Skip to main content

Lincoln Penny Values

  • Author:
  • Updated date:

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.


1926S Lincoln Penny Toned. Photo Courtesy:

1926S Lincoln Penny Toned. Photo Courtesy:

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.


Compositions and Melt Values:

1909-1942 & 1944-1982

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


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


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


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
Scroll to Continue

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


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!

Interested in US Coin Values?


chem lip on January 20, 2020:

I have one cent Lincoln 1982 copper 1982D large date copper weight 3.10grams 1pcs 1982 1982D small date zinc weight 2.5grams 1972 double die obverse 1983 double die revers 1984 1988 double Ear all 16pcs

Harvey on January 04, 2019:

I’m just starting to collect coins and I believe I have some good one however as I’m going through the coins I have and I was checking out a 1983 quarter that the IN on the in god we trust is damage it looks like I god we trust so I came across another 1983 quarter and it has the same mistake I was wondering if it’s worth anything???

Mr Choate from Washington USA on November 10, 2018:

Love that 1926 S and to Fred's comments 3 months ago 1982 d at 3.1 grams is a find is it a small date or large? That plays a big roll in price.

Fred on July 14, 2018:

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

Nicole rene1014 on April 24, 2018:

I probably posted this over and over don't really know what I'm doing a site yet but I found a 1945 penny that was connected to another 1945 penny no mint I was wondering if it does not look soldered or glue together couldn't have come out and went that way

Colorich on April 14, 2018:

Searching through a bank bag of pennies I found a 200? Cent. It could be either a 0 or 6 as it is very very faint. Also the D mint mark is almost gone. I am new at this so any information or help would be appreciated. Thanks.

Belinda on March 16, 2018:

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

Brendan Michael Cronin from Quincy, Massachusetts on February 28, 2018:

I enjoy coin collecting as well, but don’t possess an old Lincoln penny...You’ve convinced me to add some vintage “Abe’s” to my collection

Zach (author) from Colorado on December 29, 2017:

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.

Robin Carretti from Hightstown on December 13, 2017:

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

Lisa Bauer on October 20, 2017:

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

Lou Kuzmic on March 10, 2017:

Nice info...thank you..

Corey on September 24, 2016:

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 ,

Zach (author) from Colorado on March 31, 2015:

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.

Nema Hubbard on March 02, 2015:

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 .

Zach (author) from Colorado on April 10, 2014:

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

mark stephson on April 10, 2014:

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 from Oregon on September 07, 2011:

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.

Zach (author) from Colorado on August 30, 2011:

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 from Illinois on August 24, 2011:

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

Zach (author) from Colorado on August 23, 2011:

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!

Verlie Burroughs from Canada on August 23, 2011:

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?

Related Articles