Lincoln Pennies (1909-1958)

Image Courtesy of David Lawrence Rare Coins

Image Courtesy of David Lawrence Rare Coins

The ever popular Lincoln wheat penny was first produced by the U.S. Mint in 1909. While the original edition pennies from 1909 can have significant collectable value, other editions of the Lincoln penny can be highly desired by coin collectors as well. A 1933-D, for example, may be valued at $2.30 or more. A 1931-S could be worth $40 or more. Obviously, some mint years may be worth considerably more than others, while the minting location may also play a role in the value of a penny.

In addition to the penny’s mint year and edition, the coin’s overall condition is important when it comes to determining its value. Coins that have been well-preserved over the years can be valued significantly higher than similar coins that have wear and tear or damage.

Lincoln Penny Value – What Dealers Pay

Both coin dealers and coin collectors are willing to pay a higher premium for Lincoln Wheat Pennies that are in superior condition and of a higher grade. In fact, the values of collectable wheat pennies in good condition can range from several dollars to over $1000. If you have a Lincoln Wheat Penny in great condition from a year that is sought after by dealers and collectors, you may benefit from having your penny graded by an NGC or PCGS grading service.

By having your penny graded, you may be able to get a closer idea as to what your penny may be bought or sold for. The grading process is extremely thorough and may account for even very subtle grading points while also considering collector and dealer demand.

Lincoln Wheat Penny Value is Conditional

To accurately gauge the grade of your Lincoln Wheat Penny, you must perform a close examination of the coin. One simple way to do this is to examine the wheat stalks on the coin’s reverse. If the parallel lines at the top of the wheat stalk are showing, the coin is likely in fine or even better condition. If the penny has experienced significant wear and tear due to handling over the years, there is a good chance these lines at the tops of the stalks will be worn down or even non-existent. In this case, the coin may be considered to be in good or a lesser condition. If the lines at the tops of the wheat stalks remain crisp, clear and robust, the coin may be in extremely fine condition. Of course, the coin’s other details must also be in excellent condition to be assigned a grade of extremely fine, with little to no signs of wear or erosion.

The bottom line is this: The better the overall condition of your Lincoln Wheat Penny, the more desirable it may be for dealers and collectors, and thus the more valuable.

Coin Grading Can Provide Peace of Mind

If you have a Lincoln Wheat Penny that is in excellent condition and you are not sure how it might be graded, submitting your coin to NGC or PCGS to have it professionally graded may be a good idea. Coin grading services are in tune with the market and can give you a great idea as to how your Lincoln Wheat Penny may be valued. The small fee you incur for having your penny graded can be well-worth it to know you are getting fair market value for your coin if you wish to sell it. Coins that have been graded typically sell for higher premiums than non-graded coins, so your investment in grading may pay for itself.

Mintmarks and the 1909 VDB

An “S” mintmark found under the date of a Lincoln Wheat Penny indicates that the penny was minted by the San Francisco Mint. Collectors desire these coins and they may trade for higher premiums than common date wheat cents.

A “D” under the date indicates that the penny was minted in Denver, while lack of a mintmark indicates that the penny was minted in Philadelphia.

Mint year 1909 also produced some wheat pennies with the designer’s initials, “VDB” for Victor D. Brenner. These initials may be found along the bottom rim of the coin just below the wheat stalks. Because fewer pennies were minted with the engraved initials, check your 1909 Lincoln Wheat Penny to see if it has the VDB engraving.

Lincoln Wheat Penny Values Are Rising

The value of your Lincoln Wheat Penny is always changing and may increase over the years. This can happen for numerous reasons such as new collectors buying these coins or established collectors adding to their collections. In addition, new varieties such as double-dies or over-dates may be discovered adding to the allure of Lincoln Wheat Pennies.

Lincoln Pennies

DATE GOOD FINE EXTREMELY FINE UNCIRCULATED
1909 Lincoln Penny $4 $6 $8 $12
1909 Lincoln Penny (S) $100 $125 $225 $275
1910 Lincoln Penny $0.35 $1 $4 $10
1910 Lincoln Penny (S) $17 $22 $45 $80
1911 Lincoln Penny $0.45 $1.50 $6 $11
1911 Lincoln Penny (D) $6 $10 $50 $75
1911 Lincoln Penny (S) $50 $60 $85 $110
1912 Lincoln Penny $1.25 $2.25 $13 $25
1912 Lincoln Penny (S) $24 $29 $75 $110
1912 Lincoln Penny (D) $7 $10 $65 $100
1913 Lincoln Penny $0.85 $2 $18 $27
1913 Lincoln Penny (D) $3 $4.50 $50 $70
1913 Lincoln Penny (S) $14 $20 $60 $100
1914 Lincoln Penny $0.75 $2 $20 $40
1914 Lincoln Penny (D) $200 $300 $875 $1,500
1914 Lincoln Penny (S) $24 $30 $85 $175
1915 Lincoln Penny $1.75 $5 $60 $70
1915 Lincoln Penny (D) $2 $4 $22 $45
1915 Lincoln Penny (S) $20 $30 $70 $135
1916 Lincoln Penny $0.30 $0.75 $8 $13
1916 Lincoln Penny (D) $1 $3 $15 $35
1916 Lincoln Penny (S) $1.75 $3.50 $25 $50
1917 Lincoln Penny $0.30 $0.50 $4 $10
1917 Lincoln Penny (D) $0.80 $1.75 $35 $50
1917 Lincoln Penny (S) $0.50 $1 $10 $25
1918 Lincoln Penny $0.20 $0.50 $3 $8
1918 Lincoln Penny (D) $0.75 $2.50 $12 $35
1918 Lincoln Penny (S) $0.50 $2 $11 $32
1919 Lincoln Penny $0.20 $0.40 $3.25 $5
1919 Lincoln Penny (D) $0.50 $1 $10 $32
1919 Lincoln Penny (S) $0.20 $1 $6 $18
1920 Lincoln Penny $0.20 $0.35 $2.25 $4
1920 Lincoln Penny (D) $1 $3 $19 $40
1920 Lincoln Penny (S) $0.50 $1.50 $10 $35
1921 Lincoln Penny $0.50 $1.30 $9 $22
1921 Lincoln Penny (S) $1.50 $3.50 $35 $75
1922 Lincoln Penny $20 $25 $40 $75
1923 Lincoln Penny $0.35 $0.65 $5 $9.50
1923 Lincoln Penny (S) $4 $7 $40 $90
1924 Lincoln Penny $0.20 $0.40 $5 $10
1924 Lincoln Penny (D) $40 $50 $125 $175
1924 Lincoln Penny (S) $1.30 $2.75 $20 $75
1925 Lincoln Penny $0.20 $0.35 $3 $6.50
1925 Lincoln Penny (D) $0.85 $2.45 $13 $30
1925 Lincoln Penny (S) $0.75 $1.85 $12 $30
1926 Lincoln Penny $0.20 $0.30 $2 $4
1926 Lincoln Penny (D) $1.35 $3.50 $14 $32
1926 Lincoln Penny (S) $9 $13 $35 $75
1927 Lincoln Penny $0.20 $0.30 $2 $3.50
1927 Lincoln Penny (D) $1.25 $2.75 $7.50 $25
1927 Lincoln Penny (S) $1.50 $3 $15 $40
1928 Lincoln Penny $0.20 $0.30 $2 $3
1928 Lincoln Penny (D) $0.75  $1.75 $5.50 $17
1928 Lincoln Penny (S) $1 $2.75 $9.50 $30
1929 Lincoln Penny $0.20 $0.30 $2 $4
1929 Lincoln Penny (D) $0.40 $1.25 $5.50 $13
1929 Lincoln Penny (S) $0.50 $1.65 $5.80 $14
1930 Lincoln Penny $0.15 $0.25 $1.25 $2
1930 Lincoln Penny (D) $0.20 $0.30 $2.50 $4
1930 Lincoln Penny (S) $0.20 $0.30 $1.75 $6
1931 Lincoln Penny $0.50 $1 $4 $9
1931 Lincoln Penny (D) $5 $7 $13.50 $37
1931 Lincoln Penny (S) $60 $85 $125 $150
1932 Lincoln Penny $1.50 $2 $4.50 $12
1932 Lincoln Penny (D) $1.50 $2.50 $4.50 $11
1933 Lincoln Penny $1.50 $2.50 $6.25 $13
1933 Lincoln Penny (D) $3.50 $5.50 $12 $19
1934 Lincoln Penny $0.15 $0.20 $1 $4
1934 Lincoln Penny (D) $0.20 $0.50 $2.25 $7.50
1935 Lincoln Penny $0.15 $0.20 $0.50 $1
1935 Lincoln Penny (D) $0.15 $0.20 $0.50 $2
1935 Lincoln Penny (S) $0.15 $0.25 $2 $5
1936 Lincoln Penny $0.15 $0.25 $1.50 $2.60
1936 Lincoln Penny (D) $0.15 $0.30 $1 $2
1936 Lincoln Penny (S) $0.15 $0.40 $1 $3
1937 Lincoln Penny $0.15 $0.30 $1 $2
1937 Lincoln Penny (D) $0.15 $0.25 $1 $3
1937 Lincoln Penny (S) $0.15 $0.30 $1 $3
1938 Lincoln Penny $0.15 $0.30 $1 $2
1938 Lincoln Penny (D) $0.20 $0.50 $1.25 $3
1938 Lincoln Penny (S) $0.40 $0.60 $1.10 $3
1939 Lincoln Penny $0.15 $0.20 $0.50 $1
1939 Lincoln Penny (D) $0.50 $0.65 $1.25 $3
1939 Lincoln Penny (S) $0.15 $0.30 $1 $2.50
1940 Lincoln Penny $0.15 $0.20 $0.60 $1
1940 Lincoln Penny (D) $0.15 $0.25 $0.75 $2
1940 Lincoln Penny (S) $0.15 $0.20 $1 $1.75
1941 Lincoln Penny $0.15 $0.20 $0.60 $1.50
1941 Lincoln Penny (D) $0.15 $0.20 $1 $3
1941 Lincoln Penny (S) $0.15 $0.30 $1 $3
1942 Lincoln Penny $0.15 $0.20 $0.50 $0.75
1942 Lincoln Penny (D) $0.15 $0.20 $0.50 $0.85
1942 Lincoln Penny (S) $0.20 $0.30 $1.25 $5.50
1943 Lincoln Penny N/A $0.30 $0.40 $0.50
1943 Lincoln Penny (D) N/A $0.35 $0.45 $0.75
1943 Lincoln Penny (S) $N/A $0.40 $0.75 $1
1944 Lincoln Penny N/A N/A $0.20 $0.35
1944 Lincoln Penny (D) N/A N/A $0.20 $0.35
1944 Lincoln Penny (S) N/A N/A $0.20 $0.35
1945 Lincoln Penny N/A N/A $0.20 $0.35
1945 Lincoln Penny (D) N/A N/A $0.20 $0.35
1945 Lincoln Penny (S) N/A N/A $0.20 $0.35
1946 Lincoln Penny N/A N/A $0.20 $0.35
1946 Lincoln Penny (D) N/A N/A $0.20 $0.35
1946 Lincoln Penny (S) N/A N/A $0.20 $0.35
1947 Lincoln Penny N/A N/A $0.20 $0.40
1947 Lincoln Penny (D) N/A N/A $0.20 $0.40
1947 Lincoln Penny (S) N/A N/A $0.25 $0.50
1948 Lincoln Penny N/A N/A $0.20 $0.35
1948 Lincoln Penny (D) N/A N/A $0.20 $0.35
1948 Lincoln Penny (S) N/A N/A $0.20 $0.35
1949 Lincoln Penny N/A N/A $0.20 $0.35
1949 Lincoln Penny (D) N/A N/A $0.20 $0.35
1949 Lincoln Penny (S) N/A N/A $0.30 $0.35
1950 Lincoln Penny N/A N/A $0.20 $0.35
1950 Lincoln Penny (D) N/A N/A $0.20 $0.35
1950 Lincoln Penny (S) N/A N/A $0.25 $0.35
1951 Lincoln Penny N/A N/A $0.25 $0.35
1951 Lincoln Penny (D) N/A N/A $0.12 $0.35
1951 Lincoln Penny (S) N/A N/A $0.30 $0.50
1952 Lincoln Penny N/A N/A $0.15 $0.35
1952 Lincoln Penny (D) N/A N/A $0.15 $0.25
1952 Lincoln Penny (S) N/A N/A $0.20 $0.35
1953 Lincoln Penny N/A N/A $0.15 $0.20
1953 Lincoln Penny (D) N/A N/A $0.15 $0.20
1953 Lincoln Penny (S) N/A N/A $0.15 $0.20
1954 Lincoln Penny N/A N/A $0.35 $0.45
1954 Lincoln Penny (D) N/A N/A $0.12 $0.20
1954 Lincoln Penny (S) N/A N/A $0.12 $0.20
1955 Lincoln Penny N/A N/A $0.12 $0.15
1955 Lincoln Penny (D) N/A N/A $0.12 $0.15
1955 Lincoln Penny (S) N/A N/A $0.30 $0.40
1956 Lincoln Penny N/A N/A $0.12 $0.15
1956 Lincoln Penny (D) N/A N/A $0.12 $0.15
1957 Lincoln Penny N/A N/A $0.12 $0.15
1957 Lincoln Penny (D) N/A N/A $0.12 $0.15
1958 Lincoln Penny N/A N/A $0.12 $0.15
1958 Lincoln Penny (D) N/A N/A $0.12 $0.15
Source: Red Book