Check Your Change! These Valuable Pennies Are Worth Thousands

There may be a penny in your purse worth six figures!

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If you ever thought to discard the loose pennies in your coin purse, hold off. You could be throwing away thousands of dollars.

According to, certain pennies that were minted in 1943 and 1944 top the list of the 25 most valuable pennies for coin collectors in 2023.

The 1944 steel wheat penny could be worth as much as $408,000 in mint condition, and up to $10,000 in average condition, the site said.

Additionally, the site reports that the 1943 copper penny in perfect condition is quoted at $250,000 and in average condition could be worth more than $60,000.

Here's a list of the top 10 most valuable pennies for 2023:

  • 1) 1944 Steel Wheat Penny - $408,000
  • 2) 1943 Copper Wheat Penny - $250,000
  • 3) 1856 Flying Eagle Penny - $25,000
  • 4) 1873 Indian Head Penny - $10,000
  • 5) 1858 Flying Eagle Penny - $10,000
  • 6) 1857 Flying Eagle Penny - $7,000
  • 7) 1914 D Wheat Penny - $5,500
  • 8) 1922 D Wheat Penny - $5,000
  • 9) 1909 S VDB Wheat Penny - $4,150
  • 10) 1877 Indian Head Penny - $3,200

Why are these pennies so highly valued?

The reason 1943 copper pennies are so rare is that all of them would have been released by error into the coin supply. The pennies minted that year, during World War II, were supposed to be steel so that more copper could be used in the manufacturing of war materials.

Similarly, any 1944 steel pennies would have been released by error into the coin supply. Therefore, because only a small number of pennies were made of copper in 1943 and steel in 1944, they are a rare and valued find for collectors.

How do I know if my penny is real?

A quick way to check the authenticity of a 1944 steel penny is to see if it sticks to a magnet, according to Coin Trackers. While authentic steel pennies will stick to magnets, fakes that are copper and zinc-coated will not.

The site also warns that many 1943 copper pennies are fakes because a 1948 copper penny can be filed down on the left side of the 8, making it look like a 3 instead.

Additionally, some scam artists copper-plate steel coins. To ensure your 1943 copper penny is not actually steel, do the magnet test. If the coin sticks to the magnet, it's a copper-plated steel, and therefore a fake.

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