Messed-up Pennies

by Laura Overdeck

A penny is worth just 1 cent, and worse yet, it costs nearly 2 cents to make one! But some pennies are worth a lot because the machines made the first few pennies wrong, with crooked letters or the wrong mix of metal. Once they fix the problem, there are just those few messed-up pennies, and suddenly those coins are special. As you see from this list, you can sell them for hundreds or even thousands of dollars!

Wee ones: If you have 3 regular copper pennies and 1 special 1943 steel penny, how many do you have altogether?

Little kids: If you have what looks like 7 dimes, but a magnet picks up 2 of them (which means it’s a 1943 steel penny), how many real dimes do you have?  Bonus: Dimes are worth 10 cents each. What are the 5 real dimes worth?

Big kids: On some 1955 pennies, the design shows double – but only on 24,000 of them. What is the face value of all those pennies in dollars? (Reminder: there are 100 pennies in a dollar.)  Bonus: Because they’re so rare, collectors will pay up to $1,500 for just one of these pennies. If you have 2 of them, how much money would you get for them?

Wee ones: 4 pennies total.

Little kids: 5 dimes.  Bonus: 50 cents.

Big kids: $240 dollars.  Bonus: $3,000 total.

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