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Lincoln Penny Values

Updated on August 23, 2012

Value of Lincoln Pennies

The Lincoln Penny is arguably America’s most beloved and most collected denomination. It is also the longest minted design still in production today. Recently with the 2009 celebration for 100 years of mintage, the Lincoln Penny has gained even more interest among coin collectors. The four new penny designs of 2009 has renewed a lot of collectors, and as expected, has put an extra demand on the older Lincoln Wheat cents. With these wheat cents becoming increasingly harder and harder to find, one can only imagine how much value will eventually be seen from the Lincoln Penny Collection. Covered in this article is a history of the Lincoln Penny as well as metal compositions and the values of Key date Lincoln cents.

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1926S Lincoln Penny Toned. Photo Courtesy: coinpage.com
1926S Lincoln Penny Toned. Photo Courtesy: coinpage.com

History of the Lincoln Penny:

  • The origins of this One Cent denomination date back to 1909 where it debuted to commemorate the 100th year of President Lincoln’s birth. The original Lincoln portrait and Wheat Ear design was crafted by Victor D. Brenner. In 1909 the initials V.D.B appeared on the reverse of these cents, but were removed that very same year, only to reappear on the obverse in 1918. The Wheat Ear reverse was minted until 1958, where it was then replaced by the Lincoln Memorial design.
  • In 1959, the Lincoln Memorial design was released to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s birth. This design was created by Frank Gasparro and was minted from 1959-2008.
  • In 2009, as part of the 100th anniversary of the Lincoln Cent and the bicentennial of Lincoln’s birth, four new pennies were released. These new designs featured a new obverse and four new reverses depicting four stages of Lincoln’s life.
  • From 2010 onward, the obverse was reverted back to the standard Lincoln portrait, while the reverse received a new design depicting the Shield of the Union.

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Lincoln Cents of in 1943 only were minted with Steel. Although they look cool, they are generally of low overall value.Circulated 1943  Wartime Pennies
Lincoln Cents of in 1943 only were minted with Steel. Although they look cool, they are generally of low overall value.
Lincoln Cents of in 1943 only were minted with Steel. Although they look cool, they are generally of low overall value.
Circulated 1943  Wartime Pennies
Circulated 1943 Wartime Pennies

Compositions and Melt Values:

1909-1942 & 1944-1982

  • · Weight – 3.11 Grams
  • · Metal Composition – 95% Copper, 5% Tin & Zinc
  • · Melt Value – $0.026

1943

  • · Weight – 2.7 Grams
  • · Metal Composition – Steel Coated with Zinc
  • · Melt Value – N/A

1982-Present

  • · Weight – 2.5 Grams
  • · Metal Composition – 97.5% Zinc, 2.5% Copper
  • · Melt Value –$.006

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Value of Lincoln Pennies. Although this 1914D Lincoln Cent is in rough condition, its value is still around $100
Value of Lincoln Pennies. Although this 1914D Lincoln Cent is in rough condition, its value is still around $100

Value of Lincoln Pennies:

Due to the sheer amount of minted, and one hundred two years of mintage, the Lincoln Cent has many valuable Key dates and error coins available to collectors. The great news is that there are still Key date pennies that can be found in circulation. These rare gems slip through the hands of banks and retailers and could potentially end up in your pocket one day.

Although the pictured coin is just a 1909VDB, the infamous 1909S VDB will also have the initials at the bottom as shown.
Although the pictured coin is just a 1909VDB, the infamous 1909S VDB will also have the initials at the bottom as shown.
Even with an AG-G condition, this 1909S Key Date penny is valued around $60-70
Even with an AG-G condition, this 1909S Key Date penny is valued around $60-70

Did You Know?

The condition or "grade" of your Lincoln Penny means everything when it comes to value. If you'd like to really find out how much your Penny is worth, it's a good idea to be familiar with the Coin Grading Scale.

Regular Minted Key Dates:

  • · 1909S VDB – Gem of the Lincoln Collection. Value: $500-2,000+
  • · 1909S – More common, but still a Key date. Value: $50-$300
  • · 1914D – Most Valuable Penny from the Denver Mint. Value: $100-Several Thousand
  • · 1924D – Values range from $40-200
  • · 1931S – Values range from $50-300

Regular Minted Semi Key Dates:

· 1910S, 1911S, 1912S, 1913S, 1914S, 1915S, 1922D

***Values for Semi Key date pennies range from around $10 to $200-300 depending on their condition.

Lincoln Penny Error Coins:

  • · 1922D – Missing Mintmark. Value: $300-20,000+
  • · 1955 – Double die Obverse. Value: $500-10,000+
  • · 1960 – Large Date over Small Date. Value: Up to $350
  • · 1972 – Double die Obverse. Value: Up to $1,000
  • · 1983 – Double die Reverse. Value: Up to $350
  • · 1984 – Doubled Ear. Value: Up to $200
  • · 1995 – Double die Obverse. Value: Up to $250

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As you can see from the information above, the value of Lincoln Pennies isn't always just one cent! Surprisingly, there is great value and a demand that will continue to increase over the coming years. Starting a collection now is your best chance to collect as many Lincoln Pennies as possible, because in a few years, they'll be much harder to find. If you're still interested in other US Coinage, please read through my articles below. Thanks for reading and good luck on your collection!

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    • profile image

      Fred 

      2 months ago

      I came across a 1982 D and surprised that it weighed 3.1 grams, what is the current value. Thanks

    • profile image

      Belinda 

      6 months ago

      I've have a few coins Quarters that u can see Canadian coin under them.are the worth sending off

    • Joe Macho profile imageAUTHOR

      Zach 

      8 months ago from Colorado

      Thanks Robin! I'm glad that you've enjoyed the articles. Hopefully there's enough of us who enjoy coins to prolong bitcoins from taking over. There's nothing more satisfying than a physical coin.

    • RobinReenters profile image

      Robin Carretti 

      9 months ago from Hightstown

      Greetings I always had a fascination for coins now the big thing is Bitcoins but I would always look through my pennies to see something shabby so Chic you never know what treasure you can find. Very good insight into your writing deeply enjoyed

    • profile image

      Lisa Bauer 

      11 months ago

      I have a 1959 D steel penny. Is it worth anything?

    • Lou Kuzmic profile image

      Lou Kuzmic 

      18 months ago

      Nice info...thank you..

    • profile image

      Corey 

      24 months ago

      I found a 1992 D close a m , it has some scratches on the front but on the reverse side its clean , I was wondering if it would be worth anything still , even with the obverse scratched up like it is ,

    • Joe Macho profile imageAUTHOR

      Zach 

      3 years ago from Colorado

      Nema - Thanks for reading. The coin that you are describing sounds very unique indeed. If it is a true mint error, it could truly be one of a kind. My best advice would be to take this coin to a reputable coin dealer in your area. They'll at least be able to examine the coin for authenticity.

    • profile image

      Nema Hubbard 

      3 years ago

      Im wanting to know what the value of a penny that's the size of a nickel and has been bouble died it is a 1999 D and that is where the double misprint is. But Im un able to find it in thr coin pages in this forum .

    • Joe Macho profile imageAUTHOR

      Zach 

      4 years ago from Colorado

      Mark Stephson - I'm not exactly sure that I understand the question that you're asking. Are you just trying to find out how much face value is in a bucket of coins? If so, you can take the bucket to any bank or coin counter in your area. If you think the coins are old or have more value than face, you can take them to a reputable coin dealer in your area. Good luck

    • profile image

      mark stephson 

      4 years ago

      How do i tell which is of value bucket of coins . . Where do i go to see or determine value asap. in fort worth texas?

    • NormaRuth profile image

      NormaRuth 

      7 years ago from Oregon

      I used to collect the wheat pennies, but haven't paid much attention to them for a long time. Now I'm thinking of looking through all those pennies I have accumulated.

      Thanks for a well written article.

    • Joe Macho profile imageAUTHOR

      Zach 

      7 years ago from Colorado

      Danette - Thanks for you feedback. I appreciate it greatly. Coming from a younger generation, I can definitely vouch for the fact that many people my age disregard the Penny. It simply just isn't worth the effort to many people. Personally, I only pick up Pennies that are heads up. I guess I've picked up on the belief that tails up pennies are bad luck. I don't know why, but it's just what I do. Ever heard anything about bad luck with tails up pennies?

    • Danette Watt profile image

      Danette Watt 

      7 years ago from Illinois

      Interesting hub with lots of facts. I would be curious to know how many people still pick up a penny when they see it on the ground. I do and most people my age do but I know many people who don't bother. It takes no effort and after 100 times, I've got me a buck!

      Voted up and interesting

    • Joe Macho profile imageAUTHOR

      Zach 

      7 years ago from Colorado

      Thanks again for your kind feedback. As for the rules of posting links on hubpages, I'm almost certain that you can anywhere as long as you are not spamming. You can also post links in forums that direct members to hubpages, but the same goes; no spamming. I hope this helps, I'm kind of new to it all as well!

    • snakeslane profile image

      Verlie Burroughs 

      7 years ago from Canada

      Again Joe, nicely done! I belong to a couple of online coin forums, but new here at hub pages. I am not sure about rules around providing links to other forums. Wondering how I can get more info on this?

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