For most Lincoln Cent collectors, the holy grail of the series is the 1909-S VDB. The first year run of the coin in San Francisco was only 484,000 before the design was changed after public outcry on the size of designer Victor David Brenner’s initials on the Reverse. That low mintage has made this particular Cent a key coin to the series and finding them in high quality has proven to be difficult at best.
This past weekend at the Long Beach Expo, Heritage Auctions had one of the best examples of this coin up for auction. The 1909-S VDB was graded at MS-67 Red. Only 19 of this coin have been graded by PCGS, NGC, and CAC and none have been graded higher. It was a rare coin and the price it sold at proves it. When the gavel fell, it sold for an eye watering $50,400.
Now to put this in perspective, if you wanted to pick up one of these Cents for your collection, you can do it for around $1000. In fact, Littleton Coin Company is selling an About Uncirculated sample for $1750. That’s still a heavy price tag for most collectors but equally, it is about the same price as a gold American Eagle – so not completely out of the scope for many. Clearly as you go up into Mint State samples, the price jumps exponentially.