The Lincoln penny is an iconic piece of American coinage that has been around for well over a century. Though the modern version of this coin may look a bit different from the 1936 installment, it is more or less the same coin. With that being said, the 1936 Lincoln penny is incredibly valuable to collectors and viewed as a great addition to any competent collection.
As for the coin’s design, the obverse side is dominated in the center by the profile of former President Abraham Lincoln. Directly to the left of the President’s image will be a raised inscription which reads “Liberty.” To Lincoln’s right will be a marking indicating the 1936 year of minting. Finally, the phrase “In God We Trust” appears across the top of the obverse, just above Lincoln’s head.
On the coin’s reverse, the central aspect is dominated by two inscriptions; one that reads “United States of America,” and one that marks the “One Cent” face value. To either side of the central inscriptions there are stalks of wheat on both the right and the left. These wheat stalks are why the 1936 Lincoln penny is sometimes referred to as a “Wheat Penny.” Finally, the Latin phrase “E Pluribus Unum” is arching overtop.
When it comes to collecting the 1936 Lincoln, collectors are only going to want those coins that have been graded. For those who may not know, grading is a process by which a trained professional carefully assesses the condition of a coin. The result of this careful assessment is a one or two word grade, which is really just a one or two word description of the coin’s physical condition. Below is an outline of the different grades as well as what they might mean for a 1936 Lincoln penny.
Uncirculated: The Uncirculated grade is reserved for coins that have never spent any time on the open market. Having never exchanged hands, these coins will have avoided the wear and tear similarly-aged coins would have been subjected to. As a result, the physical appearance of Uncirculated Lincoln pennies is exactly the same now as it was back in 1936.
Extremely Fine: A coin that receives the Extremely Fine grade is one that likely never spent any time in circulation, but has accrued some minor imperfections somewhere along the way. Most often, the imperfections uncovered by grading are difficult to make out with the naked eye, but the simple fact that they exist is enough to slightly detract from the coin’s value.
Fine: A coin graded as being Fine is one that was definitely exchanged for a period of time, but will not have incurred too much damage. To the naked eye you will notice smoothing and scratching, but none of these imperfections will be enough to compromise the raised aspects of the coin. All things considered, these coins are still in decent shape.
Good: A coin that receives a Good grade is one that was circulated for a long period of time. Because of this heavy circulation, these coins will show plenty of signs of damage, ranging from significant scratching and smoothing, to large chips. Though some of the raised lettering and imagery might have been worn away, these pieces are still in somewhat decent shape.
When it comes to assigning a price to the 1936 Lincoln, this is something that depends on the coin’s condition as well as its type. Being that there were in upwards of 3 types of Lincolns produced each year, there can be up to 3 different values for 1936 Lincolns of the same grade. Below is a chart that will help you understand the value of these coins.
|1936 Lincoln Penny||$0.15||$0.25||$1.50||$2.60|
|1936 Lincoln Penny (D)||$0.15||$0.30||$1||$2|
|1936 Lincoln Penny (S)||$0.15||$0.40||$1||$3||Source: Red Book|