The Lincoln Wheat Penny dated 1945 isn’t worth that much compared to other rare US pennies due to the amount of coins that were produced that year.
Apart from its face value of 1 cent, it has a melt value of about $0.0185 due to the amount of copper it’s made from. This is also what gives it the red color.
Although, because they are no longer made, they will continue to appreciate in numismatic value.
If you’re lucky enough, you might be able to find one that has some sort of lamination error on it or double die from the minting process, but the odds are pretty slim. Have you seen one that is upside down? That would also increase its value.
An uncirculated mint condition 1945 Wheat Penny produced in Philadelphia sold at auction for around $4400. You can also find them selling on eBay for up to $200.
The Denver minted version sells on eBay for around $26 and has an auction record price of $14,000.
The San Francisco minted version also sells on eBay for around $26.
Can you spot the mistake on the 1945 S and D Wheat Penny shown in the Video?
The 1945 Wheat Penny was created by the designer and engraver Victor D Brenner and is made from 95% Copper and 5% Zinc (No Tin). It weighs 3.11 grams and is 19mm in diameter.
Usually Lincoln cents are made up of 95% Copper and 5% Tin/Zinc although between 1944 and 1946, the coins were supposedly made with metal melted down from World War II shell casings.
Due to this variation in the metal during this period, you may know the 1945 Lincoln Wheat Pennies as ‘Shell Case Cents’.
On the obverse side of the coin is a profile portrait of Abraham Lincoln pointing to the right. To the left of this President’s image is the word ‘LIBERTY’. To the right of the image is the date 1945 with the mint mark location underneath. Above the portrait in arched writing it reads, ‘IN GOD WE TRUST’.
On the reverse side of the coin, centered in large writing, it reads, ‘ONE CENT UNITED STATES OF AMERICA’. On each side of this writing there is an ear of wheat, leading to the coin being named ‘Wheat Penny’. At the top of the reserve side it reads, ‘E PLURIBUS UNUM’. This Latin phrase translates as ‘Out of many, one’ or ‘One from many’.
Out of the three variations, the 1945 S Wheat Penny minted in San Francisco is probably the most valuable at around $2-$6 in mint condition. The circulated value would be a lot less. Maybe $0.10-$0.20.
This is because San Francisco made the least amount of penny coins that year at around 181,770,000 making them more rare than other variations.
You will notice that any wheat pennies minted in San Francisco have a small ‘s’ under the date on the obverse or head side of the coin.
Likewise, any that were minted in Denver have a small ‘d’ under the date.
In 1945 there were around 1,488,553,000 wheat cents minted. 266,268,000 are D Wheat pennies minted is Denver, while 1,040,515,000 were minted in Philadelphia and have no mint mark. Some people refer to these as 1945 P Wheat Pennies.
The remaining 181,700,000 as I mentioned previously were minted in San Francisco and are known as S Wheat Pennies.
If you have a 1945 Wheat Penny made of steel, it is virtually worthless. That’s because it’s most likely a fake or has been tampered with in some way to make it silver looking.
In 1945 all Lincoln Cents were made from Copper and Zinc. They only produced Steel Pennies in 1943 and 1944 due to needing all the copper for the war effort, then reverted back to the traditional Bronze composite without the tin in 1945.
From 1946 onwards, the tin was added back into the Bronze composite.