Lincoln Cent Collection Tops $7.7 Million in GreatCollections Auction


The finest collection of Lincoln Cents has been auctioned for $7,731,811 by GreatCollections, setting all-time world records including the first Lincoln Cent to break the million-dollar mark. 13 other Lincoln Cents realized over $100,000 each.

1955 Lincoln Cent Doubled Die Obverse PCGS MS-65+ RD CAC
1955 Lincoln Cent Doubled Die Obverse PCGS MS-65+ RD CAC

The Stewart Blay Collection, also known as "Red Copper" was meticulously formed over the past 50 years and included the finest examples of Lincoln Cents from 1909 to 1958, with all of the rare Doubled Die varieties. Doubled Dies became famous after the 1955 issue and occurs when the coin die is struck twice, resulting in all coins minted with that die to appear double-struck.

The 1958 Doubled Die, the finest of only three known, realized $1.136 million, and is the first Lincoln Cent to sell at auction for over $1 million (and first non-gold 20th century coin also to realize 7-figures).

1958 Lincoln Cent Doubled Die Obverse PCGS MS-65 RD CAC
1958 Lincoln Cent Doubled Die Obverse PCGS MS-65 RD CAC

It was graded and authenticated by Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) and approved by Certified Acceptance Corporation (CAC). The winning bidder is an advanced collector who needed this coin to complete his collection. 117 bids were entered by 18 different bidders.

Another rare Doubled Die variety is the 1969-S, minted in San Francisco. About 50 coins have been discovered to date with the Blay example being the finest known by a wide margin. Graded PCGS MS-66 RD with CAC approval, the rarity realized $601,875, after 199 bids were placed.

1969-S Lincoln Cent Doubled Die Obverse PCGS MS-66 RD CAC
1969-S Lincoln Cent Doubled Die Obverse PCGS MS-66 RD CAC

Regular Lincoln Cents also sold for record amounts. The finest 1919, the sole example of the whole series to be graded PCGS MS-69 RD CAC realized $421,875, while the famous 1909-S VDB Lincoln, tied with about a dozen others a the same grade of PCGS MS-67 RD, realized $345,375, more than double the previous auction record set by another firm. The finest known 1911 realized $120,937.

1909-S Lincoln Cent V.D.B. PCGS MS-67 RD CAC OGH
1909-S Lincoln Cent V.D.B. PCGS MS-67 RD CAC OGH

Blay, a sculptor from New York, was attracted to Lincoln Cents at eight years old. He spent decades traveling the country, visiting coin shops and shows on his quest for the very best, while also sharing his knowledge with fellow collectors and dealers. He consigned his core collection to GreatCollections several months ago and had expected to see the sales results before he unexpectedly passed away in late November, aged 71.

Ian Russell, president and co-founder of GreatCollections said, "Stewart spent his life procuring the absolute best-of-the-best Lincoln Cents, and they were very well received by the market. Most of these coins were being auctioned for the very first time. It might be another generation before they appear on the market again."

The 1955 Doubled Die — perhaps the most famous of all varieties of U.S. coins — realized $287,156, more than double the previous price record of $124,875, also set by GreatCollections in 2020.

"It was one of our greatest honors to be entrusted with these coins and I’m sure Stewart is very pleased with the results. Special thanks to all of the bidders that turned this special event into a record-breaking auction that will be remembered for decades to come," continued Russell.

Highlights from the Stewart Blay Collection of Lincoln Cents


Price Guide

Sold by GreatCollections

1909-S Lincoln Cent V.D.B. PCGS MS-67 RD CAC OGH



1911 Lincoln Cent PCGS MS-68 RD CAC



1911-S Lincoln Cent PCGS MS-66+ RD CAC



1912 Lincoln Cent PCGS MS-67+ RD CAC



1914-D Lincoln Cent PCGS MS-66 RD CAC OGH



1916-S Lincoln Cent PCGS MS-65 RD CAC OGH



1917 Lincoln Cent PCGS MS-68 RD CAC



1918-D Lincoln Cent PCGS MS-66+ RD CAC



1918-S Lincoln Cent PCGS MS-65+ RD CAC



1919 Lincoln Cent PCGS MS-69 RD CAC OGH



1919-S Lincoln Cent PCGS MS-65 RD CAC OGH



1920-S Lincoln Cent PCGS MS-65 RD CAC OGH



1921 Lincoln Cent PCGS MS-68 RD CAC OGH



1921-S Lincoln Cent PCGS MS-65 RD CAC OGH



1922 No D Lincoln Cent Strong Reverse PCGS MS-64 RD CAC OGH



1922-D Lincoln Cent PCGS MS-66+ RD CAC



1923 Lincoln Cent PCGS MS-68 RD CAC OGH (Toned)



1924 Lincoln Cent PCGS MS-67+ RD CAC



1924-S Lincoln Cent PCGS MS-65 RD CAC OGH



1925 Lincoln Cent PCGS MS-67+ RD CAC



1925-S Lincoln Cent PCGS MS-65 RD CAC OGH



1926 Lincoln Cent PCGS MS-67+ RD CAC (Toned)



1927-D Lincoln Cent PCGS MS-65+ RD CAC



1927-S Lincoln Cent PCGS MS-65+ RD CAC



1928-D Lincoln Cent PCGS MS-66+ RD CAC



1928-S Lincoln Cent PCGS MS-66 RD CAC OGH



1930-S Lincoln Cent PCGS MS-67 RD CAC OGH



1931-D Lincoln Cent PCGS MS-66 RD CAC



1933 Lincoln Cent PCGS MS-67+ RD CAC



1940-S Lincoln Cent PCGS MS-67+ RD CAC



1943-S Lincoln Cent PCGS MS-68+ CAC



1945 Lincoln Cent PCGS MS-67 RD CAC



1955 Lincoln Cent Doubled Die Obverse PCGS MS-65+ RD CAC



1955 Lincoln Cent PCGS MS-67+ RD CAC



1958 Lincoln Cent Doubled Die Obverse PCGS MS-65 RD CAC



1969-S Lincoln Cent Doubled Die Obverse PCGS MS-66 RD CAC



1970-S Lincoln Cent Large Date. Doubled Die Obverse PCGS MS-66 RD CAC



1972 Lincoln Cent Doubled Die Obverse PCGS MS-67+ RD CAC



1974-S Lincoln Cent Struck in Aluminum PCGS Proof-68 CAMEO




The full prices realized of all 286 Lincoln Cents from the Stewart Blay Collection can be viewed at in the GreatCollections auction archive.

Blay also consigned his collection of Canadian Cents, which are currently being auctioned by GreatCollections over two weeks in February. The collection includes very rare King George V specimen issues.

About GreatCollections

GreatCollections, the official auction house of the American Numismatic Association, specializes in auctioning certified coins and banknotes, handling transactions from start to finish. Since its founding in 2010, GreatCollections has successfully auctioned over 1 million certified coins, making it one of the leading certified coin companies in the United States with annual sales in 2022 exceeding $270 million. Ian Russell, owner/president of GreatCollections, is a member of the prestigious Professional Numismatists Guild and member of the National Auctioneers Association. For more information about GreatCollections, visit or call 800-442-6467.

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I’d like to see the aluminum cent. I’d read they were only minted at Philadelphia and only in uncirculated condition. A San Francisco in proof, and cameo at that, is intriguing.

Kaiser Wilhelm

That’s putting it mildly, Antonio. In fact, any non-copper-colored cent is attention getting.


I do have a 1986 cent without the copper coating.

Kaiser Wilhelm

I’m not familiar with that, Antonio.


Lincoln cents from 1982 onwards, are copper plated zinc-copper composition. Occasionally, a planchet doesn’t receive the copper plating or the plating is somehow removed. This is how a non copper plated cent enters circulation. They aren’t too common.

Last edited 1 month ago by Antonio
Kaiser Wilhelm

Are they worth anything special, Antonio, or is it just considered a condition that is of no real numismatic consequence?

james arroyo

I have a 1996 silver coated penny

Kaiser Wilhelm

I guess I’m just not cent savvy enough to recognize any of these “varieties”.

Mike Hunt

And if for no other reason than this, THAT is the reason why I pickup every penny I see ….
— Mike

Kaiser Wilhelm

I pick them up for good luck, Mike, but you’ve just helped make my quest more rational.


I added a 1920-S Lincoln Cent to my collection that way. I found it in 2020. Imagine that, a hundred year old cent on the floor of my laundramat.

Kaiser Wilhelm

Now that’s an extremely rare, fortuitous find, Antonio; simply astounding!

James Schmidt

I have a 1991 Lincoln cent struck in aluminum

Kaiser Wilhelm

Just as I said in connection with the unique cents that Antonio and james arroyo mentioned above, James, I don’t really have any familiarity with this panoply of U.S. One Cent iterations.

Gary K

It’s not aluminum exactly James.
All lincoln cents after 1982 were struck in zinc with a thin copper plating.
Yours might be an error coin, where the plating is missing. You can look these up on Google.

Kaiser Wilhelm

Good advice on both counts, Gary, since this might be a “win” situation for James regardless of the prior misapprehension.

Kaiser Wilhelm

Somehow brings to mind that tried and true old inquiry, “A penny for your thoughts.”

Kenneth Passey

Hey I have a whole lot of lincoln wheat cents. But I have one that I think would sell for a lot. Its rare . its a 1926 no mint mark error. If u look at the collar on lincoln u van see where a piece of metal was stamped across his collar and onto the y of libetty

Kaiser Wilhelm

Like I’ve said, Kenneth, I’m not well versed in the area of Lincoln Cents other than those with the standard “configurations”, but that doesn’t mean I’m adverse to hearing about – and seeing – interesting and unusual variants. Thanks for sharing that.


Now if that were a 1922 WITHOUT D, then that’s worth something.

Kaiser Wilhelm

Sheesh, it’s always the ones I DON’T have that are valuable.

Patricia Johnson

I also have a1969 double dye cent and have other Lincoln wheat pennies a 41,44,46,54,57, and 59


I have several of these that were my grandparents and have no clue what to do with them

Lester Wayman

How much is an off center penny worth?


I have the 1943 and the 1944 and 5254 I have the whole collection of Lincoln coins and like four and five of some of them and I have a 1901 Mercury dime and a lot of bicentennial quarters how do you who do you sell it to


Buy the books it explains everything 2023 coin guide and minting errors


At a local book store. Some libraries may also carry a recent book on coins and their values.


Can’t be a 1901 Mercury dime…they were not minted before 1916.

Robert Lucas

I just found a1919 penny.It looks pretty rough.Should I soak it in vinegar?


Cleaning any old coin will lower its value and most serious collectors will not consider purchasing it. If it looks “rough” as you say it is probably only worth face value.

Last edited 1 month ago by Roger

Old low grade wheat pennies are common and can be purchased by the pound at a little over face value. When I started collecting many moons ago I bought a thousand for $30. Same is true for Buffalo nickels. Search Amazon for wheat pennies and you will see what I mean.

Major D

$0.0269468 is the metal value for the 1909-1982 copper cent on February 12, 2023. Not that it’s legal to melt but I’d say this is the minimum value.
1909-1982 Lincoln Copper Penny Melt Value – Coinflation

Kaiser Wilhelm

Major D and Roger, I am simultaneously astonished and bemused by the reality that the coins some of us collectors who accumulate at the far lower end of the price scale think are small treasures can be basically thought of as just short of being giveaways by many upper lever collectors and average dealers.

Dale mccombs

I have a 1970 d Lincoln cent with the 0 in the date curved inward .should I have it graded before attempting to sell


I Say that just AWSOME !! Love reading and seeing all the latest news you’ll print on coins and thankful for you’ll keep them coming !!God Bless


I have a 1955 and a 1938 penny

Hosey Leggett

Hi wait until i send my penny in i got a 1906 silver penny an a back ward 1977 penny


I’ve had about 10 1982 small date copper/bronze pennies weighing in at 3.01 to 3.13 grams

Tracy Franklin

I also have about 12 1982 small dates pennies I wish that I could sell them

Payton bowles

I have a lot of Lincoln pennys from 1953 to 2000 I have saved and founded to n clean outs I worked 12yrs cleaning people’s house out I need to find a dealer that’s will appreciate and appraise my collection and I have some bicentennial coins and Susan b Anthony’s one Susan b Anthony mint think it’s 1979

Major D

Pretty common stuff- unless you can find some of the doubled die ones.
15 Most Valuable Pennies Still in Circulation | Work + Money (

Kaiser Wilhelm

TEN new commenters, and all of them on this one thread alone. I have no idea if that’s a record but I would venture to say it’s at least a rather auspicious happening.


I have a 1936wheat Penny like to know what it’s worth


Thank you very much that was a big help


I really interested in finding out more on selling and collecting. I have so many countless coins and no platform to work with can I get some help from anyone.


It’s helpful and informative to go to a good local bookstore and buy/look through Whitman’s A Guide Book of United States Coins. It will show you how to grade your coins, from good to mint state and proof, and a price for each coin in its condition. You can go from there, either selling to other collectors, coin dealers, ebay or at a coin show.

Juan salinas

I have a 1987 silver penny


I have a 1945, and 1955 wheat penny very good condition but unsure if it may have any value who can I try to contact to ask and maybe if they have value have them graded. Please help me with a contact and thank you everyone have a great day.

Kaiser Wilhelm

To Ashley and everyone else who left comments regarding the various types of cents they own, it’s usually recommended to look these up in a book to find out what they actually are and as to whether or not they are in fact worth anything more than a cent. If you don’t have this type of reference at home I would suggest visiting your local library since it should have any number of books applicable to determining the value of your coins. Good luck to one and all of you in your research!

Last edited 1 month ago by Kaiser Wilhelm

Check out the website to see what coins similar to yours are selling for. They have pictures of the coins so you can see how yours compare.

Stéphane Frappier

I have a half penny from 1809


An 1809 half penny can be worth $50 – $100 if is at least in good – fine condition (not badly worn or damaged).

Linda Doyle

I have lots of them date 1943 and 1958 how would I sale them


Wheat cents are difficult to sell unless they are rare dates or exceptional quality. APMEX sells common wheat cents by the bag in lots of 1000/5000.

Last edited 1 month ago by Roger

Hello! 1987 quarter


I just want to sell some of the coins.Need cash.


I wouldn’t count on a windfall for your collection unless you have something rare or very high quality. Common wheat pennies are worth about 3-4 cents if you can find someone willing to buy them (I have hundreds of them), A Bicentennial quarter is worth maybe $2 in BU condition. If yours were saved from circulating coins you probably won’t find a dealer willing to buy them. Common Mercury dimes are probably worth $1-$2, Check out the website to see what coins similar to yours are selling for. They have pictures of the coins so you can see how… Read more »

Kaiser Wilhelm

I was just going to say, Roger, that what dealers sell coins for on the market and what they will give you when they buy coins from you could be quite a distance apart.

Ron Stanley

There is a Lincoln cent bearing a 1970’s date that includes a deliberate error. All Lincolns with this date have the error. Do you know the dare?


I got 1953 silver do I go about selling it


How do you let coin collector’s know about a unusual coin you found? I have a 1994 penny that’s is stamped twice. Been trying to see if anyone else has one like it but so far not found another.

Karen D. Hayes


Kaiser Wilhelm

I do that also. It’s possible that discarded cent retrieval is a type of addiction. 😉

Amy Reiter

I have a bunch of pennies and some are as pristine as the one shown in the article. Mine range from 1937 to 1964. I also have 3 steel pennies. Indian head pennies near 1900 to 1907.


I just thank you for all information


Iv got a great coin collection and would like to no where to take them to..asap


Iv got a 1953 silver penny..n iv got the 1953 regular double die penny..were can I sell my coin

Kaiser Wilhelm

Please pay attention, all you folks up above, to this recommendation by Major D, because the last thing you want to do is sell your coins without knowing their true value.

Shirley brozek

how to i go about getting my 1969 s penny graded