1944 Penny Value

Posted - September 21, 2023
1944 penny value

Wheat pennies are a fascinating subject for many coin collectors. Even for people who aren’t interested in numismatic coins, the unique look of an old penny is tough to pass up. Collectors all over the world love to search through bags of old pennies, looking for those rare error coins. After all, 1944 penny values can skyrocket into the hundreds of thousands, especially if you manage to get your hands on a coin with an exceptionally rare error. 

How much is a 1944 penny worth? Just like with any numismatic coin, wheat pennies can range in value from inexpensive to extremely valuable. In this guide, we’ll be talking through everything you need to know about 1944 penny values, including their mintage figures, rare variations, and aftermarket investment potential. 

Factors Influencing 1944 Penny Values

Several factors influence 1944 penny values. Mint mark variations, condition and grade, collector demand, historical context, and the general economic market all impact how much the average 1944 penny will sell for. We’ll take a look at all five components of 1944 penny values below. 

Mint Mark Variations 

The most valuable 1944 penny comes from the San Francisco Mint. If you’re checking your own pennies to see if one is worth quite a bit of money, look for a small “S” below the date. This signifies that the coin was minted at the San Francisco Mint. Mintage figures for the San Francisco coin are lower in 1944 than some of the other mints, so it’s natural that these pieces would be worth a bit more than your standard 1944 penny. 

This doesn’t mean that you’ve hit the jackpot if you have a 1944 penny with the coveted San Francisco mint mark. Even in uncirculated condition, these coins are worth only around one dollar. For circulated coins, expect 1944 penny values with an ‘S’ mint mark to be worth anywhere from $.03 to $.05. Not quite a once-in-a-lifetime find! 

Lincoln Wheat Pennies Common - 5,000 Count Bag
5000 Count Wheat Penny Bag

Other mint marks mean even lower 1944 penny values. In uncirculated condition, the 1944 penny with no mint mark is worth just over half a buck. The same is true for coins minted at the Denver Mint, which sell for around 56 cents. 

Coin Condition and Grade

Condition always affects the value of a numismatic coin, and 1944 penny values are no exception. In near-perfect condition, 1944 pennies might be worth quite a bit more than coins in highly circulated condition. Coins with exceptionally rare mint errors can be worth ten thousand dollars or more, so it might be worth taking these special collectables to a professional coin grading service. Over time, all coins sustain damage and become more worn down. This is natural and generally nothing to worry about. But expensive coins can decrease significantly if they’re not kept in near-uncirculated condition. 

Monitoring and gauging the condition of your coins is an important part of determining 1944 penny values. 

Demand Among Collectors

Demand for 1944 pennies waxes and wanes over time. This is almost impossible to predict, even for seasoned investors. But when collectors are interested in collecting old wheat pennies, the 1944 penny might sell for a higher price. We recommend taking a look at popular auction sites to get a better idea of how much a 1944 penny might be worth to collectors right now. 

It’s also worth noting that these coins tend to become more valuable over time. Each year, a smaller number of 1944 pennies are kept in good condition. If you have a coin from this time period in near-uncirculated grade, your goal should be to hold onto it for a while. If you’re lucky, investor demand might spike and result in higher 1944 penny values in the future. 

Historical Context 

The historical context of 1944 pennies makes them especially valuable to some collectors. World War 2 was still in full force, and the invasion of Normandy (D-Day) happened in 1944. Because of this, some investors appreciate the unique historical context behind the 1944 penny. If you’re a fan of American military history, holding a coin minted during some of the roughest days of World War 2 is certainly a treat. 

Economic Impact on Value 

General economic market factors influence the value of any numismatic coin. We often note that precious metals sales tend to spike during periods of economic insecurity. This is because many consumers view gold, silver, and platinum as counters to inflation. When the market hits the floor, gold prices often fly high. 

This isn’t exactly the case for 1944 penny values. Demand for these coins might not spike during dangerous economic periods. In fact, fewer collectors can afford to spend money on bullion-free numismatic circulation coins when the economy is in the dumps. Instead, we tend to see more interest in valuable 1944 pennies during times of economic instability. People sometimes have more money to spend on non-necessary purchases when they’re not worried about making rent each month. If you want to get the most money possible out of your 1944 wheat penny, wait until people have the money to spend on a rare numismatic coin like your own! 

Valuable 1944 Penny Varieties

Despite the fact that most 1944 penny values are low, a few rare variants may be worth quite a bit of money. We’re going to discuss the values of some of the rarest 1944 wheat pennies below. In particular, pay attention to the steel penny, S Mint Mark penny, doubled die 1944 penny, and pennies with errors. 

Steel Penny Rarity 

Steel pennies are always a fantastic fine. During 1944, steel pennies were the result of a rare minting error. Some coins were struck with the wrong metal, resulting in the unique look and feel of a steel 1944 penny. 1944 penny values skyrocket when they’re made out of steel instead of the classic copper that usually makes them up. 

1944 steel Lincoln cent - coin, public domain photograph - PICRYL - Public  Domain Media Search Engine Public Domain Image
1944 Steel Penny

Even circulated 1944 pennies minted with steel are worth a tremendous sum. In average, circulated condition, they sell for around $35,000 or more. Pristine specimens are worth quite a bit more, sometimes reaching auction values of $175,000+. Talk about an exceptional find! Unfortunately, it’s unlikely you’ll find any of these pieces in the wild. Numismatic experts anticipate that the surviving population of a 1944 steel cent is only around 25-30. 

S Mintmark Pennies

Most 1944 penny values are worth only a bit more than their face value. The 1944-S penny is perhaps an exception to this rule. We don’t have much data about the value of these coins in circulated condition. But in MS65+ condition, they can range in value from $20 to $1,000 or more. The better condition your 1944-S penny is kept in, the more it will likely sell for on the market. Compared to the no mint mark variant, this coin is still pretty darn rare, so they’re worth holding onto if you’re a collector. 

Double Die Varieties 

Coins are usually struck only one time, resulting in their regular look. But occasionally, an error leads to coins being struck twice with the die. This leads to a “doubled die” coin. Coins are almost always worth more if they have an error, and the doubled die 1944 penny is quite valuable. While doubled die 1944 penny values don’t exactly go up to a hundred thousand dollars, they can sell for several hundreds, depending on the quality/grade of the coin. 

Error 1944 Penny Values

Error 1944 penny values can range from very inexpensive to thousands of dollars. We’ve covered a couple of the most popular and rare 1944 penny errors above, but there are a couple more than investors should look out for. Any irregularity in the original design of a penny can be considered an error, and we recommend looking at your coin under a magnifying glass to identify all of its potential imperfections. 

Doubled die1955 Lincoln cent - coin, public domain photograph - PICRYL -  Public Domain Media Search Engine Public Domain Search
Doubled Die Wheat Penny

Some coins are minted without the small dot in between ‘E’ and ‘Pluribus.’ These pennies aren’t incredibly valuable, but are often worth quite a bit more than the basic coins you find without any kind of mint error. Some investors mistakenly believe that a 1944 wheat penny with no mint mark is valuable. How much is a no mint mark 1944 penny worth? The answer: not very much. In fact, coins with no mint mark are some of the most common ever produced; in 1944, it’s estimated that over one billion of these pennies were minted at the Philadelphia Mint. 

Notable Penny Designs 

These pennies always feature the same obverse and reverse designs. The 1944 penny bears the classic portrait of Abraham Lincoln on the obverse, as well as two pieces of wheat on the reverse. This is where the pennies get their common name, wheat pennies. Wheat pennies are extremely popular, even among people who don’t regularly invest in numismatic circulated coins. The classic wheat design was discontinued in 1958 and instead replaced with a depiction of the Lincoln Memorial. The latest change to the penny’s design happened in 2008, when it was finally changed to an American shield. 

Determining 1944 Penny Values

How do you determine 1944 penny values? There are a few steps that investors should take before they can confidently evaluate their coins for sale on the secondary market. In order to figure out how much your 1944 penny is worth, you’ll need to grade the coins, evaluate online resources, consult with experts, and check out recent auction prices. 

Coin Grading Explained

Coins are almost always graded using the Sheldon Scale. This scale ranges from 0-70. Coins graded ‘70’ are considered absolutely perfect. Coins that have been circulated generally can’t get a grade anywhere near 70, although especially rare and high grade pieces might hit a Sheldon Scale value of 65+. Coins in this condition are extremely valuable, even if they don’t come with the rarest errors in the world. 

Grading your common, circulated pennies isn’t all that necessary. But 1944 penny values can skyrocket if they’re from a low mintage year or contain valuable errors. If your coin is exceptionally rare, professional coin grading is a good idea. 

Online Resources for Valuation 

Professional Coin Grading Services are a great way to evaluate how much your 1944 penny might be worth. We also recommend checking out coin value guides, which can provide a baseline for how much your coin could potentially sell for to the right buyer. But these guides are not foolproof; it’ll take a bit of extra work to evaluate your 1944 penny and its value. 

Consultation with Experts

Consult with an expert if you have a coin that could be worth several thousand dollars. We strongly recommend working with a numismatist if your coin is especially rare and valuable. The last thing you want is to leave money on the table because of your lack of upfront research. 

Recent Auction Prices

Auction prices are even more important than pricing guides when determining 1944 penny values. Price guides can only really tell you how much experts believe a coin could be worth. However, auction results tell you how much coins of a similar year, mint mark, rarity, and grade really sold for on the open market to collectors. Combining auction results, pricing guide estimates, and expert advice can provide you with a comprehensive understanding of how much your coin is worth. 

Factors that Affect Value

We’ve already covered some of the main factors that affect 1944 penny values. A coin’s condition, rarity, and applicable errors all help to determine its value. If you have a coin with a rare error on it, keep it close! It could certainly be worth something. 

Final Thoughts: 1944 Penny Value 

Investors often ask us about old pennies. These cheap investments can be extremely valuable to numismatic collectors, and some coins from 1944 are worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. This makes it very important for investors to carefully research their coins before listing them on an auction site. A 1944 penny’s value is determined by several elements, including rarity, errors, and overall grade and condition. 

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About The Author

Michael Roets is a writer and journalist for Hero Bullion. His work explores precious metals news, guides, and commentary.