The Lincoln penny is one of the longest-standing American coins in that it has been circulated in one form or another for what seems like forever. Though the coin has had its design altered to some extent over the years, it is not much different now than it was back in 1926. The difference between the modern penny and those from 1926, however, is the fact that the latter of the two are much more valuable and sought after.
On the 1926 Lincoln penny’s obverse side, you will see the raised profile of Abraham Lincoln; depicted in stunning detail. On either side of the former President will be inscriptions that read “Liberty” and 1926—commemorating the year in which the coin was minted. Finally, the words “In God We Trust” will be arching overtop.
On the reverse side, the central aspect is dominated by raised inscriptions which read “One Cent” and “United States of America” respectively. On the left and right hand sides of the reverse will be two single wheat stalks, which explains how the penny got the nickname of the “Wheat Penny.” Finally, the Latin phrase “E Puribus Unum” is arching overtop.
For collectors, the 1926 Lincoln is a coin that needs to be graded. When we talk about coin-grading we are talking about a professional service that carefully assesses the actual condition of a coin. Being that these pennies are from 1926 they have had a lot of time to be damaged. As such, the exact condition these pennies are in will vary dramatically from coin to coin. Below is a listing of the different coin grades as well as what they mean.
Uncirculated: The Uncirculated grade is one given to pennies that have never spent any time exchanging hands on the open market. These coins will appear to be in perfect condition apart from some fading of the coloration. By all accounts, these are the absolute most sought after pennies on the market.
Extremely Fine: A coin that is worthy of an Extremely Fine grade is one that has spent very little time exchanging hands. Though, under close inspection, they will have some small imperfections, the reality of the matter is that there is almost nothing wrong with these coins. There are different degrees of the Extremely Fine grade, but almost always these coins will appear to be pristine.
Fine: If a coin receives a Fine grade, this means that the piece was circulated for a good bit of time, but has managed to avoid a lot of wear and tear commonly associated with coins as old as the 1926 Lincoln. You will notice some scratching and smoothing, but for the most part all of the major aspects of the coin will be able to be easily identified with the naked eye.
Good: The Good grade is the worst a coin can receive. These coins will have heavy scratching, chipping, and even some of the raised aspects of the coin will have been almost entirely worn away. Even though some of the wording and imagery might have been worn away, these coins will be in decent shape once you consider their age.
When it comes to the 1926 Lincoln penny, or any other for that matter, the value of the coin is something that will depend on both the type of penny as well as the condition it is in. Because there were in upwards of 3 different types of pennies minted each year, you might have 3 different values for 3 pennies of the same grade.
|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||Source: Red Book|