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Top Pop 1924 Lincoln Wheat Cent in Demand at GreatCollections

Lincoln Wheat Cent By CoinWeek ….
Later this week on Sunday, June 23, bidding ends on this 1924 Lincoln Wheat cent, graded MS-67+ RD by PCGS, on GreatCollections.com. Even though the Philadelphia Mint produced over 75 million pennies in 1924, all cents struck before roughly 1930 tend to be scarce in high condition. The present Lincoln Wheat Cent being one of only two examples of the date reported at that grade with none higher, PCGS gives an estimated value of $18,500 USD for the condition rarity.

Lincoln Wheat CentUnfortunately, there are no auction records for a PCGS 67+ RD by which to judge this estimate for ourselves, but there are records for the 10 pieces certified at PCGS MS-67. While an example sold in January of this year for $7,800, the issue in 67 sold for $9,400 twice in 2017: once in August and once in March – both times by different auction houses. And going back a few more years, we see a 1924 67 RD going for $12,925 in July 2014 and a whopping $16,450 in April 2013.

To check on auction results for this or any other coin, search through the GreatCollections Auction Archives, with records for over 600,000 certified coins the company has sold over the past seven years.

With almost a 10-grand spread in prices realized for a “mere” 67, there’s no telling where the top pop coin might end up by the close of bidding Sunday night. At the time of writing, the highest bid on this 1924 Lincoln cent was $9,750 USD after 57 bids.

A Brief History of the Lincoln Wheat Cent

The Lincoln wheat cent is the United States’ longest-serving coin design. Its 1909 debut marked the centennial of the birth of Abraham Lincoln and its elegant sculptural motif served as the vanguard of a new wave of American coin art. And while the golden era of American coin design is most associated with medallic artist and sculptor Augustus Saint-Gardens, it is the early 20th-century work of Litvak-American sculptor Victor David Brenner that has remained in circulation to this day.

The first year of the design includes the issues that prominently display on the reverse the initials of the designer, something that caused controversy at the time of release even though designers initials had previously been placed on U.S. coins. Because those initials were subsequently removed (and then reinstated in a less conspicuous location on the obverse in 1918), the 1909 V.D.B. and 1909-S V.D.B. cents are considered a separate type.

On the obverse, Brenner’s portrait of Abraham Lincoln depicts the president from the shoulder up. Lincoln is dressed in a period suit wearing a bow tie. Brenner’s initials “V.D.B.” appear in Lincoln’s shoulder truncation. At the top of the design, wrapping around the rim is the motto “IN GOD WE TRUST”. “LIBERTY” appears behind Lincoln’s neck, on the left side of the coin. The date appears slightly lower, in front of Lincoln’s portrait, on the coin’s right side. Below the date, appears the mintmark “S” for San Francisco.

On the reverse, Brenner’s “Wheat Cent” reverse. Two sheaths of wheat wrap around the right and the left side of the coin. At the top of the design, the motto “E ·PLURIBUS · UNUM” wraps around the rim. ONE CENT is inscribed in large letters, sans serif, the bottom arm of the E extends beyond the arm at the top. The middle arm is recessed. Beneath, in the same font, but smaller type: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

Lincoln cents were made of bronze most years, with a couple of variations during the years of World War II. Because copper was a critical war material, cents in 1943 were produced on zinc-coated steel planchets. That event resulted in the inadvertent creation of two Lincoln cent rarities: the first, the copper cents dated 1943; the second, the steel cents dated 1944.

From 1944 through 1946 cents were produced from reused shell cases, whose bronze composition was nearly identical to the original issues, minus the tin.

Frank Gasparro designed the 1959 Lincoln Memorial reverse that replaced the original 1909 Brenner wheat stalk design.


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