believed that it was not appropriate for the artist to flaunt their name on the coin. So, from 1910 onward, the coin no longer had his initials. The rarest of the 1909 coins were those minted at the San Francisco mint. They bear the initial S under the year.

1955 Double Die Penny

This Lincoln penny is one of the most collectible coins, after the original 1909 VDB-S penny. This one has less to do with an artist's signature and more to do with a mistake in the minting process. The coin was minted at the Philadelphia mint, and there was an error during production. This error caused the date to be double stamped, creating a blurry looking date. They are extremely rare and are highly sought by collectors.

1943 Copper Cent

Why is a regular copper penny rare? Because during 1943, the mint decided to make pennies using steel. This was because the copper was needed for the war. However, there were mistakes. Some mint workers accidentally used copper slugs for the press, and these coins went out into general circulation.

1944 Steel Cent

The decision to switch from copper to steel only lasted for one year. The mint reverted back to using copper in 1944. However, much like with the accidental copper cents of 1943, there were accidental steel cents struck in 1944. These coins are incredibly rare and quite expensive. These are not coins that an average collector would every purchase, but they are still a fascinating part of the Lincoln penny collection.