The Lincoln penny, whether it is from 1937 or any other year, is one of the most recognizable pieces of US coinage. The iconic imagery coupled with the distinct face value is something that has interested people for years. Nowadays, collectors will do anything in their power to get their hands on 1937 Lincoln pennies. Being that these coins are no longer being minted, they are becoming increasingly difficult to acquire.
The coin’s design features the image of former President Abraham Lincoln on the obverse side. Directly to the left of the President’s image is the raised inscription of the word “Liberty,” while a marking for the 1937 year of minting is to the President’s right. Finally, the phrase “In God We Trust” is seen arching overtop.
On the reverse side of the Lincoln penny, there will be two raised inscriptions in the middle. One inscription reads “United States of America,” and is joined by one that marks the “One Cent” face value. To both the left and the right of the central inscriptions will be two single wheat stalks; something that explains the “Wheat Penny” nickname the coin has acquired. Rounding out the reverse side is an inscription marking the Latin phrase “E Pluribus Unum.”
For collectors, the condition a 1937 Lincoln penny is in means absolutely everything. As such, almost all of these coins will be graded. For those who may not be familiar, a coin’s grade is nothing more than a one or two word description of its condition. Below is an outline that briefly explains the different coin grades as well as what they mean.
Uncirculated: A coin that is determined to have been Uncirculated is one that never spent any time exchanging hands on the open market. These pieces will have completely and totally avoided damage to the point where they look today exactly like they did back in 1937, when they were first minted.
Extremely Fine: Extremely Fine is a grade given to coins that were likely not circulated, but did incur some damage throughout the years. Most often, the damage is so slight that it might not even be able to be noticed with the naked eye. Despite this, it still affects the coin’s grade.
Fine: A coin that is graded as being Fine is one that likely spent a good bit of time in circulation. There will be plenty of signs of visible damage, but the damage will not be enough to compromise any of the raised imagery or lettering. All in all, these coins will look spectacular; especially when you consider their age.
Good: Good is the grade given to coins that were heavily circulated and also heavily damaged. These coins will show significant scratches and other blemishes that came as a result of heavy daily use. Despite some heavy damage, the major raised lettering and imagery on the coins will be able to be made out. Smoothing might have compromised some of the finer details of the outer inscriptions, but they will most often still be able to be made out with the naked eye.
Being that there were up to 3 types of Lincoln pennies minted every year, it goes without saying that the prices for these coins vary depending upon type. In addition to this, the price of these coins will also vary depending upon the grade. Below is a chart that will help you make sense of the value of a 1937 Lincoln penny given its grade and type.
|1937 Lincoln Penny||$0.15||$0.30||$1||$2|
|1937 Lincoln Penny (D)||$0.15||$0.25||$1||$3|
|1937 Lincoln Penny (S)||$0.15||$0.30||$1||$3||Source: Red Book|