The Lincoln penny is an interesting one because, in one form or another, it has been around for a very long time. The 1918 version may look to be similar to the penny in circulation today, but upon closer inspection you will notice some glaring differences. It is these differences, combined with the overall rarity of the coin that makes it an absolute must-have for collectors.
As for its design, the obverse side is dominated by the central raised image of former President Abraham Lincoln. The detail of the image is truly astonishing when you consider it was minted so long ago. On the one side of his image you will find the word “Liberty,” while the other side will feature a raised 1918 inscription. Arching over Lincoln’s head is the phrase “In God We Trust.”
The coin’s reverse is a bit simpled, featuring the central raised inscriptions “United States of America” and “One Cent.” If you have ever heard to this coin referred to as a “Wheat” penny, this is so because there are two individual stalks of wheat on each side of the reverse. Across the top of the coin is the Latin phrase “E Pluribus Unum.”
The 1918 Lincoln penny is valuable to collectors in any condition, but it is only natural that collectors would like to get the most well-preserved coins possible. As such, coins that are this old are graded. Grading is something that takes an expert, however the end-result is a conclusive description of the coin’s official condition. Below we will talk a little bit more about the specific coin grades and what they mean for the Lincoln penny.
Uncirculated: A coin that is graded as being Uncirculated is one that has never spent any time being exchanged. This means that these coins will have all of their imagery and lettering perfectly preserved, much like what it was the day it was minted. Apart from some fading of the coin’s color, the look and feel will be perfect.
Extremely Fine: If a coin is deserving of an Extremely Fine grade, this means that it will show some signs of wear or damage, but will be mostly pristine. Only under the watchful eye of a professional grader will some of these imperfections be able to be spotted. To the naked eye, these coins will appear to be in great shape.
Fine: If a coin is graded Fine, this means that it likely spent some time in circulation, but not very long at all. Though you will be able to make out plenty of imperfections, the coin’s imagery, lettering, and general feel will not have been compromised. Some of the aspects of the coin’s outer edges might have been smoothed, but not so much that they are wiped away entirely.
Good: If a coin is worthy of a Good grade, this means that it has spent a majority of its life in circulation. These coins will show plenty of signs of visible damage, including chipping and significant scratching. With that being said, even these coins are quite desirable in the eyes of collectors.
When it comes to the value of a Lincoln penny, this is something that dpeneds upon the type of coin you have, and the grade it has received. With regard to the 1918 Lincoln penny specifically, there were 3 different types minted. This means that there are likely going to be 3 different values for 3 1918 pennies. The chart below will help you figure out the value of a coin based on its type and grade.
|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||Source: Red Book|