Whether the 1945 penny showed up in your change or you suddenly discovered it among your things, don’t throw it away. The vintage and antique objects have a higher value than they had before, and the same applies to the 1945 penny, also known as the 1945 Wheat penny. You’d be surprised to know how many of these circulate in people’s pockets, but now and then, they may appear in the hands of collectors who either want to keep them or sell them for something more valuable.
Whether you’re trying to estimate the value of the 1945 penny, or you want to buy one and start your collection. This article is great for you. It’ll allow you to learn more about penny minting, and how different minting locations affected the price of the coins.
The starting price of the 1945 penny is $0.02 and can go up to $1 in uncirculated state. Still, depending on its rarity, the value may fluctuate up or down.
Finally, you’ll learn what’s the current penny value based on the variants that are available today. There are different variants ranging from common to uncommon and even rare. Continue reading this article and evaluate your penny quickly and easily.
About the 1945 Penny
As mentioned above, the 1945 penny comes in different states that dictate its value, but it can be both common and uncommon and occasionally rare. It is the penny that marked the end of World War II, with the traditional Abraham Lincoln on the obverse, while the wheat was located on the reverse of the penny.
Given that it was made at the time that a great war was ending, it easily attracts a lot of collectors and historians. It has been in production in the USA for about 50 years, with a series that started minting back in 1909 until 1958.
Because it can be pretty abundant, many say that it doesn’t have a high value or that it’s not a significant addition to your collection. Still, since collectors like having all the possible items from a series or a certain collection, that alone is enough to make this penny a popular find in different coin collections.
It’s also interesting to note that the 1945 Lincoln pennies contained small bits of recovered ammunition shells. Those shells have been used to train the United States military soldiers who were to be sent to the frontline.
Additionally, there were also the shell case cents, which were made from 1944 to 1946 to replace the steel pennies that were made in 1943. They would rust quickly and also be confused with some other types of coins.
Even though the 1945 penny doesn’t have an additional story on its own, it’s worth noting that the Wheat Penny or Lincoln Penny is quite popular because it went through two world wars and the Great Depression, as well as various historical events that marked the American history.
It’s exactly these historical marks that also make the 1945 penny an important addition to the collection, and make it a part of the long 50-year running and minting. Its official name is the Lincoln cent, with the wheat penny being officially designed by Victor D. Brenner.
It’s worth mentioning that the Lincoln Cent is the first penny that featured an American president, and that there were a lot of raised eyebrows at the time it was supposed to be featured, particularly because of the conservatives who wanted to stick to the old standard first proposed by George Washington.
Is the 1945 Penny Valuable?
Pennies are considered common and pretty popular, as is the 1945 penny. It had a pretty long life, which is why some people don’t consider it as valuable as some other coins, but it enjoys popularity among collectors who are always on the hunt for new ones.
It’s worth mentioning that people who are just starting on the collector’s work are always looking to collect as many as 1945 pennies possible, because of their abundance, as well as the fact that they marked an important era in human history – the end of the World War II.
The fact that it was created at the end of the cruelest and most gruesome war that humanity has seen has contributed to the fact that many want to collect at least one of this kind. Of course, while there’s a value pattern that kind of sticks out from the regular price chart for pennies, it’s worth noting that the condition and state also contribute to how worth the penny will be.
Finding the 1945 penny that is in its perfect state is difficult, but if you do, it’ll skyrocket its value by the collector who’s willing to get your penny.
1945 Penny Value Chart: How Much is a 1945 Lincoln Penny Worth?
Now that we highlighted the details about the 1945 Penny, it’s time to identify its value. You can find the most valuable coins made in the San Francisco mint, which is also known as the “S” mint. Perhaps, that’s also the case because the San Francisco mint produced fewer coins compared to other mints.
We know that determining the value of a coin can be difficult, especially when it’s about the 1945 penny which had an important value in American history. Many things affect whether the coin is worth it or not, but the general rule of the thumb is to always examine the condition of your coin before evaluating it.
If you feel like this is something that you can’t do, you can always hire an appraiser and take a second opinion. Alternatively, you can go to different forums, especially Reddit, where multiple opinions may help you evaluate the coin more easily.
Still, you should be able to examine the condition on your own. The coins with minimal wear and higher conditions like prominent luster will be the most valuable to the collectors. Mintmark and date will also tell you a lot about the value of the coin.
The date of production should be 1945 if you’re trying to sell the 1945 wheat penny. Other details include the mintmark variety – which means you have to determine whether the coin came out from Philadelphia, San Francisco, or Denver mint.
If there’s no mintmark, the coin came from the Philadelphia mint. Philadelphia produced a lot of coins yearly, and more often than not, the number of coins that exited from it amounted to the number of coins that came out from the Denver and San Francisco mints combined.
If the mintmark of your coin reads “S” that means that it came out from the San Francisco mint. Alternatively, if it reads as “D” that means that it came out from the Denver mint.
By judging the condition of the coin, you’ll be able to determine the quality of the coin and whether it was circulated or uncirculated. However, we’ll discuss that in more detail below. Other things that could affect the value of your coin are some special qualities and quirks that may make the value go either up or down.
|Mint Type||Condition: Good||Condition: Fine||Condition: Extremely Fine||Uncirculated|
As you can see, if you want to get a bigger value out of the wheat coin from 1945, you should consider selling the options with the “S” mint mark, as they’re the most valuable. Also, the better condition, the higher the value. Good and Fine conditions don’t have very high value among collectors, and most of the collectors won’t consider an option so cheap unless it’s in a brilliant condition.
Note: One of the rarest 1945 penny sales was made in 2015, and for $4, 465. The coin was in pristine condition and looked quite beautiful in the process. Its luster was fully visible and didn’t have any scratches, wear or other signs of damage.
1945 Penny Error Value
Many coins are prone to errors while being struck. Those errors are much more different compared to the technical imperfections caused by the aging of the coin such as toning, scratches, wear, change in roughness in the coin and more. The 1945 wheat penny wasn’t an exception when it comes to the errors it withstood.
It’s interesting to note that some of the coins were featuring multiple errors which led to better sales on different auctions they were put on. The most common error on the 1945 wheat penny is the soft punching of the “One” lettering on the coin. However, some errors can also be noticed on the rim of the coin as well as the obverse.
One penny that had three of such errors was auctioned at $480 price in 2020 at the AU58 graduation. The errors can also occur on Philadelphia coins and not only those that were struck in San Francisco and Denver.
Keep in mind that the coins that were struck in Philadelphia don’t have any mint mark, so they are more common and thus easier to find if they have some kind of an error.
If you want to learn more about what to look for when evaluating whether there’s an error on the coin or not, you can check this video which looks at the 1945 penny coins from different auctions that featured errors. Some of them may have also been struck with misalignment which causes the coin engravement to deviate from the center of the coin.
Another rarity that may be attractive to the collectors is the weight of the coin. Most of the 1945 pennies weigh around 3.11 grams, but some variations may be heavier and weigh around 3.2. If you’re unsure on whether the coin you found looks larger or chunkier compared to the general weight of the coin, you should scale it and see whether it has a weight error.
1945 Penny Grading System
Evaluation of your coin may be more difficult than it looks. Although the Wheat penny from 1945 may not have as great value as some other antique coins, it doesn’t make them any easier to evaluate. Some appraisers and collectors still struggle with proper evaluation of coins even after some years of collecting coins.
- Good – The 1945 wheat pennies that are rated as a goodwill show visible signs of wear and damage that they took from the moment they were struck till today. The color has changed, and the penny has completely lost the luster it had when it was shipped out of the mint. Don’t worry, that’s typical.
- Fine – This grade is slightly better compared to the original good grade, and will probably be more appealing to collectors, although not as much as the coins with higher grades.
- Extra Fine – Extremely fine or extra fine Lincoln penny will still have wear and noticeable color fading over its surface. Nevertheless, it’s on the better end when it comes to the quality of antique coins.
- Uncirculated – If you stumbled upon an uncirculated 1945 Lincoln Wheat penny, then you’re in luck. If you take a close look with a magnifying glass, you can see minimal signs of wear.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you want to start collecting the coins, or you found a 1945 penny and want to learn more about them, here’s a list of frequently asked questions.
Is Penny from 1945 Rare?
When it comes to the rarity scale of the 1945 penny, the rarest options are those from the Denver mint. Collectors will always be on the look for coins struck in Denver or San Francisco mint as they are rarer, compared to those struck in Philadelphia mint.
Is Penny Without a Mint Mark Worthy?
The coins that were made without mint mark are more common than those with the mint marks, and thus less worthy. However, considering that the value of this coin isn’t as high as with some other coins, the difference is not so great. The 1945 penny is worth around $0.10 in fine condition while the extra fine coin is worth around $0.20.