Catalog Notes: The 1909-S VDB Lincoln cent is perhaps the most famous of all issues in this long-running series. The lowest-mintage regular-issue piece with a mintage of only 484,000, it’s still available with relative regularity and many examples are available under the same roof at any given large coin show. Still, many Lincoln cent enthusiasts consider this coin the holy grail of numismatics and it’s without a doubt one of the most sought-after coins around.

The 1909-S VDB Lincoln cent saw such a low mintage because public outcry over the prominently displayed initials of the coin’s designer, Victor David Brenner (VDB), caused the removal of the offending VDB inscription from the bottom-center of the coin’s reverse shortly after this issue debuted. However, many in the public were aware of the controversy and hoarded 1909-S VDB pennies in large numbers. According to numismatic experts, some 20,000 specimens exist, making it a rarity that can be acquired for a cost. In RD uncirculated grades, the situation becomes a little different. Examples become tough above MS65RD, with MS66RD proving a very challenging threshold. These coins are extremely rare in MS67RD or higher.
About CDN Prices:
CPG® prices represent retail levels. Collectors should refer to CPG values as a starting place for their negotiations, or auction bid reference.
Greysheet/Greensheet prices are wholesale market levels for collectible coins/paper money intended to indicate what a dealer, or wholesale, buyer would pay for the described item in the specified grade. Greysheet/Greensheet represent "sight-seen" values based on a buyer's in-hand review. The actual value can be more or less than this depending on factors including eye appeal and market timing.
Bluesheet (NGC & PCGS) prices represent the highest sight-unseen offers to buy on dealer networks like CDN Exchange. In many cases, there are no active sight-unseen buy offers, so CDN looks to the recent lowest market values for such an item. For this reason, Bluesheet values typically represent the floor of the market for the specified item. CDN only tracks Bluesheet on certain items.
CAC prices are for U.S. coins that meet the standards of the Certified Acceptance Corporation. You can learn more about CAC on their web site.
All CDN prices are based on proprietary market knowledge and technology developed by CDN Publishing, LLC. Have an opinion on this item? Send pricing feedback to pricing@greysheet.com

Price movement is indicated for price changes in the last 30 days.
The values listed are only indications. CDN Publishing, LLC does not buy or sell collectible coins or currency and users are strongly encouraged to seek multiple sources of pricing before making a final determination of value. CDN Publishing is not responsible for typographical or database-related errors. Your use of this site indicates full acceptance of these terms.

new search

Shop our sponsor sites

shop Great Collections shop Legend Auctions shop david lawrence rare coins shop US Coins shop Heritage Auctions right now on eBay

Catalog Details

Coin Date: 1909-S VDB
Denom: 1c / Cent
Desg: MS
Mint Mark: S
Mint Location: San Francisco
Mintage: 484,000
Coinage Type: Lincoln, Wheat reverse (Bronze)
Coinage Years: 1909-1958
Composition: 95% copper; 5% zinc & tin
Strike Type: Business
Diameter: 19 mm
Weight: 3.11 gr
Designer: Victor D. Brenner
Edge: Plain
Catalog #: 2428