Most enthusiastic numismatists can’t wait to get their hands on the 1918 penny. It has been around for decades, and the desire to own it because of its antiquity. Besides, this Lincoln cent is valuable, and they can profit from selling it at auctions or pawnshops.
The 1918 Lincoln penny is worth between $0.20 and $35. The value of a particular 1918 cent is dependent on the condition it’s in or its grade. For instance, if this coin is in certified mint state (MS+) condition, it can cost about $180.
This post delves deeper into the 1918 Lincoln penny. Let’s begin!
What is the 1918 Lincoln Penny?
The one-cent coin is the smallest denomination of American currency currently being produced. The 1918 cent is known as the Lincoln Wheat Ear Penny due to the image on its reverse, which features two wheat stalks bound together by a ribbon.
The designers selected this design to represent grain production in the United States during World War I (1917-18).
The 1918 penny is a part of a series of one-cent coins made by the US mint to commemorate President Abraham Lincoln’s birthday.
Victor David Brenner designed the front of the 1918 Lincoln Wheat Penny front but it changed to have two memorial inscriptions on the back due to public outcry.
The inscription that remains today reads “In God We Trust,” which was added in 1909. Meanwhile, the original inscription read “One Cent.”
The 1918 One Cent coin is composed of 95% copper and 5% zinc. This penny weighs 2.5 grams and has a diameter of 19mm.
On the front of the coin, Abraham Lincoln is in a circle with “IN GOD WE TRUST” written above him.
The back of the coin has two laurel branches at the sides with an inscription that reads “The United States of America.”
History of the 1918 Lincoln Penny
Every coin tells a unique story, and the 1918 Lincoln Penny is no different. Collectors seek this coin because it was struck in an experimental copper-alloy cent planchet.
The Mint Act of 1792 required that all coins be made out of metal rather than paper. It was not until 1857 that the Mint would strike a coin using a different metal.
The Lincoln Pennies were minted between 1909-1942, but it seems that the Mint was experimenting with other metals in the years leading up to WWII.
1918 was an important year for America as the country was still recovering from World War I.
Many events occurred that year that would shape the United States into what it is today. It was in the middle of the deadly Spanish flu. And, it’s the year that Congress ratified the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote.
The 1918 penny was struck at three different locations – Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco. They were all coined out of an experimental copper alloy known as “Bronze.”
The 1918 Lincoln Penny is not considered to be a major rarity. Philadelphia alone made 288,104,634 pieces.
Reason for Minting the 1918 Penny
In 1918, the pennies were minted in a steel alloy due to a copper shortage. The War Department ordered the U.S Mint to produce a steel cent due to shortages of copper.
The pennies made in 1918 are 87% copper and 13% zinc in a planchet that is 2.5 mm thick. They were slightly larger than the earlier coins and weighed 3.11 grams.
Features of the 1918 Penny
The 1918 Lincoln wheat penny derives its name from the main features on its obverse and reverse, respectively.
Obverse Features of the 1918 Lincoln Penny
Here are some of the features found on the obverse side of the 1918 Lincoln Penny:
- The portrait of Abraham Lincoln facing right.
- “LIBERTY” is inscribed across the top of the coin.
- The word “IN GOD WE TRUST” can be found underneath the date, located at the bottom center of the obverse side.
- 1918 Lincoln Cents were made without a designer’s initial or initials on them anywhere around this area. The date 1918 is found on the bottom of the coin.
- The “penny” part of the coin’s name is found below the date.
- Mint Marks are used to identifying where it was made. Three different Mints in the United States minted the 1918 penny; Philadelphia (no mint mark), Denver (D), and San Francisco (S).
Reverse Features of the 1918 Lincoln Penny
The reverse of the 1918 Lincoln penny features two wheat stalks bound together by a ribbon, with the motto “E Pluribus Unum” above and the mint mark (D or S) below.
E Pluribus Unum
Latin term meaning “Out of many, one.” Pierre Eugene du Simitiere suggested this motto to represent the union formed by the original 13 colonies. It became a national motto in 1782. The “1918” year of minting is located between the two wheat stalks.
The pair of wheat stalks on the penny represents the abundant grain production in the United States during World War I (1917-18). The wheat stalk is also the state emblem of Wisconsin’s state.
D (or S) Mint Mark Location
The mintmark for the Denver branch of the U.S. Mint is located just below the bow in the wheat stalks on the reverse of a 1918 penny.
Then, the San Francisco mint mark is located between and slightly above and to one side of the two wheat stalks.
This signified the face value of the penny.
The 1918 Lincoln cent was composed of 95% copper and 5% tin and zinc, with an outer ring of pure copper.
Weight and Dimensions
It weighs 3.11 grams and measures 19.00 mm in diameter.
Value of the 1918 Wheat Penny
The reverse of the coin shows two sheaves of wheat flanking a large “One Cent,” representing that this is one penny.
Typically a 1918 Wheat Penny will sell for less than $1 in Good condition and $15 in Fine condition. However, if your coin is uncirculated, it may be worth $30 or more.
Melt Value (Weight in Metal)
The 1918 pennies contain 95% copper and 5% zinc. The penny weighs 3.11 grams.
So, if you have a 1918 wheat penny, it has a melt value of about $0.12 each.
This means that if one melted your 1918 wheat penny down and sold it, they would get $0.12 for each penny.
How much is the 1918-Penny worth at the pawnshop?
The 1918 Wheat Penny is worth about $0.21 at the pawnshop for its metal content of 95% copper and 5% zinc. But, depending on its condition, it can fetch up to $25.
Comparison Table Showing the 1918 Penny Value
|Condition/Coin||1918 Lincoln Penny||1918 Lincoln Penny (D)||1918 Lincoln Penny (S)|
Factors Influencing the Value of a 1918 Penny
Grading the 1918 Lincoln Penny is judging the amount and kind of wear on the coin.
Uncirculated 1918 Lincoln Penny
There are no signs of wear on the coin. All of the design details are very clear and well defined. The luster is unbroken, and it has a nice even color.
The only wear evident on the coin is abrasions or minor scratches around major defining points to give an effect of lighting. The luster is strong and has a nice even color overall.
There are signs of wear on the coin, but you can see that the critical, defining details are complete with the naked eye. The surface is reasonably free of abrasions or minor scratches visible in the right light but may have some contact marks or other evidence of wear. The luster is strong but maybe slightly uneven in color.
The coin has normal wear for the age; all important defining details are complete; however, there are many abrasions and contact marks on the surface. The luster is mainly gone, with variations in color throughout.
What’s the worth of a 1918 Penny without a mintmark?
Pennies with no mintmark are from the Philadelphia mint. Such Lincoln pennies are worth about 25 cents.
Which metals were used to make the 1918 Wheat Penny?
Copper and Zinc.
How can I pawn my 1918 Lincoln Penny?
You can go into a pawnshop and ask to speak with the owner. Discuss briefly how much it is worth. Show proof and any other relevant information that might persuade the owner to give you more money than the face value.
What happened in the US when the 1918 Wheat penny was minted?
World War I was going on, and Americans used this coin in everyday life since it had similar metal contents to other coins.
Also, the 1918 Spanish flu coronavirus was spreading fast. The mints made all pennies out of copper, zinc, etc. The 1918 cent did not have a significant impact on daily life during this time. It wasn’t until World War Two that they made pennies out of steel.
Winding Up: Is the 1918 Penny Worth Collecting?
Many people collect Lincoln pennies, but not all pennies are worth collecting. As an old penny, the 1918 Lincoln Wheat cent is worth more than its face value. You can also sell it for scrap value if you’re looking for fast cash.
Of course, the first thing is to identify an authentic 1918 penny because there are many counterfeits in existence. A quick way to tell if your coin is real is by looking at it carefully and trying to determine its authenticity based on the quality of the details.
If you have any burning queries concerning the 1918-penny value, tell us!
Ten articles before and after