1942 Wheat Penny Value and Price Chart

The 1942 and 1942 wheat pennies are worth between $0.15 and $0.75, depending on their condition. The 1942 S series can be worth up to $5.50 in mint state. Error coins can be even more valuable, with some fetching prices in the hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

If you have a 1942 wheat penny, then you may be wondering how much it is worth. Wheat pennies were minted from 1909-1958, and they are becoming more and more valuable every day. So if you have one of these coins, make sure to keep it safe!

Do you have a 1942 wheat penny in your pocket? If so, what is it worth? In this blog post, we will talk about the value of a 1942 wheat penny and how to find out its worth.

What is a Wheat Penny?

Wheat pennies are a type of penny that was minted from 1909 to 1958. The obverse (heads side) of the coin features a bust of Abraham Lincoln, while the reverse (tails side) depicts two wheat stalks flanking the coin’s value. Wheat pennies get their name from the fact that the reverse design was inspired by wheat ears.

Abraham Lincoln was the 16th president of the United States, serving from 1861 until his assassination in 1865. He is considered one of the most influential presidents in American history, helping to bring about the end of slavery and leading the country through the Civil War. As such, it is no surprise that he is featured on American currency.

Prior to the introduction of wheat pennies, US coins featured intricate designs that were often difficult to read. The new penny design was intended to be more legible and recognizable, and it proved to be very popular with the public. Wheat pennies are now highly collectible, and many people enjoy searching for rare and valuable examples.

Wheat pennies were initially made of bronze, which is an alloy of copper, tin, and zinc. In 1943, the composition was changed to zinc-plated steel in order to save on metal during World War II. After the war, the original composition was used again. The metal content of wheat pennies has changed over time, but the coins are still made of 95% copper.

1942 Wheat Penny Identification Guide

1942 Wheat Penny Identification Guide

If you’re a coin collector, then you know the importance of being able to identify different coins. After all, part of the fun of collecting is being able to track down rare and valuable pieces. These iconic wheat penny coins feature a unique design that is distinctive and easy to recognize.

The obverse of the 1942 wheat penny coin that was designed by Victor David Brenner features a profile bust of Abraham Lincoln, with the words “IN GOD WE TRUST” written in block letters around the perimeter. The word “LIBERTY” is also written along the left margin. Below Lincoln’s chin is the date of issue (in this case 1942), which can help collectors identify the specific year of the coin.

The reverse of the coin features a wheat stalk, symbolizing the nation’s agricultural heritage. There is also a Latin motto “E PLURIBUS UNUM” which means “One from many”. Below the motto is the denominational value (one cent) and under that are the words “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA”.

The first thing you’ll notice about a wheat penny is its metal composition. Unlike most modern coins, which are made mostly of steel, this wheat penny is made of 95% copper and just 5% tin or zinc. This gives the coin a distinctive reddish hue. The 1942 penny weights 3.11 grams and has a diameter of 19 mm. The coin also features a smooth edge compared to modern reeded coin edges.

Mint Mark

The vast majority of 1942 wheat pennies were struck at the Philadelphia Mint and do not bear a mint mark. However, coins minted in San Francisco and Denver during this time period do have “S” and “D” mint marks, respectively. The mint mark is located under the date on the obverse.

How Rare is a 1942 Wheat Penny?

While the 1942 copper penny isn’t particularly rare, it’s still a sought-after coin by collectors. The 1942 San Francisco coin is relatively scarce, with a mintage of just over 85 million. By comparison, the other two mints struck nearly three times as many coins. The Denver mint struck 206 million coins, while Philadelphia struck 657 million. While all three coins are considered common, the San Francisco coin is slightly more difficult to find.

Proof coins are specially minted coins that are produced for collectors. They are usually struck on specially made planchets and have a higher quality finish than regular circulation coins. Only 32,000 of these coins were minted, making them quite rare and valuable. They were minted in Philadelphia.

How Much is a 1942 Wheat Penny Worth?

Series Good condition Fine condition Extremely fine condition Uncirculated
1942 $0.15 $0.20 $0.50 $0.75
1942 D $0.15 $0.20 $0.50 $0.95
1942 S $0.20 $0.30 $1.25 $5.50

The 1942 wheat penny is worth between $0.15 and $0.75, depending on the condition it is in. In good condition, a 1942 wheat penny is worth $0.15. However, if the wheat penny is in fine condition, it is worth $0.20. If the wheat penny is in extremely fine grade, it is worth $0.50. Finally, if the wheat penny is uncirculated, it is worth $0.75. The 1942 D penny is worth roughly the same.

When it comes to the 1942 S penny value, the prices are a bit higher because the San Francisco Mint struck a smaller amount of these coins. With that said, a circulated 1942 S Wheat Penny is generally worth between $0.20 and $1.25, depending on the condition. If you have an uncirculated coin, it can be worth up to $5.50, depending on an MS grade.

Proof pennies are a highly collectible item, with 1942 proof pennies being particularly sought-after by collectors. A proof penny is a coin that is minted for collectors and has a much higher level of detail than a regular circulation coin. The 1942 proof penny is worth premium values, with a coin in good condition selling for $35 or more. This relatively high value is due to the fact that only 32,000 of these coins were struck, making them quite rare.

To get an accurate estimate of the value of your 1942 S Wheat Penny, you can compare it to recently sold items. For example:

Coins are often collected for their historic value or artistic design. However, some coins can be worth significantly more if they contain errors, and the same is true for a 1942 wheat penny. For example, 1 1942 Lincoln wheat penny in extremely fine condition graded MS 63 but struck on a dime blank sold for over $4,000!

What is the Most Expensive 1942 Wheat Penny Ever Sold?

In 1942, the US Mint began producing Lincoln pennies on steel planchets due to a copper shortage during World War II. A small number of experimental cents were also struck on aluminum planchets, but these coins were never put into circulation. In 2014, one of these experimental cents sold for $199,750 at auction, making it the most expensive 1942 wheat penny ever sold.

The coin is graded PR 66 by the Professional Coin Grading Service and is believed to be one of only a handful of survivors. With its unique history and rarity, this experimental cent is truly a one-of-a-kind coin that is sure to continue to fascinate collectors for years to come.

Six years earlier, a similar aluminum 1942 penny with the same PR 66 grade sold for $126,500. Even though this is a very high price, it goes to show that the value of rare pennies such as these only increases with time.

Factors That Determine the Value of 1942 Wheat Pennies

While all 1942 wheat pennies are valuable to some degree, some are worth more than others. The value of a 1942 Wheat Penny can vary depending on a number of factors, including condition, mint mark, and rarity. Let’s take a closer look at said factors!


The value of a 1942 wheat penny can vary widely depending on its condition. On the low end of the scale, a circulated coin in poor condition might be worth only a few cents. However, an uncirculated coin in mint condition could be worth significantly more, possibly even hundreds of dollars if it meets other criteria.

On the Sheldon Scale, coins are assigned a grade from 1 to 70, with well-preserved coins receiving higher grades. Coins that have been graded at least as an MS 60 (MS – Mint State) fetch the most at an auction. Therefore, collectors are willing to pay a premium for pristine coins. However, even a well-circulated coin can be valuable if it is rare or has historical significance.

Mint Mark

A mint mark is a small letter or symbol that indicates which mint produced a particular coin. In order to differentiate between the coins produced at each facility, the Mint uses mint marks. For example, coins from Philadelphia don’t have a mint mark, while those from the Denver Mint have a “D” mint mark. The San Francisco Mint coins are identified by an “S” mint mark.

1942 D Wheat Penny
1942 D Wheat Penny
1942 S Wheat Penny
1942 S Wheat Penny

While most of these pennies were struck at the Philadelphia and Denver Mint, a small number were produced at the San Francisco Mint and bear the “S” mint mark. As a result, 1942 wheat pennies with the mint mark “S” are relatively rare and therefore more valuable to collectors.


Rarity is one of the main determinants of a coin’s value. The fewer of a certain coin that exists, the more valuable it is likely to be. This is particularly true for coins with errors. Errors can occur during the minting process, and they often make a coin much more valuable than its standard counterpart.

Some of the most common errors include coins that are struck on the wrong planchet (a blank piece of metal that has not been properly prepared for minting), double die coins (a coin that has been struck twice, resulting in a doubled image), and off-center coins. While not all errors are created equal, all of them can significantly increase a coin’s value. So, if you’re looking to score a rare and valuable coin, be on the lookout for errors. You might just strike it lucky.

Another rare penny worth looking out for are proof coins. Proof coins are those that are specially struck for collectors. The combination of higher quality and lower supply makes proof coins more valuable than regular coins. For collectors, proof coins can be an excellent way to add value to their collection.

Is There a 1942 Steel Penny?

1942 Steel Penny

In the midst of World War II, the United States Mint began experimenting with alternative compositions for the penny. The war had led to a demand for copper, which was used in ammunition and other military equipment. As a result, the government wanted to reduce the use of copper in order to conserve supplies.

In 1942, the Mint struck a small number of experimental cents made from steel. These coins were never released into circulation and are extremely rare today. While there is no such thing as an official “1942 steel penny,” these coins are highly sought after by collectors and can fetch a high price.

This experimental coin was eventually selected as the official composition for the 1943 steel cent. While 1942 steel pennies are not technically considered to be part of the regular minting process, their rarity and historical significance make them an important part of American coinage.

How to Identify a 1942 Steel Penny?

The 1942 steel penny is a fascinating coin for anyone interested in American numismatics. Though it looks very similar to other pennies minted during that era, there are a few key characteristics that distinguish it from the rest.

One way to identify a steel penny is by its color. Unlike other pennies, which are bronze colored, steel pennies are silver colored. Another way to identify a 1942 steel penny is by its magnetic properties. Steel is magnetic, so if you hold a 1942 steel penny next to a magnet, it will be attracted to the magnet.

How Much is a Steel Penny Worth?

A steel penny is worth between 20 cents and 20 dollars. The 1943-D doubled mintmark variety can reach several hundred dollars. Most steel pennies were minted in 1943, during World War II, and 1942 steel pennies are almost impossible to find.


What penny is worth $1000000?

1943 copper penny

A penny might not seem like it could be worth very much, but some pennies are actually quite valuable. One particularly valuable penny is the 1943 copper penny. This penny was supposed to be a steel penny, but a few copper pennies were accidentally minted. As a result, these pennies are quite rare, and one even sold for over $1 million at auction. So, if you come across a 1943 copper penny, it might be worth quite a lot of money.

What is the value of a 1942 wheat penny with no mint mark?

1942 wheat penny

Most 1942 wheat pennies are worth between $0.15 and $0.75, depending on their condition. The lack of a mint mark indicates that the coin was struck in Philadelphia, which is the most common type of 1942 wheat penny. While these coins are not rare, they are still collectible and can be a nice addition to any coin collection.

What are the rarest Lincoln wheat pennies?

1914-D Lincoln Wheat Penny

While most Lincoln wheat pennies are not rare, there are a few that stand out as truly scarce. The 1914-D Lincoln Wheat Penny is one of the rarest, with a mintage of just 1,193,000. As a result, it can be worth hundreds or even thousands of dollars depending on its condition.

Are 1942 pennies a legal tender?

According to the Coinage Act of 1965, which governs the issuance of coins by the United States Mint, 1942 pennies are legal tender. This means that they can be used to purchase goods and services, or to pay debts. The Coinage Act does not, however, specify a particular denomination for legal tender, so it is up to each individual business to decide whether or not they will accept 1942 pennies.

Final Thoughts

Many people enjoy collecting wheat pennies as a hobby, and the 1942 series is a popular choice. While most 1942 wheat pennies are only worth a few cents, mint state examples can be worth up to $5.50. Error coins can be even more valuable, with some fetching prices in the hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

For anyone interested in starting a wheat penny collection, the 1942 series is a great place to start. With so many different varieties and error coins to choose from, there is something for everyone. And who knows, maybe you will find that one special steel coin that is worth a fortune!

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