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Lincoln Memorial Penny Values

How Much Is My Lincoln Memorial Penny (1959-Date) Worth?

By , About.com Guide

Example of a Lincoln Memorial Cent
Image Courtesy of: Heritage Auction Galleries, Ha.com

This guide is intended to give you an idea of how much your Lincoln Memorial and Lincoln Bicentennial pennies minted from 1959 through today are worth.  The table listed below provides average coin values based upon the condition of the coin.  If the coin shows evidence of wear on it due to being used in commerce, it considered "circulated." If it was never used, then it is classified as "uncirculated." Look at the pictures below to see examples of each condition.  Some coins are very valuable even in circulated condition and you cannot restore a coin to uncirculated condition by cleaning it. In fact, cleaned coins are worth considerable less and coin dealers can spot a cleaned coin immediately.  Therefore, never, never, never clean your coins.

Introduction to Coin Values

There are many factors that go into determining the value of your coins. First of all you should understand how the coin market operates. If a coin dealer runs out of 1959-D Lincoln Memorial pennies, he cannot just call the mint and order more of them because the mint does not make coins dated 1959 anymore. The coin dealer must replenish his supply by buying coins from other dealers or from people off the street. What he pays you for that coin is known as the "wholesale price" or "value" (see the table below). If you want to buy that 1959-D Lincoln cent from the coin dealer, that is known as the "retail price" or "price."

Coin Market Analysis

Lincoln Memorial pennies are very common today and you can find most dates in circulation today.  However, some Lincoln cents have more than a penny's worth of copper in them, but it is illegal to melt them.  Lincoln pennies minted from 1959 to 1982 are made of 95% copper and have about 2.5 cents worth of copper in them. Beginning in 1982, the U.S. Mint began using zinc planchets that were coated with a thin layer of pure copper.  These cents have less than one-half cent worth of zinc and copper in them. In order to discourage hoarding, half the pennies minted in 1982 were copper and the other half zinc.

Key Dates, Rarities and Varieties

The following Lincoln Memorial pennies in any condition, are worth considerable more than common ones.   Therefore, before you start celebrating your early retirement with your new found fortune, have the coin authenticated by a reputable coin dealer or third party grading service. In 2009 the US Mint changed the design of the reverse to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Lincoln's birth. 

  • 1970-S Small Date
  • 1972 Doubled Die
  • 1983 Doubled Die
  • 1984 Doubled Die
  • 1995 Doubled Die
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Condition or Grade Examples

Lincoln Memorial Cent Average Circulated Condition Circulated Lincoln Memorial Cent Average Uncirculated Condition Uncirculated
Click on the photos above for a larger image.
Photos courtesy of Teletrade Coin Auctions, www.teletrade.com
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Mint Marks

Lincoln Memorial cents were produced at three different mints: Philadelphia (no mint mark), Denver (D) and San Francisco (S).  As illustrated in the picture below, the mint mark is located on the front of the coin, just below the date. Technically, they were also produced for a short time at the West Point Mint, but mint marks were not used for these coins and hence they are indistinguishable from the Philadelphia ones.

Lincoln Memorial penny  mint mark location
Mint Mark Location
Images Courtesy of: Heritage Auction Galleries, Ha.com

Lincoln Memorial Penny Average Values

The following table lists the value (what you can expect a dealer to pay you) for your Lincoln Memorial pennies. The first column lists the date and mint mark (see the photo above) followed by the value of an average circulated Lincoln Memorial penny and the average value for an uncirculated one. These are approximate values and the actual offer that you will receive from a particular dealer will vary depending on the actual grade of the coin and a number of other factors.

Date Avg Circ Avg Unc Date Avg Circ Avg Unc
1959 F.V. $0.05 1985 F.V. $0.05
1959 D F.V. $0.05 1985 D F.V. $0.06
1960 F.V. $0.06 1986 F.V. $0.07
1960 Sm. Date F.V. $1.25 1986 D F.V. $0.07
1960 D F.V. $0.06 1987 F.V. $0.04
1960 D Sm. Date F.V. $0.15 1987 D F.V. $0.04
1961 F.V. $0.05 1988 F.V. $0.04
1961 D F.V. $0.05 1988 D F.V. $0.04
1962 F.V. $0.05 1989 F.V. $0.04
1962 D F.V. $0.05 1989 D F.V. $0.04
1963 F.V. $0.05 1990 F.V. $0.04
1963 D F.V. $0.06 1990 D F.V. $0.04
1964 F.V. $0.05 1991 F.V. $0.04
1964 D F.V. $0.06 1991 D F.V. $0.04
1965 F.V. $0.05 1992 F.V. $0.04
1965 SMS F.V. $0.75 1992 D F.V. $0.04
1966 F.V. $0.05 1993 F.V. $0.04
1966 SMS F.V. $0.64 1993 D F.V. $0.04
1967 F.V. $0.08 1994 F.V. $0.04
1967 SMS F.V. $0.67 1994 D F.V. $0.04
1968 F.V. $0.05 1995 F.V. $0.04
1968 D F.V. $0.06 1995 Dbl. Die * $7.00 $13.00
1968 S F.V. $0.05 1995 D F.V. $0.04
1969 F.V. $0.05 1996 F.V. $0.04
1969 D F.V. $0.05 1996 D F.V. $0.04
1969 S F.V. $0.05 1997 F.V. $0.04
1970 F.V. $0.06 1997 D F.V. $0.04
1970 D F.V. $0.05 1998 F.V. $0.04
1970 S Lg. Date F.V. $0.05 1998 D F.V. $0.04
1970 S Sm. Date * $7.00 $15.00 1999 F.V. $0.04
1971 F.V. $0.05 1999 D F.V. $0.04
1971 D F.V. $0.05 2000 F.V. $0.04
1971 S F.V. $0.05 2000 D F.V. $0.04
1972 F.V. $0.04 2001 F.V. $0.04
1972 Dbl. Die * $150.00 $325.00 2001 D F.V. $0.04
1972 D F.V. $0.04 2002 F.V. $0.04
1972 S F.V. $0.04 2002 D F.V. $0.04
1973 F.V. $0.04 2003 F.V. $0.04
1973 D F.V. $0.04 2003 D F.V. $0.04
1973 S F.V. $0.04 2004 F.V. $0.04
1974 F.V. $0.04 2004 D F.V. $0.04
1974 D F.V. $0.04 2005 F.V. $0.04
1974 S F.V. $0.04 2005 D F.V. $0.04
1975 F.V. $0.04 2006 F.V. $0.04
1975 D F.V. $0.04 2006 D F.V. $0.04
1976 F.V. $0.04 2007 F.V. $0.04
1976 D F.V. $0.04 2007 D F.V. $0.04
1977 F.V. $0.04 2008 F.V. $0.04
1977 D F.V. $0.04 2008 D F.V. $0.04
1978 F.V. $0.04 Lincoln Cent Bicentennial Reverse
1978 D F.V. $0.04 2009 Rev#1 F.V. $0.08
1979 F.V. $0.04 2009 D Rev#1 F.V. $0.07
1979 D F.V. $0.04 2009 Rev#2 F.V. $0.09
1980 F.V. $0.04 2009 D Rev#2 F.V. $0.08
1980 D F.V. $0.04 2009 Rev#3 F.V. $0.08
1981 F.V. $0.04 2009 D Rev#3 F.V. $0.08
1981 D F.V. $0.04 2009 Rev#4 F.V. $0.08
1982 F.V. $0.04 2009 D Rev#4 F.V. $0.08
1982 D F.V. $0.04 Union Shield Reverse
1983 F.V. $0.04 2010 F.V. $0.05
1983 Dbl. Die * $23.00 $60.00 2010 D F.V. $0.06
1983 D F.V. $0.06 2011 F.V. $0.06
1984 F.V. $0.05 2011 D F.V. $0.06
1984 Dbl. Die * $20.00 $55.00 2012 F.V. $0.06
1984 D F.V. $0.06 2012 D F.V. $0.06

* = These coins are considered Key Dates, Rarities and Varieties for Lincoln Memorial Cents
F.V. = Face Value

These values have been compiled through my personal analysis of the coin market, referencing publications such as Numismatic News, Coin World, "The Official Blue Book; Handbook of U.S. Coins," The Coin Dealer Newsletter, published auction results and consulting with various coin dealers.

Disclaimer: The information on this site and all subsequent communications are provided for discussion purposes only, and should not be misconstrued as investment advice. All information, including valuations, on this website has been compiled from reliable sources and every effort has been made to eliminate errors and questionable data. However, the possibility of an error in a work of this magnitude always exists. Additionally, further analysis, research and/or discoveries may challenge the beliefs presented in this article. The author and About.com will not be responsible for any losses that may occur in the purchase, sale, or other transaction of coins and other items because of the information that is contained on this website. Visitors who feel they may have discovered an error or inconsistency are asked to please contact the guide so that the situation may be investigated and/or corrected. Under no circumstances does this information contained on this website represent a recommendation to buy or sell coins, precious metals, exonumia or paper currency.

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