Melinda asks: I have a bunch of wheat pennies and don’t have a clue as to their value. Could you give me a rough estimate to the prices for the different decades they were produced?
Generally, circulated wheat cents after 1934 are worth approximately face value though you might find a retail value of 10-15 cents at a coin shop. Value is determined by a market that values condition and rarity first. For example, a circulated 1934-D cent might only be worth 10 cents but one in new condition with the original red color and no wear, maybe an MS63 example, could bring $25. For circulated coins to bring prices worth mentioning, uncirculated examples would be either unavailable or available but very expensive. Some dates in the teens and twenties match this criteria including a few dates in the early 1930’s (1931-S, for example).
There are catalogs available that show relative rarity (The Official Red Book: A Guide Book of U.S. Coins 2013 by R.S. Yeoman). You can also get a copy of the weekly newspaper Coin World, at a news shop. Coin World prints a section in the center of the newspaper called “Trends”. There you can find current prices for U.S. coins in most grades.