Confused about 1944 penny values
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Hello everyone,

From what I see on the more formal coin valuation sites, a 1944 US  penny seems to range in value, but not higher than about $1-6 (unless it has some special feature, error, whatever).

But on various online sites such as eBay, Etsy and a few other places, I see prices as high as $2475 with no explabnation or comment about the coin other than "it is rare"..

I know very little about coins but was elected to find out the values for the family of some inherited coins.  They are already going to be hugely upset when they find out tht the 100+ "silver dollars" aren't silver at all, never mind adding that the other coins probably aren't worth anything substantial either!

So whats the story with the magic values of the '44 penny, please?

Alex

Edited by Jack-the-Lad
typo

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First, welcome to the forum.

Next, unless you are very experienced, stay away from Etsy when it comes to any coin related matters. It is full of scammers and charlatans.  EBay is a little better, but you still sometimes have to wade through the fertilizer to get to the corn.

As far a 1944 cents go, they are only worth more than a few dollars if, as you stated, they are varieties or errors, or if they grade very high, and then only by a professional grading company such as our host. (In other words, don't trust just any seller's word when it comes to the grade of a coin,.especially when they are asking moon money for it.)

Do you think you could post a link or two to some of the coins that you found that were priced really high? We might be able to give a little clearer answer about why those particular coins might be listed at that price.

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9 hours ago, Just Bob said:

First, welcome to the forum.

Next, unless you are very experienced, stay away from Etsy when it comes to any coin related matters. It is full of scammers and charlatans.  EBay is a little better, but you still sometimes have to wade through the fertilizer to get to the corn.

As far a 1944 cents go, they are only worth more than a few dollars if, as you stated, they are varieties or errors, or if they grade very high, and then only by a professional grading company such as our host. (In other words, don't trust just any seller's word when it comes to the grade of a coin,.especially when they are asking moon money for it.)

Do you think you could post a link or two to some of the coins that you found that were priced really high? We might be able to give a little clearer answer about why those particular coins might be listed at that price.

 

All kinds of crazy "values"...

Maybe there is something special about these coins, but also, may be not!

$1398

Perhaps a little optimistic here at $50,000

A bargain at $6,000

$1,000

$600

A little wear & tear but still $2,700

On eBay, they range from $32,000 (steel planchet) down to $0.99 for a common or garden variety.  There are 5 for $2,000 or higher.

There are pages of them for under $2 with free shipping...

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1 hour ago, Jack-the-Lad said:

 

All kinds of crazy "values"...

Maybe there is something special about these coins, but also, may be not!

$1398

Perhaps a little optimistic here at $50,000

A bargain at $6,000

$1,000

$600

A little wear & tear but still $2,700

On eBay, they range from $32,000 (steel planchet) down to $0.99 for a common or garden variety.  There are 5 for $2,000 or higher.

There are pages of them for under $2 with free shipping...

When you see an outlandish value in those places, most of the time you should not take guidance from it. It should be dismissed as insufficiently_thoughtful_person bait not to be taken seriously.

On Ebay, look at sold listings, and see just how many coins of that type actually sold for that--you will see what I mean.

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I don't know the individuals who are trying to sell those coins on Etsy, so I can't just assume they are all scammers. Some of them might be ignorant or naive. All of them are trying to take advantage - unwittingly or not - of ignorant buyers. Don't buy coins on Etsy.

JKK makes a good point. Anyone can list a coin for any price they choose. Search the actual prices realized to determine value.

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4 hours ago, Jack-the-Lad said:

 

All kinds of crazy "values"...

Maybe there is something special about these coins, but also, may be not!

$1398

Perhaps a little optimistic here at $50,000

A bargain at $6,000

$1,000

$600

A little wear & tear but still $2,700

On eBay, they range from $32,000 (steel planchet) down to $0.99 for a common or garden variety.  There are 5 for $2,000 or higher.

There are pages of them for under $2 with free shipping...

That's a big part of your problem....you're getting prices from Etsy.  Etsy is absolutely the worst place in this universe to do anything related to coins.  Throw Etsy out and never use it for coins again......trust me on this one.  Ebay is a much better venue for pricing information.

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Thank you - eBay prices seem to be much better aligned with various catalog entries I've found.

Etsy seems to be a bit of a weird place generally - a lot of people fishing for the unwary, and certainly not just coins.

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3 minutes ago, Jack-the-Lad said:

Thank you - eBay prices seem to be much better aligned with various catalog entries I've found.

Etsy seems to be a bit of a weird place generally - a lot of people fishing for the unwary, and certainly not just coins.

Yeah, Etsy is pretty terrible.  I absolutely despise them.  A lot of shady people trying to make sketchy deals.......it's a good place to stay away from.

Edited by Mohawk

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That is so funny you guys, Gosh I have missed you. My first Numistic purchase, that coins of the 20th century template came from Etsy and I got it for a great price. I've not used the site since, and I hate, hate, hate eBay. Facebook groups are where I get answers and make buys. 

All that said, does our host have an app to do self grading via standard photographs like photograde or one like CoinFacts for listed average prices garnered?  I find those apps indispensable. 

Jack, another option for you would be a local brick and mortar coin shop. Those dudes love it when we go in and ask their advice and it also provides an opportunity to become acquainted with other collectors close to you. 

Now, what was the question again? Just kidding. Lol! Any steel cent worth more than $10-15 would have to be the most beautiful coin in existence.

But yeah, check your app store for coinage related apps. I'm sure there are apps to help with all you're wanting to know.

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Interesting how we all view things so differently.

According to coin trackers, a steel 44 penny is extremely rare and worth between $77,000 to $110,000 depending on condition.  A 43, on the other hand, is worth about $0.25 on a good day.

I use eBay quite a lot, mostly as a seller of stuff I no longer want. Over 10 years or so have made around 800 transactions and never once had an issue.  Always paid as a buyer, always been paid as a seller. 

I'v never understood why but people seem to get caught up in buying fever and occasionally pay really stupid prices for things when they know better.  When buying it works really well as long as you know exactly what you purchase price limit is, and act accordingly.

Facebook on the other hand is a great stock for a 401(k) or whatever (or has been up until recently) but not something I would ever use for it's (presently) intended purpose.  Really great for following groups and hobbies, but I've never had an interest in knowing when someone last brushed their teeth, or when someone I haven't seen in 30 years went on vacation.  Too bad there isn't a Facebook Lite which gave you what you wanted without totally destroying anything that passes for privacy.

And of course, everyone's mileage may vary, as they say.

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ok, here is a way to determine coin value. Try to guess the grade of the coin. You don't have to be perfect. Just circulated, near uncirculated, low mint state,

high mint state. Go on ebay and do a search by category for date and mint mark. For instance cents 1944-d. Set the filter to lowest price plus shipping. Set the filter to buy it now.  Select NGC to see certified coins. Match the one you have with one on ebay. Lets say your 1944-d is in low mint state. So look at ms60 thru ms62. Since you have it set to lowest price plus shipping and buy it now you could buy that coin certified for what you see. Sometimes the lowest price ones have some tarnish or spots so you might want to look at one or 2 higher priced ones. Let say you find your coin for $24. Then extract about $18 for getting it certified (less if you do alot). So you have a potential 6$ coin. In most low grade coins you will find that they are not worth very much. You will often find certified coins selling for less than it cost to get them certified. This is because they graded lower than the owner expected and they are just trying to get some of their money back.  Hope this helps set a ball park value for you.

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On 2/11/2019 at 5:55 PM, asdfgh said:

Let say you find your coin for $24. Then extract about $18 for getting it certified 

More than that when you include shipping both ways and the submission invoice fee.  If you submit multiple coins then you can split the shipping and invoice fee over several coins, but if you just send the one coin it pushes your cost up to around $50 - $70 to get it certified.

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As I've just posted in another thread, to my huge surprise, it turns out that a few of my coins (half pennies from around 1790 or so) are in considerably greater demand than very old ones.

In any case it's not much of a collection - on a very good day might be worth $1200-1500 in total on eBay - so probably no point in having anything certified.  This is obviously a strange state of play, but for some reason I find that 1939 2 Krone coins from Norway (I have a couple) sell on eBay for $15-20 & a nice condition Nigerian penny is $8-10, while other coins fashioned two thousand years ago go for little more, and sometimes less.

Evidently, I have a lot to learn.

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38 minutes ago, Jack-the-Lad said:

As I've just posted in another thread, to my huge surprise, it turns out that a few of my coins (half pennies from around 1790 or so) are in considerably greater demand than very old ones.

In any case it's not much of a collection - on a very good day might be worth $1200-1500 in total on eBay - so probably no point in having anything certified.  This is obviously a strange state of play, but for some reason I find that 1939 2 Krone coins from Norway (I have a couple) sell on eBay for $15-20 & a nice condition Nigerian penny is $8-10, while other coins fashioned two thousand years ago go for little more, and sometimes less.

Evidently, I have a lot to learn.

You're learning one of the facets of coin collecting that often surprises many people.....age does not equal value.  You can pick up many Ancient Greek, Ancient Roman and Byzantine coins for nominal prices.  I have a silver Roman Antoninianus of Empress Otacilia Severa minted between 245-247 CE in XF.  It cost me $75.  However, if I were to go out and purchase a 1966 Small Beads Canadian Proof Like Silver Dollar for my collection of Canadian Proof Like coins, I would likely have to spend in excess of $9000.  There are many factors which play into a coin's value.  Scarcity and demand are usually the most important.  A great example of this is the whole U.S. coin market.  By the definitions of rarity in the World coin market, almost no collectible U.S. coins are actually rare.  But they have high prices due to insane levels of demand.  And any U.S. coins which are actually rare (the 1913 Liberty Nickel, the 1927-D Saint Gaudens Double Eagle, the 1804 Draped Bust dollar) command truly insane prices, into the millions of dollars.  The main thing driving the pricing of U.S. coins, and really any coins, is demand.  High demand equals high prices.  Low demand does the opposite.  Going back to coins I collect, there are far fewer 1966 Small Beads silver dollars out there than there are Otacilia Severa Antoniniani (I hope I made this plural correctly, if not I apologize) and there are many more collectors seeking a 1966 Small Beads silver dollar than the Otacilia Severa Antoninianus.

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I suppose one of the (many) issues with coin valuations, is whether or not there is an upcoming generation(s) that will have the interest.

We're seeing it already in the vintage motorcycle world - values of the extremely rare are increasing with thing like Crockers going for $400-500,000 but what used to be a mid-range affordable vintage machine under say $25k appears to be sliding.  Simply less interest in the historical from the younger folk.

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18 hours ago, Jack-the-Lad said:

I suppose one of the (many) issues with coin valuations, is whether or not there is an upcoming generation(s) that will have the interest.

We're seeing it already in the vintage motorcycle world - values of the extremely rare are increasing with thing like Crockers going for $400-500,000 but what used to be a mid-range affordable vintage machine under say $25k appears to be sliding.  Simply less interest in the historical from the younger folk.

I'd say the issue with coins is more complex than that.  Younger people are getting into collecting coins, but what they are collecting and how they are collecting it is very different than previous generations.  It's true that the values of classic US material is headed downward but modern US material seems to be holding steady and the prices for many non-US coins are actually going up.  This is reflective of how younger collectors are entering the hobby.  For the purpose of a definition, let's define younger collectors as the Millennial generation and later, so starting birth year of 1980.  I myself was born in 1980, so I'm part of the group of collectors I'm talking about and I know collectors of this age group.  Collectors of this age group tend to collect in one of three ways.  They build thematic sets (collecting coins that display a theme, such as coins featuring boats, animals or other themes), they build type sets or, if they do series collect, they pursue World sets or modern U.S. coins.  What almost none of them do is collect things like Morgan Dollars, Walking Liberty Half Dollars, Indian Cents etc.  These classic US coins were the darlings of yesteryear, but there were circumstances which led to this with collectors who were starting in the 1950's to when silver coins finally left circulation almost completely, so let's say the late 1960's or early 1970's at the very latest.  The first is that collectors of that generation remember finding many of these classic US coins in circulation.  They could go to a bank and get Walking Liberty Half Dollars and Morgan Dollars.  Collectors of that generation have a connection to these coins that younger collectors never had and never will have.   The second is that, in those days, information on non-US coins was sparse and extremely difficult to come across.  It was also tougher to find World coins to collect when brick and mortar were the dominant way to purchase coins in those days.  Since information was sparse for everyone, dealers likely had little idea of what to pay for World coins and what to sell them for.  That held World coins back and allowed classic US coins to become what they did.

However, much has changed in the coin hobby, and in the world as a whole since those days.  The Internet changed everything.  All of a sudden, a whole world of information was available at the touch of a button.  And, even more than that, the numismatic offerings of the entire planet were available on a screen, in the comfort of one's own home.  As more information became available and more outlets to make purchases emerged, those classic US coins which had dominated the coin hobby had something they never really had before: real competition.  As younger collectors never had the connection to classic US coins that older collectors do, the designs and scarcity alone were all that classic US coins had to try to attract new collectors, and they're largely failing on both fronts as younger collectors can often find scarcer, prettier coins to spend their money on by pursuing World coins.  Modern US coins aren't feeling the crunch the same way for two reasons.  The first is that for younger collectors who started collecting out of circulation, these are the coins that they would find and start with, much like the classic US coins were for the previous generations of collectors.  The advent of the Registries on NGC and PCGS are the other piece of this as they promote the pursuit of perfection or near perfection, something that can be accomplished with Moderns, but which is impossible or nearly impossible with classic US.  Many younger collectors also didn't even start with US coins at all.  I myself started collecting with Canadian Small Cents.  My fiancee, who was born in 1988 and is a collector as well, started with Canadian coins also.  My fiancee's cousin, who is 20, started collecting with duplicate World coins from my collection and my fiancee's collection.  One of the guys at one of my favorite shops in my area got started collecting with coins that depict boats, which he still does. 

The coin hobby isn't in trouble.  It's doing fine.  It's the classic US coin market that is in trouble.  It's not that younger people aren't interested in history.  I'm an adjunct college instructor currently, in the history department at a local community college.  While I'm on a hiatus from teaching right now as I'm working on my doctoral dissertation, I can say that our department has no real enrollment problems.  Both required courses and elective courses are well attended.  The History Club on campus is one of the most popular extracurricular clubs.  What is happening is that younger people aren't interested in classic US coins anymore.  The situation for US classics is made worse by the fact that many of the collectors of that material who started back in the 1950's and 1960's are now thinking about retirement and are also exiting the hobby in other ways.  This is leading to a lot of classic US material coming onto the market, and there are nowhere near enough interested buyers to absorb this supply and there likely never will be again.  Younger collectors have realized that classic US coins generally aren't rare and the designs of them aren't good enough to draw new collectors in.  Younger collectors don't connect to them for a variety of reasons, and I don't see this situation changing.  The allure of classic World material, where prettier, scarcer coins at better price points, beckons them strongly and moderns allow for the pursuit of perfection.  From the perspectives of many younger collectors, classic US coins just don't have as much to offer them compared to classic World and moderns.

Edited by Mohawk

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I wasn't a world and ancients collector until about ten years ago. For the other quarter-century-plus, including my boyhood, it was all US all the time. I went off to college and learned a bunch of languages, but did not collect coins in any of them. I got a degree in history, specializing in ancient, even got my first intro to ancients by our prof who brought them to class and told us how to read them. Bought exactly one ancient coin as a result.

What happened, for me, was two things. One, I got a little bored with the US stuff; two, the world and ancient coins were much less expensive than I'd thought. The siliqua of Julian that cost me $280, mentioned above? A bit extravagant for the day. I can get ancient Greek bronzes in the $thirties, silver in the mid to high $two figures. I'm bored with Constantine, Constantius, and Diocletian bronzes--mostly $12 coins. But I enjoy identifying and researching even those; I'm just not buying more. I can get silver like Mohawk's ant of Otacilia Severa for prices like he mentioned.

As for world coins, I finally started to leverage all those languages and alphabets/abjads, and the fact that I probably fear unfamiliar scripts less than the average bear as a result. Don't know what it says? Hell with that, I'll find out. That, and that I could go through most bargain cans and come up with 1800s coins for 5-20c each. Sometimes even find silver.

I learned that world coins benefit from the limitations of dealers' time. They get these by the bucketload. They pay nearly nothing per piece and when sold at 15-20c each represent mostly profit. Oh, they pick them over as best they can, but it's a low-percentage use of their time. They sift through for anything that looks worthy of extra time: silver, very old, exotic. Those things get at least some attention, and even a potential ID. But the vast majority get one second of examination if they are lucky. Chinese cash coin? Most won't even bother unless they happen to be specialists in that area. Swiss 5 rappen, late 1800s? Looks exactly like every Swiss 5 rappen almost since Confederation, into the can it goes. Japanese coin? If it doesn't look 1800s, or silver, forget it. Republica Mexicana silver? Set that one aside to sell for melt. Each of those looks took a second or less.

I have more than a second, and I like this bottom-fishing. It's work for the dealer, who basically discards value that isn't worth his time. It's worth mine. I love coin collecting and its diversity.

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12 hours ago, JKK said:

I wasn't a world and ancients collector until about ten years ago. For the other quarter-century-plus, including my boyhood, it was all US all the time. I went off to college and learned a bunch of languages, but did not collect coins in any of them. I got a degree in history, specializing in ancient, even got my first intro to ancients by our prof who brought them to class and told us how to read them. Bought exactly one ancient coin as a result.

What happened, for me, was two things. One, I got a little bored with the US stuff; two, the world and ancient coins were much less expensive than I'd thought. The siliqua of Julian that cost me $280, mentioned above? A bit extravagant for the day. I can get ancient Greek bronzes in the $thirties, silver in the mid to high $two figures. I'm bored with Constantine, Constantius, and Diocletian bronzes--mostly $12 coins. But I enjoy identifying and researching even those; I'm just not buying more. I can get silver like Mohawk's ant of Otacilia Severa for prices like he mentioned.

As for world coins, I finally started to leverage all those languages and alphabets/abjads, and the fact that I probably fear unfamiliar scripts less than the average bear as a result. Don't know what it says? Hell with that, I'll find out. That, and that I could go through most bargain cans and come up with 1800s coins for 5-20c each. Sometimes even find silver.

I learned that world coins benefit from the limitations of dealers' time. They get these by the bucketload. They pay nearly nothing per piece and when sold at 15-20c each represent mostly profit. Oh, they pick them over as best they can, but it's a low-percentage use of their time. They sift through for anything that looks worthy of extra time: silver, very old, exotic. Those things get at least some attention, and even a potential ID. But the vast majority get one second of examination if they are lucky. Chinese cash coin? Most won't even bother unless they happen to be specialists in that area. Swiss 5 rappen, late 1800s? Looks exactly like every Swiss 5 rappen almost since Confederation, into the can it goes. Japanese coin? If it doesn't look 1800s, or silver, forget it. Republica Mexicana silver? Set that one aside to sell for melt. Each of those looks took a second or less.

I have more than a second, and I like this bottom-fishing. It's work for the dealer, who basically discards value that isn't worth his time. It's worth mine. I love coin collecting and its diversity.

JKK.....that all sounds like great fun!  I do similar stuff with Canadian Proof Like Sets.  Many dealers just kind of write these off as many collectors of Canadian coins have focused in on business strikes for decades and, if they pursue sets they go for the actual Proof Sets made from 1981 to the present.  As Proof Like Sets exist in a limbo, many dealers just put them in a pile and wait for someone interested enough in them to go through the pile........like me.  I like to hunt for Cameos, which are my favorites, but I also dig toning and just great eye appeal.  Finding good quality PL coins is quite the challenge, and I enjoy it greatly.  All of the PL coins in my Registry sets have been obtained in this way.  I've never bought one already graded.  They're fun coins that keep my eye sharp that I can also get without selling a kidney.  All good stuff!

Edited by Mohawk

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