It's a fact that all 1930 Pennies have undergone circulation, with the majority very well used.
Struck in 1930, during the Great Depression and with unemployment tipping 30 per cent, the notion that coins could be saved or kept as a collectible was nonsensical. Any coin that came into a family's hands was used.
The point at which the 1930 Penny became a collectible, and was taken out of circulation, determines the extent of wear the coin sustained. And hence its price.
1. Set your budget
As with all purchase decisions, the first step is to set your budget for 1930 Pennies are available across a broad range of prices.
2. Understanding the value of the 1930 Penny
The most popular entry level for buyers is $25,000 - $30,000 and we refer to it as the 'CLASSIC' 1930 Penny. Circulated - but nice to the eye.
A coin that is technically classified from ‘Fine’ up to ‘Good Fine’ on the obverse (the King’s head) with six pearls evident in the King’s Crown. A hint of the central diamond, or one side of the central diamond, also is visible.
The ‘Classic’ 1930 Penny is a well circulated evenly toned piece and following our buying tips, should be overall, aesthetically pleasing.
The next most popular entry level for 1930 buyers is the $35,000 - $60,000 range. This a price range that delivers the ‘DIAMOND’ 1930 Penny.
A coin that to the naked eye, has its design details relatively intact, and is technically classified from ‘About Very Fine’ to ‘Very Fine’ with the central diamond and six pearls evident in the Kings Crown.
The 'Diamond' 1930 Penny was taken out of circulation and became a collectible earlier in its life than the 'Classic'. Evenly toned and again aesthetically pleasing.
A 1930 Penny that has undergone minimal circulation and became a collectible very early on in its life will be graded a minimum of 'Good Very Fine' and up to the finest known at 'About Uncirculated'.
We refer to it as the 'DIAMOND & PEARL' 1930 Penny.
The 'Diamond and Pearl' 1930 Penny is extremely rare, perhaps forty to fifty would be available. The coin will have a starting price of $65,000 moving up to $450,000 if you are contemplating the finest known.
The coin will have a complete and strong central diamond that almost leaps right out of the coin. Eight pearls are evident in the King’s Crown in varying degrees of strength, from smudges or hints up the highest quality examples that show a complete seventh and eighth pearl.
This is an elite coin that became a collectible very early in its life and is of the highest rarity. Waiting lists are the norm for a 1930 Penny of this calibre.
3. Verify the Quality
Irrespective of the quality level and the dollar level, if you are a potential buyer of a 1930 Penny then the best advice we can offer you is to only consider a coin that is visually very attractive and that has no obvious defects from its time in circulation.
The simple point - of acquiring a 1930 Penny that looks 'good' - really counts when, further down the track, it comes time for you to sell and realise on your investment.
The 1930 Penny was not discovered until the 1940s, allowing at least a decade of circulation before collectors even knew of their existence.
Which means that most of the 1930 Pennies had been handled, mishandled, dropped, scratched, or rattled around in change.
Do not accept the huge unsightly gouge. Or the massive edge knock. There will always be some signs of circulation with a 1930 Penny, but if they overwhelm the overall aesthetics of the coin, then in our view, do not buy it.
Storage, how well a coin has been preserved, is also a contributing factor to the value of a 1930 Penny. If there are tell-tale signs of poor storage, the coin should be knocked back.
The very reason why we reject more 1930 Pennies than we accept.
Our attitude with 1930 Pennies is clear.
There are a number of 1930 Pennies around, but not all of them are worth owning.