1944 Wheat Penny Value

Find out if your 1944 wheat penny is worth up to $408,000! Read more to find out.

Published on:

August 28, 2022


1944 Wheat Penny Value

Known as the Lincoln cent (wheat reverse) or Wheaties, the 1944 Wheat Penny can be an incredibly sought-after coin with a value that varies greatly depending on its condition and its other possible attributes including error coins. In general, a 1944 Wheat Penny in good condition is worth about $0.15, far more than its face value, but one in mint condition can be worth up to $2.00 or more depending on how fine the condition is. The value of a 1944 Wheat Penny also depends on how many of the coins were minted. For example, a 1944-D Wheat Penny (minted in Denver) is worth more than a 1944-S Wheat Penny (minted in San Francisco) because there were fewer Denver coins minted. Ultimately, the value of a 1944 Wheat Penny depends on its condition, where it was minted, and if it is an error coin. Find out if your 1944 wheat penny is worth a few hundred thousand dollars by reading on.

Who Designed The 1944 Wheat Penny

The 1944 wheat cent was designed by Victor David Brenner, who included his initials (V.D.B.) on the Lincoln side of the coin. Brenner designed all the wheat pennies in circulation, and the United States Mint introduced the wheat penny in 1909. The wheat penny was minted until 1958 and was replaced by the Lincoln Memorial cent.

How rare is a 1944 wheat penny

The 1944 wheat penny is not rare. Standard unmarked 1944, 1944-D, or 1944-S cent are some of the most common wheat pennies, with over 2,148,338,000 pennies produced during 1944. It was one of the most minted coins in all U.S. coin production history.

What makes a 1944 wheat penny valuable

All 1944 wheat pennies are worth more than face value. However, values worth well more than the standard value of these coins looks at a few variables. Condition is one thing that makes a 1944 wheat penny valuable coins in exceptional mint state condition always command a premium. These grades range from ungradable to MS/PR-70. A total of 31 possible grades comprise this grading system used by the grading standard for coins by the company PCGS. Error coins or coins that the mints produced with errors are the second factors that can radically alter the value of a coin, taking a very common coin worth 15 cents in average condition to a value of hundreds of thousands.

1944 Wheat Penny Values

The 1944 wheat penny is worth roughly 15 cents in average condition, always more than its face value. Some examples of 1944 Wheat Penny are also valuable because they contain errors or are in exceptional mint state condition, which are in high demand by collectors. For these reasons, the 1944 wheat penny can range in price greatly based on its condition and if it is considered an error coin. The mint mark will also make a difference, with coin values ranging from $2 to hundreds and even hundreds of thousands of dollars depending on the coin’s rarity.

1944 Wheat Penny No Mint Mark

A 1944 wheat penny with no mint mark means the Philadelphia mint produced it. The mint made 1,040,515,000 1944 unmarked wheat pennies and was the second-largest production of wheat series pennies between 1909-1958. These coins are typically worth between 2-4 cents and can be worth between $1.75-$2.00 or more in uncirculated conditions depending on the marketplace and the coin. However, graded examples of these coins command a premium, and fine-graded examples continue to rise in price.

How Many Unmarked 1944 Wheat Pennies Were Made

The Philadelphia mint produced 1,434,400,000 unmarked 1944 wheat (lincoln) cents. This production run was the most wheat pennies produced in a year and location.

How much is a 1944 no mint mark wheat penny worth

An unmarked 1944, no-mint wheat penny is the most common of the three mint mark coins, and although it does not contain a mint mark was produced by the Philadelphia mint. In the average condition, it is worth 15 cents—more than face value.

1944-D Wheat Penny

The 1944-D Lincon cent (wheat reverse), is the shorthand for the Denver-minted version of this coin. 1944-D wheat pennies in average condition are widespread and can be bought for considerably less than $1 at a price of around 15 cents. In graded conditions, the price of these coins can climb to around 2 dollars or more, depending on the condition of the coin and the market in which the coin is being sold. In some situations, if two collectors are vying for the same item to add to their collection, it can alter the expected market dynamics of the sale.

How Many Denver mint 1944-D Wheat Pennies Were Made

Identified with an S, the mint produced 282,760,000 1944-S San Francisco mint coins.

1944-S Wheat Penny

The 1944-S penny was produced by the San Francisco mint and reflected the smallest produced number of the three coins. It is also a reasonably inexpensive coin condition and error pending, with values for average coins commanding less than a dollar. Generally in the 15-35 cent range, also well above face value. Of course, graded versions of this coin are worth more. However, grading these coins typically costs more than the coin’s value, and that grading cost may be built into the asking price of the coin.

How Many San Francisco mint 1944 Wheat Pennies Were Made

Identified with the letter S (San Francisco mint) below the date, the mint produced 282,760,000 of these 1944-S stamped coins.

1944-D/S Wheat Penny

The 1944-D/S wheat penny, with an unknown number in circulation, was made at the Denver Mint, with an accidental San Francisco S mint mark punched into the D. The mint attempted to correct this discovered error by buffing out the S and restamping them with the correct single D mint mark; however, remnants of the S mint mark can still be seen. Making this an error coin known as the 1944-D/S penny. It is worth a minimum of $100 and well into the hundreds for versions of this coin in fine condition.

An example of the front of a 1944-S wheat penny. The S below the date stands for the San Francisco mint.

An example of the back of a 1944 wheat penny

What is the 1944 wheat penny error

This penny contains a wide range of errors. As the most widely produced wheat penny from 1909 to 1958, the Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco mint marks contain numerous errors on this penny date, some errors are worth more than others and exponentially from tens of dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars. 

1944 Wheat Penny Errors

While many errors exist within the 1944 Lincoln (wheat reverse) cent, including the 1944-D/S penny, the most well-known and valuable is the 1944 steel wheat cent.

1944 Steel Penny

These 1944 steel wheat cents, also known as zinc-coated steel wheat cents, are among the rarest of the 1944 Lincoln wheat cent errors. Similar to the 1943 copper wheat cent, which was made in error with copper blanks, these steel pennies were made in error with leftover steel blanks mixed in with the brass blanks during production. With over 2 billion 1944 pennies produced, it’s easy to see how mistakes occur. It is estimated that the market contains 20-30 1944 steel cents from the Philadelphia Mint (unmarked), 7-10 1944-D steel cents from the Denver Mint, and 2 1944-S steel cents.

What is a 1944 steel wheat penny worth

A 1944 Steel Penny is between $75,000-$408,000 depending on the mint. The record for a 1944 Steel Penny was captured in 2021 at $408,000.00 for a 1944-S in mint state (MS66 condition)one of only two know and the finest condition of the two coins.

How do I know if my 1944 penny is steel

Using a magnet is the simplest way to tell if a 1944 cent is made of steel rather than brass. It is not brass if it sticks to the magnet. If it does stick, chances are it is made of steel. Certain metals, such as aluminum, copper, brass, lead gold, and silver, do not attract magnets in their natural states. The other way is to check the color of the surface. A 1944 steel penny will have a silver-toned surface that looks like white metal, such as steel or silver.

Should I Have My 1944 Wheat Penny Graded

The highest premium is paid for 1944 wheat pennies graded by venerable institutions such as PGCS. The value of these graded 1944 cents is increased not only because they are graded but also because graded coins are presented in better condition. Ungradable coins are the least valuable and go all the way up to MS or mint state coins, the highest of which is MS-PR-70, which stands for mint state/proof. If you believe your 1944 wheat pennies are in excellent condition, having them graded is always a good idea. A grading institution will also be able to determine if your coin presents an error or not, making it potentially more valuable. Remember that the cost of having most of these coins graded is more than the coin’s value, even in exceptional condition. The best reason to have these coins graded is if you believe your coin contains a valuable error that makes it worth hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

What Is The Most Ever Paid For A 1944 Wheat Penny

The most ever paid at auction for a 1944 wheat penny was $408,000 in 2021 for a 1944-S Zinc-Coated Steel Lincoln Cent, MS66. The coin represented the only known mint state example known.

What Are 1944 Wheat Pennies Made Of

1944 wheat pennies were only made of copper and zinc from 1944 to 1946 due to a supply shortage of tin. Within the tin element in the composition of this metal, these coins were brass, not bronze.

What Is The Weight of a 1944 Wheat Penny

3.11 grams.

More Read and information

Author, coin specialist, and numismatist James Bucki has written many excellent articles on coins and pennies. He writes for The Spruce Crafts. Professional grading service PCGS is a great resource and performs world-class grading services for coins. NGC also provides expert coin guides and grading services. They also offer a world-class price guide for graded coins. Appraisals Expert is a great option for appraising graded coins for a variety of purposes and has over 35 years of experience providing appraisals. 

Related Content

More resources for vintage design inspiration.
Collecting Coins
1943 Wheat Penny Value

The 1943 Lincoln Wheat Penny is among the most valuable coins in American coinage. Its value can increase exponentially as

Read More
1909-S VDB penny value
Collecting Coins
1909-S VDB Penny Value

Do you have a 1909-S VDB penny in your coin collection? If so, you’re likely wondering what its value is.

Read More