The Lincoln penny is a great US coin because it hasn’t changed all that much in well over 100 years. Though the imagery has somewhat remained the same, it is the tiny differences that now attract collectors. As for the versions of the single-cent coin that attract the most attention, the 1915 Lincoln penny is right up there with the best. The coin’s age alone is enough to peak a collector’s interest, but the fact that the amount of these coins available is diminishing year after year is something that undoubtedly drives up the interest level a bit more.
As for what the coin looks like, the obverse side is dominated by the raised profile of Abraham Lincoln. Above the President’s head are the words “In God We Trust.” Finally, to the left and right of Lincoln’s image respectively are raised script spelling out “Liberty” as well as the 1915 year of minting.
The reverse side of the coin will boast raised lettering in the center. The words “United States of America” as well as “One Cent” are found right in the middle. Arching overtop of this central inscription is the classic Latin phrase, “E Pluribus Unum.” Finally, on both the left and right outer edge of the coin are single stalks of wheat, which probably help explain why the coin is sometimes referred to as the wheat penny.
If you are a collector, it goes without saying that you would like to get your hands on the most well-preserved coin possible. This is not always an easy task, but one that can assuredly be done. In order to do this, you will need to take the grade of the coin into consideration. Below is a listing of the different coin grades as well as what they might mean in terms of a 1915 Lincoln penny.
Uncirculated: A coin that is graded as being Uncirculated is a coin that never spent any time on the open market. These coins were never used to pay for goods nor services and were instead kept away from the harsh elements and wear that normal coins experience. As such, you will notice that none of the imagery or lettering has been compromised at all. In fact, it will appear just as it did the day it was minted.
Extremely Fine: If a coin receives an Extremely Fine grade, this means that it might have spent some time in circulation, but not very much at all. Under the close, watchful eye of an inspector there might be some damage that is noticed, but for the most part these coins will appear pristine. If you were holding it in your hand you might not even be able to make out any of the piece’s imperfections.
Fine: A Fine grade is given to coins that were definitely circulated for quite a bit of time, but have remained in pretty good shape despite that. Though the wheat stalks and lettering closer to the edges of the Lincoln penny might have been compromised, the coin will still appear to be in decent shape.
Good: A coin that is given a Good grade is one that has experienced years of wear and tear. From deep chips to the complete and total smoothing away of certain raised aspects of the coin, this piece has definitely seen its better days. Still, for being over 100 years old it will still look half decent.
If you would like to know how much a 1915 Lincoln penny is valued at, this will depend upon a few different factors. For one, condition means everything. Beyond that, there were 3 different types of 1915 Lincoln pennies produced, so the type of the coin will also play into its value. The chart below should give you a good idea as to what you can expect to pay for one of these coins.
|1915 Lincoln Penny||$1.75||$5||$60||$70|
|1915 Lincoln Penny (D)||$2||$4||$22||$45|
|1915 Lincoln Penny (S)||$20||$30||$70||$135||Source: Red Book|