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Question about the 1909-S VDB wheat penny. Any penny collectors out there?

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Master Of Coinage


I'm new to the world of pennies and am looking to purchase a 1909-S VDB penny in MS. But I see that this penny comes with further classifications of BN (brown?) and RB (red brown?) ( and maybe more?). My question is, which classification is more desirable and/or worth more -- the BN or RB? Thank you in advance for your help. 

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Hello Master Of Coinage:The 1909-S V.D.B. Cent in Mint State (MS) condition can be found in circulated condition from MS 1 to MS 58 condition with the most common grades in this range being GOOD-4,VERY GOOD-8,Fine-12,VERY FINE-20,EXTREMELY FINE-40, and as high as ABOUT UNCIRCULATED-58.However,Mint State coins in UNCIRCULATED CONDITION range from MS-60 to MS-70 and these coins have no wear.Copper coins such as the Lincoln Cent in Uncirculated Condition can have Brown,Red/Brown or Red surfaces.So technically an MS-70 RD (Red) Example would be the highest Uncirculated grade and with a Red surface it would appear as nice as the day it was struck at the Mint and will command a higher price than a brown version in the same numerical grade.There are many grading books that will give you more insight as to the nuances of grading.Also,the “Red Book” ,as well as other books about the Lincoln Cent, such as David Lange’s (who is a senior grader at NGC) book about the Lincoln Cent will be helpful.I don’t know if you are new to the hobby of numismatics or just Lincoln Cents but I hope I helped you in some small way and welcome to the hobby.

One other note is while most people refer to the cent as a penny you only need to look at the reverse of the coin to see the denomination as being a cent!Collectors of the Cent don’t refer to a United States Large Cent as a Penny.I only know of one country (Great Britain-England) who actually had a coin whose denomination on the coin was Penny.Feel free to reach out if you have more question.There are many knowledgeable collectors on this site who I am sure would be glad to assist in answering your questions.

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