Tag Archives: wheat penny

U.S. Presidential Coins in Circulation Today

kennedyhalfdollarPresidents’ Day is a national holiday held on the third Monday of February each year. While Presidents George Washington and Abraham Lincoln both held birthdays during the month of February, today we celebrate all presidents! And we honor our presidents by featuring them on U.S. coins. The presidents displayed on the following circulating coins were all hand selected by Congress. While each president was chosen under different circumstances, they each appear on the obverse or front side of a coin.

Lincoln Penny

The first Lincoln penny was produced in 1909 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth. Designed by Victor Brenner, the “wheat penny” has wheat ears on the reverse. Today, the reverse side contains the Lincoln Memorial. This one-cent coin is made of copper, with the exception of the 1943 steel penny. Nearly all circulating pennies at that time were struck in zinc-coated steel because copper and nickel were needed for WWII.

Roosevelt Dime

The death of Franklin D. Roosevelt prompted many requests to the U.S. Treasury Department to honor the late president. Less than one year after his death, the dime bearing John R. Sinnock’s portrait of FDR was released on the president’s birthday, January 30, 1946. The Roosevelt dime bears a torch, olive branch and oak branch on the reverse side, which symbolizes liberty, peace, strength, and independence.

Washington Quarter

In 1932, the Washington quarter replaced the standing liberty quarter. Designed by sculptor John Flanagan, this coin was selected to commemorate the 200th anniversary of our first president’s death. The reverse side depicts an eagle holding a bundle of arrows with two olive branches. In 1975, the George Washington Bicentennial quarter was produced to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the independence of the United States.

Kennedy Half Dollar

The tragic assassination of President John F. Kennedy prompted President Lyndon Johnson to request that Congress authorize the Treasury Department to create new 50-cent pieces. These half dollar coins contained a portrait designed by Gilroy Roberts of the late JFK. The first Kennedy half-dollars were minted on February 11, 1964 and made of 90 percent silver. From 1965 to 1970 the silver content was reduced to 40 percent. Beginning in 1971, all Kennedy half-dollars made for circulation contained a mixture of copper and nickel and contain no silver.

Eisenhower dollar

The Eisenhower dollar was issued from 1971 to 1978. This was the first U.S. dollar coin to be issued since the Peace dollar series, which ended in 1935. The reverse contains an eagle clutching an olive branch landing on the Moon, based on the Apollo 11 mission. Frank Gasparro designed both sides of the Eisenhower dollar. This coin is made of copper and nickel, with the exception of the 1971-S (made in San Francisco Mint), which is 40 percent silver.

Happy Presidents’ Day!

Gary Dyner is the owner of Great American Coin Company. Connect with him on

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What Are My Coins Worth?

We often get asked the question: “What are my coins worth?” Well, the answer depends on a couple different things. For instance, your coin’s weight, metal composition and base metal prices. We’ve created this guide for people who are unfamiliar with coins but want to find out about certain coin values. Keep in mind, this is just appraisal value. It’s very difficult to tell the actual value of a coin without seeing it in person. The true value of your coin may differ slightly, depending on its condition and the current market.

Indian Penny, 1894Indian Head Cents

The Indian Head one-cent coin was produced by the United States Mint from 1859-1909. Also known as the Indian Penny, this coin displays the head of Liberty wearing a feather head dress of a Native American and the year of production. This copper penny is worth 50 cents to $3.00.

Lincoln Wheat Pennies

Lincoln wheat pennies were produced at three different mints: Philadelphia (no mintmark), Denver (D) and San Francisco (S) from 1909 to 1958. Depending on its condition, this pretty penny is worth between 2 and 5 cents. However, if you come across a very rare 1909-S VDB Lincoln wheat penny, consider yourself lucky. It can be worth between $964 and $2479!

Buffalo Nickels

The Buffalo nickel is a copper five-cent piece produced by the United States Mint from 1913 to 1938. This unique coin contains a Native American on one side and an American bison on the other. Because the coin is subjected to wear, it can be worth 25 cents to $1.00.

Jefferson War Nick1943 Jefferson Silver war nickelels

From 1942 to 1945, nickel was a strategic war material for the United States. During these years, nickels were struck in a copper-silver-manganese alloy. Commonly referred to as “war nickels,” these coins are worth 50 cents to $1.00.

Barber Dimes

Barber dimes were minted between 1892 and 1916. Designed by United States Bureau of the Mint Chief Engraver Charles E. Barber, the term ‘dime’ comes from the French word disme, which literally means, “tenth part.” Made of 90 percent silver, these small coins can range from $1.60 to $5.00.

Roosevelt Dimes Silver

Minted after the 32nd President of the United States, Roosevelt silver dimes were issued between 1946 to 1964. Also made of 90 percent silver, these coins range from $1.50 to $2.00. Roosevelt dimes are still made for circulation by the U.S. Mint today, however, not in silver.

Standing Liberty Quarters

1925 Standing Liberty Quarter FrontProduced by the United States Mint from 1916 to 1930, the Standing Liberty quarter is made of 90 percent silver. This coin displays Liberty carrying an upraised shield in her left hand and an olive branch in her right hand. With the exception of 1923-S Standing Liberty quarters, this coin is worth between $4.00 and $10.00.

Washington Quarters Silver

Minted after the 1st President of the United States, Washington silver quarters were produced from 1932 to 1964. All quarters without mintmarks are made at the main Mint in Philadelphia. Rare mintmarks to look for include Denver (D) and San Francisco (S). Also made of 90 percent silver, this coin can range from $4.00 to $6.00.

Franklin Half Dollars

The Franklin half-dollar was issued by the United States Mint from 1948 to 1963. This fifty-cent piece features Founding Father and inventor, Benjamin Franklin, on the obverse side. The reverse side contains a small eagle to right of the liberty bell. Made of 90 percent silver, this coin is estimated between $7.00 and $15.00.

Kennedy Half DolUSA - Kennedy half dollar.lars Silver

The Kennedy half-dollar was first minted in 1964 as a memorial to the assassinated President John F. Kennedy. This fifty-cent coin is 90 percent silver and worth from $7.00 to $15.00. Between 1965 and 1969, the Kennedy half-dollar was made of 40 percent silver and can range from $3.00-$5.00.

Morgan Dollars

The Morgan dollar was issued by the United States Mint from 1878 to 1904, and then again in 1921. This coin is named after its designer, Assistant Engraver George T. Morgan. Unless you have graciously stumbled upon the 1889‑CC Morgan dollar, which is the most rare of the Carson City Mint Morgans, this coin is worth between $15.00 and $30.00.

Peace Dollars

The Peace Dollar was minted from 1921 to 1928, and again in 1934 and 1935 by the United States Mint. Numismatists began to lobby the Mint to issue a coin that memorialized the peace following World War I. This is the last U.S. dollar coin to be struck for circulation in silver and is worth between $15.00 and $25.00.

Gary Dyner is the owner of Great American Coin Company. Connect with him on

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