What do the markings on a wheat penny mean underneath the date?

Here is a 1941 Wheat Penny with a “D” underneath the date:

 

And a 1924 wheat penny, also with a “D” under the date:

And here is a 1970 penny, NOT A WHEAT, with an “S” under the date:

 

All of those letters are Mint Marks, indicating where the coin was produced.

Mint marks that appear on US coins include:

  • C: Charlotte (Gold only, 1838-1861)
  • CC: Carson City (1870-1893)
  • D: Dahlonega, Georgia (Gold only, 1838-1861)
  • D: Denver (1906 to date; easily distinguishable from Dahlonega because of the different timeframes in which the mints operated)
  • O: New Orleans (1838-1909)
  • P: Philadelphia (Silver “Nickels” 1942-45; Dollar coins 1979 to date; other coins except cents 1980 to date. Although the Philadelphia mint has been operating continuously since 1793, most Philadelphia coins do not have a mintmark)
  • S: San Francisco (1854 to date. Now mints collector coins only. The last circulating coin to bear an ‘S’ mintmark was the 1980-S SBA Dollar)
  • W: West Point (1983 to date; collector coins only)

(This list and a complete history of mint marks available from the Heritage Auctions Website).  Link will open in new tab.

Pennies without any mint mark were produced at the primary production plant (“ US Mint”) in Philadelphia. When collecting pennies, it is typical to have one from each mint for every year.

history of the us mint ans it's coinage, Amazon

History Of The United States Mint and Its Coinage, from Amazon Books

US Coins 2017

A Guide Book of United States Coins 2017: The Official Red Book, Spiralbound Edition, from Amazon Books

Here is my list that I use when going through my Pennies (I put them in a jar at the end of the day, and sort through them every once and a while; sometimes you find some “keepers”)! Tip: If you click on it, the image will open in a new page, and you can print it, to keep near the penny jar!

printable penny watch list

And when you find some collectible pennies, just wipe any dirt off them with  special coin cleaning cloth (an old sock), and put them in a “flip”, coin book or folder.  If you want to get a child or teenager into collecting, you can get them a whole kit from Amazon or eBay.

Pennies are a little more complicated than they seem, for what we know as common pocket change!

And that is why you are reading: “Pocket change Riches”.

I hope you found my point of view enlightening and informative.  Consider sharing it!
The Last Word: