The Lincoln penny has been produced for well over 100 years, and is still being produced to this day. With that being said, the coin from 1956 is much more valuable than the modern variety, and its value is ever-increasing. Being that the coin is no longer being produced, there has never been a better time than now to get your hands on one of these iconic pieces of US coinage.
The obverse side of the 1956 Lincoln penny is dominated by the profile of Abraham Lincoln. To the left of the President’s image is a raised inscription which reads “Liberty.” Opposite the Liberty inscription is one that reads the 1956 year of minting. Finally, the phrase “In God We Trust” is arching overtop of the obverse.
As for the reverse side of the coin, the middle aspect of the face is dominated by two raised inscriptions on top of one another. One of the inscriptions reads “United States of America,” while the other denotes the “One Cent” face value. Along the right and left outer edges of the reverse are two single stalks of wheat, which explains why the coin is sometimes called the “Wheat Penny.” Finally, arching overtop of the reverse side is the Latin phrase “E Pluribus Unum.”
As far as the 1956 Lincoln penny is concerned, collectors are only interested in those coins that have been graded. In short, grading is something that involves having a professional look at the condition of the coin and assign it an official grade. Below we will introduce you to the different coin grades as well as what these grades mean for the appearance of the 1956 Lincoln.
Uncirculated: A coin that is determined to be of Uncirculated grade is one that has never exchanged hands. From the day they were minted, these coins will have been kept in a safe place and, as such, avoided the damage typically associated with coins so old. In a word, these coins look flawless.
Extremely Fine: Extremely Fine is the grade given to coins that look to be perfect, but have one or two minor flaws. Whether it is a small scratch or some other tiny blemish, these coins will be very lightly damaged. In many cases, the damage present on Extremely Fine 1956 Lincoln pennies cannot even be seen with the naked eye very easily.
Fine: A coin that is of Fine grade is one that was circulated, but not very heavily damaged. You will notice some light scratching and smoothing as a result of the changing of hands over the years, but all of the raised imagery and lettering will be intact and visible with the naked eye.
Good: Good is the lowest, or worst, grade a Lincoln penny can receive. It is indicative of a coin that has been heavily circulated as well as heavily damaged. In many cases, the damage on these coins is so severe that some of the raised aspects will have been worn away due to the constant exchanging of hands these coins went through.
When it comes to determining the value of a 1956 Lincoln penny, this is something that can be done quite easily if you take a few different things into consideration. The first factor that influences the value of the penny is the type it is. Because there were up to 3 different types of Lincolns produced each year, the type and its scarcity will help determine the value. Secondly, the grade of the coin means everything as coins in great condition will be more valuable than those that have been heavily worn. Below you will find a table listing the different values for coins given their type and grade.
|1956 Lincoln Penny||N/A||N/A||$0.12||$0.15|
|1956 Lincoln Penny (D)||N/A||N/A||$0.12||$0.15||Source: Red Book|