1911 Penny

by Chad Eicher

1911 Penny

1911 Wheat Penny Value

The 1911 wheat penny value is at $5.00 for one in the low grade. A 1911 wheat penny in good to great condition can be worth $55.00. Remember, the value and worth of any copper penny varies based factors such as copper prices and inflation.

1911 Wheat Penny Facts

Rarity: This issue of the 1911 wheat penny is readily available in all grades, including Gem BU, yet uncirculated coins of this date are more likely than previous P-mint cents to have unattractive toning or spotting. If original rolls exist, they may reflect this slightly lower quality. When gems are found, however, they more often than not have outstanding luster. 1911-P is fairly common in in AU, the result of mishandling mint state coins.

1911 Wheat Penny History

Like most early Lincoln Cent, this issue show a great void in the availability of examples grading VF and EF. Circulated coins are common in only in the grade of Fine and below, these specimens being saved form the mid 1930s onward by person with cons boards and albums. Once the early Lincoln’s got onto circulation, 20 years or more passed before worn examples, were sought at all. By then, only lower grade coins remained to be found.

Comments: The quality of strike with this date varies somewhat, but most fairly sharp. As is true of all early dates, at number of specimens have been seen that were chemically cleaned; these were offered for sale fully bright or artificially retoned.

As with the 1910-P cents, the value of lower grade examples has remained static of thirty years. Since this phenomenon recurs throughout the Lincoln Cent series, it’s worthy of some explanation. The peak in the popularity of collecting Lincolns occurred during the early 1960s, about the same time that con collecting itself most captured the public’s imagination. A large number of casual collectors, including a great many children, were engaged in the simple act of filling the holes in their albums. Although alert to any opportunity to upgrade their specimens most of these folks obtained their coins form circulation or from bank rolls.

With thousands of coin clubs appearing nationwide during that period, there were also opportunities to trade and buy cents for finishing their set or upgrading, but the primary goal remained merely to fill the holes. When coins were purchased to compelte a set, the condition sought was usually comparable to that of the coins found in circulation, most of which were quite worn. A market for such low grade coins readily existed at that time, as evidenced by the fact that most advertisements in collecting publications consisted of long coins offering every date in low to mid grades, with little emphasis given to Mint State coins.

The number of persons engaged in coin collecting declined dramatically after the mid-1960s, as all older ocins began to disappear from circulation. New recruits to the hobby were compelled to buy their coins from dealers or other collectors. Without circulation finds to provide an incentive for collecting in low grades, the newer generations of hobbyists were soon drawn to the more attractive specimens in higher grades. A growing emphasis on coins as an investment coincided with this trend, and the two philosophies fed on one another. The virtues of higher-grade coins were heralded by publisher of the new investment newsletters, which were another outgrowth of this changing market. As the expanding demand by collectors for high grade coins resulted in upward price pressure, this became a self-fulfilling prophecy. At the same time, however, the demand for low grade coins was either static or in decline. How many new collectors are seeking these hole fillers is uncertain, but it’s likely that their number is greatly exceeded by the supply of coins.

When prices remain stationary for thirty years, as they have for many common Lincoln cents in lower grades, this represents a loss of real value of inflation. Even with a growing emphasis on quality and condition, better grade Lincoln cents have suffered the effects of inflations, though to a lesser extent. This may be interpreted as either a bad omen for the future of a wonderful opportunity now. It may depend on whether one considers these coins to have been overvalued during the 1960s or undervalued at the present time.

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Chad Eicher

Detectorist Chad is passionate about metal detecting since he got his first metal detector as a gift when he was 12 years old. He created Metal Pursuits to share his knowledge and create the ultimate metal detecting resource on the web.

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