The Lincoln penny is a US coin that has been in circulation for well over 100 years. While that is so, the coin has seen a few design changes over the years. The 1923 Lincoln penny, for example, features small differences from what you might find on a penny minted today. These differences make the 1923 Lincoln penny desirable to collectors everywhere.
The coin boasts an obverse side that from 1923, however the design is quite similar to the modern penny. In the central part of the obverse you will see the image of Abraham Lincoln, looking rightward. Directly in front of his gaze will be a raised inscription marking the 1923 year of minting. On the opposite side is a small inscription which reads, “Liberty.” Finally, the phrase “In God We Trust” is arching overtop.
On the coin’s reverse, the central part is dominated both by the “One Cent” face value as well as the phrase “United States of America.” Arching across the top of the coin is the Latin phrase “E Pluribus Unum.” On both the right and left sides of the reverse you will see a stalk of wheat, this is how the coin got to occasionally being called the “Wheat Penny.”
When it comes to the 1923 Lincoln, prospective collectors are only concerned about condition. Because these coins are so old and many of them are damaged, collectors use grading to determine the precise condition and value of the coin. Below will introduce you to the different coin grades as well as what they might mean for a 1923 Lincoln.
Uncirculated: If a coin is graded Uncirculated, this means that it never spent any time whatsoever on the open market. Instead, these pieces were kept in a safe space and did not incur any damage or other signs of wear. For lack of a better word, these coins will appear to be in perfect condition; looking just like they did the day they were minted.
Extremely Fine: If a coin receives an Extremely Fine grade, this means that it might show one or two minor signs of damage. Most often, the damage comes in the form of a tiny scratch or chip and is often not even able to be viewed with the naked eye. These 1923 Lincolns are rare to find simply because so many of these coins were circulated heavily.
Fine: The Fine grade is given to Lincoln pennies that spent time in circulation but have not been totally damaged as a result. Though it will be plainly obvious that these coins exchanged hands over time,—due to the presence of scratching and smoothing—all of the imagery and lettering will have been mostly preserved.
Good: Good is the grade given to Lincoln pennies that spent a large majority of their existence on the open market. Thanks to the constant exchanging of hands, these pennies will show heavy signs of damage. From deep scratches to the complete smoothing away of the finer details, the coin will have definitely seen better days.
When it comes to determining the value of a 1923 Lincoln penny, this is something that can be figured out when you take the type of coin and its grade into consideration. Being that there were up to 3 different types of Lincolns produced every year, the grade alone is not enough to determine a coin’s value. Below is a chart that will shed some light onto the value of the 1923 Lincoln penny given its type and grade.
|1923 Lincoln Penny||$0.35||$0.65||$5||$9.50|
|1923 Lincoln Penny (S)||$4||$7||$40||$90||Source: Red Book|