Many people have amazing treasures in their possession and don’t even know it. Antiques handed down from relatives. Paintings hanging on the walls. A stack of old books in the basement. Some of the most incredible collectible items sit undetected for decades as their owners simply don’t consider them having much value. Many times they might not even realize they own them at all. Even among the loose change in your desk drawer, an undiscovered nugget could be hiding. It just might pay off to familiarize yourself with the most valuable wheat pennies.
The facts are that many people have no idea an old penny could have much value. If you find a wheat penny lying around, you might want to take a closer look. You could have a coin worth thousands of dollars right under your nose.
The wheat penny was minted in Philadelphia and San Francisco from 1909 to 1956. It’s mostly made from copper, with steel coins minted only during World War II. The design came from Victor David Brenner, who emigrated to New York City from Lithuania. He arrived in New York City with very little except a skill in gem and seal engraving, a trade his father had taught him. Brenner proposed a design for a coin that would later be known as the Lincoln coin or Lincoln cent. It featured Abraham Lincoln on one side and two stalks of wheat on the other. U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt chose the design by Brenner and ordered it to begin production in 1909 to commemorate Lincoln’s 100th birthday.
The coin designed by Brenner turned out to be the longest-running design in United States Mint history. Many historians also believe the Brenner designed wheat penny to be the most reproduced piece of art in world history.