Why You Need to Look at Every Penny from 2009-2023 (Hint: Some are Worth $1,000 or More)

2009 US Penny with Lincoln and birth and early childhood Kentucky reverse
rusm / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Penny pinching takes on a new meaning when you realize that some pennies minted between 2009 and 2023 might be worth a fortune. These aren’t just ordinary pennies, but special error coins that collectors are paying top dollar for.

The YouTube channel and coin hunting and coin rolling experts, Couch Collectibles, compiled a list of pennies from 2009-2023 with common mistakes in the design, with image examples, their mint condition and how much they sold at auction. Please see the video for visual aid on these pennies, or check out their channel for more coin hunting and coin rolling advice.

In the video, host Justin Couch emphasizes, “The value of these pennies hinges on their condition.” Keep this in mind as the selling price of the listed pennies is greatly influenced by their state and other factors Here are the key details about these valuable pennies.

2009 Lincoln Penny Errors

  • Professional Life Reverse Design: Features doubled pillars from the capitol.
  • Other Double Die Reverse (DDR): This error is marked by a doubling on Lincoln’s thumb and other fingers, with the doubling being quite subtle. These coins have fetched prices ranging from $26 to over $90.

2014 & 2015 Lincoln Penny Errors

  • 2014 Doubled Die Obverse: This penny displays a doubling on the date “2014”, with one such coin selling for over $40.
  • 2015 Doubled Die Obverse: Two major errors here – one with the date “2015” doubled, and the other on the word “Liberty”. Even in average condition, one of these sold for more than $20.
  • 2015 Error Defective Planchet: Struck on a defective planchet, this penny has a profound slash running through it. A coin with this error fetched a surprising $552 at auction.
  • 2015 Split Die: With a minor slash extending from one side to the other, this penny secured $192 at an auction. Another variant, with the slash originating from the opposite side, sold for a whopping $750.
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2016 Lincoln Penny Error

  • 2016 Split Die and Rotated Die: This coin is characterized by a crack running through Lincoln’s nose. The “rotated die” error means that while Lincoln’s head is upright, flipping the coin doesn’t show the reverse side parallel, but instead rotated. This unique penny brought in $264 at auction.

2018 & 2019 Lincoln Penny Errors

  • 2018 Doubled Die Obverse: Keep an eye out for Lincoln sporting a doubled ear.
  • 2019 Doubled Die Obverse: The “2019” date on these pennies is doubled. Even in less than mint condition, one sold for $20.
  • 2019 Double Die Obverse: This penny features extra metal on Lincoln’s chin, which intrigued a collector enough to purchase an ungraded one for $45.

2021 Lincoln Penny Errors

  • 2021 Reverse Defective Plating: The back of this penny displays defective plating, making it look heavily scratched. This seemingly “damaged” penny was auctioned for $264.
  • 2021 Die Break: This penny is marked with a significant slash at the bottom, cutting through both the date and Lincoln’s neck. The coin’s unusual appearance helped it fetch $372 at auction.

2023 Lincoln Penny Error

  • 2023 Designer Misprint: This year’s penny has made headlines in the coin-collecting world. The VDB initials at the bottom mistakenly include an extra “V”. Many have been found, but their rarity and intrigue have made them highly sought after, with some selling for hundreds and even thousands of dollars.

Justin Couch later notes in the video, for some of the more lower priced coins, Imagine if you found more of these pennies.” And later, speaking on the penny sold for $20 at auction, “Image if you found a whole roll of these”.

So, the next time you come across pennies from the 2009-2023 era, take a closer look. You might just find yourself in possession of a coin worth far more than one cent.

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Editor's note: This article was produced via automated technology and then fine-tuned and verified for accuracy by a member of GOBankingRates' editorial team.

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