The Lincoln penny is an iconic piece of American coinage that has a place in history and in the hearts of most every collector. The 1933 Lincoln penny is desirable not only due to its age and historical significance, but also due to the scarce number remaining. Being that the coin was minted so long ago, there will only ever be fewer available. This is why collectors will do anything they can to get their hands on these coins.
As for the 1933 Lincoln penny’s obverse side, it is dominated in the center by the profile of Abraham Lincoln. To the right and the left of the President’s image respectively are raised inscriptions which mark the 1933 year of minting as well as the word “Liberty.” Finally, the words “In God We Trust” are seeing arching overtop of the obverse.
The 1933 Lincoln’s reverse has no imagery in the middle, but rather two raised inscriptions—one that reads “United States of America,” and one that reads “One Cent.” On both the right and left hand sides of the reverse you will notice 2 single stalks of wheat. It is these stalks that give the “Wheat Penny” its nickname. Finally, the Latin phrase “E Pluribus Unum” is across the top of the reverse.
Being that these coins were first minted all the way back in 1933, their condition is never a sure thing. For this reason, collectors want to have all of their coins graded. To make a long story short, the process of grading culminates with a trained professional assigning a one or two word grade that does well to describe the precise condition the coin is in. Below will be an outline with the different coin grades as well as what they mean.
Uncirculated: A coin that is graded as being Uncirculated is one that never spent any time exchanging hands. These coins will appear exactly as they did the day they were minted. Something that must be noted is the fact that, on occasion, the coloration of the coin will have been faded thanks to nothing more than the coin’s age. As for the raised imagery and lettering, that will all still be perfectly intact.
Extremely Fine: A coin that is determined to be of Extremely Fine grade is one that will have maybe one or two minor imperfections. Though, to the naked eye, these coins will appear to be in perfect condition, the close examination of a grader will uncover even the smallest flaws. These tiny flaws are enough to bring the grade down from Uncirculated to Extremely Fine.
Fine: A coin that is receiving a Fine grade is one that exchanged hands for an extended period of time, but was pulled from circulation before a lot of damage could occur. Though you will definitely be able to see some scratching, smoothing, and even maybe a chip or two, these coins will still be in half decent condition.
Good: Good is the lowest grade and one that is usually indicative of a coin that had been circulated extensively and for a long period of time. There will be significant damage due to the exchanging of hands over the years. The damage can be so bad that it might compromise certain raised aspects of the coin altogether.
When it comes to determining a price for the 1933 Lincoln, you have to take into account a few different factors. For one, most years saw 3 different types of the Lincoln penny produced. In 1933, however, there were only two different types minted. Knowing this, you can understand how 2 1933 Lincolns of the same grade might have different values. Below is a chart that will help you make more sense of the value of a 1933 Lincoln penny given its type and grade.
|1933 Lincoln Penny||$1.50||$2.50||$6.20||$13|
|1933 Lincoln Penny (D)||$3.50||$5.50||$12||$19||Source: Red Book|