The Lincoln penny has been a product of the United States Mint for almost as long as the mint has existed. Understanding this, it should not come as much of a surprise that the Lincoln is one of the most popular coins ever introduced into circulation. Many Lincolns are sought after by collectors, and the 1947 penny is no exception.
On the obverse side of the coin, the center is dominated by the large, detailed image of the famous Abraham Lincoln. Immediately to the left of the President is an inscription which reads “Liberty.” Opposite the Liberty inscription is one marking the 1947 year of minting. Finally, the phrase “In God We Trust” arches over the top of the obverse.
The reverse side of the coin features two inscriptions stacked on top of each other. One of these raised inscriptions reads “United States of America” while the other notates the “One Cent” face value of the Lincoln penny. The left and right outer edges of the reverse are marked by two wheat stalks, which explains why the coin is sometimes called the “Wheat Penny.” Arching overtop is the Latin phrase “E Pluribus Unum.”
For collectors, the condition of a 1947 Lincoln is very important because, naturally, they only want to add the most pristine pieces to their collection. With that being said, these coins are so old that the condition can vary quite dramatically from piece to piece. This is why coin-grading is absolutely necessary for collectors. Below we will describe the different grades as well as what that grade means for the coin’s physical condition.
Uncirculated: A coin that is graded as being Uncirculated is a coin that, quite literally, never spent a day in circulation. These coins, having never exchanged hands, exist today in the same exact condition as when they were minted in 1947. Apart from some fading of the coin’s color due to age, these pieces are absolutely flawless.
Extremely Fine: A coin that is determined as being Extremely Fine is one that was likely never circulated, but is not free from damage. On the surfaces there will exist some minor flaws, and though these flaws might be invisible to the naked eye, they are able to be spotted via the grading process. Even something as small as a tiny scratch is enough to downgrade a coin from Uncirculated to Extremely Fine.
Fine: Fine is the grade given to coins that have either been circulated extensively and have somehow managed to avoid damage, or coins that might have been circulated for a few years before being kept in safekeeping. Regardless, you will notice some light scratching and some smoothing on the surfaces of the coin. Still, the raised aspects of the coin will be intact.
Good: A coin that is determined to be of Good grade is one that was circulated for an extended period of time, and shows plenty of signs of that circulation. From deep scratching to the complete smoothing away of some of the piece’s raised aspects, there will be very visible signs of wear and tear.
Determining the value of a 1947 Lincoln is as easy as assessing its type and condition. Because there were up to 3 different types of Lincolns minted annually, you might find different values for 3 1947 pennies of the same grade. Below is a chart that will help you determine the value of a 1947 Lincoln given its grade and type.
|1947 Lincoln Penny||N/A||N/A||$0.20||$0.40|
|1947 Lincoln Penny (D)||N/A||N/A||$0.20||$0.40|
|1947 Lincoln Penny (S)||N/A||N/A||$0.25||$0.50||Source: Red Book|