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If you’ve got a 1923 penny, you’re probably wondering how much this old Lincoln wheat cent is worth.
I remember when I found my first 1923 Lincoln cents in pocket change (before the rise of the Internet)… I had to look up coin values in books and magazines. So, it’s wonderful that I get to share my knowledge of old Lincoln wheat pennies and what they’re worth online. It’s so convenient!
Honestly, you’ll find penny values all over the board. Some sites say a 1923 wheat penny is worth only a few cents. Others suggest it’s worth thousands of dollars. Who’s correct?
The truth is, while some 1923 Lincoln cents have values into the thousands of dollars, not all of them do. So the real question is… how much is your 1923 penny worth?
You came to the right place. I’ve got the definitive answer you’re looking for…
Today, I’m going to show you how much your 1923 Lincoln cent is really worth. Plus, answer many other questions about 1923 wheat cents, including:
- What’s the most valuable 1923 penny?
- How many 1923 Lincoln cents were made?
- What’s the rarest 1923 wheat penny?
- Who designed the 1923 Lincoln cent?
- And more!
To determine the value of your 1923 Lincoln cent, we first need to know if your 1923 wheat penny has a mintmark or not.
Where Is The Mintmark On A 1923 Lincoln Cent?
A mintmark will appear on a Lincoln cent as a little letter under the date. Here’s what to look for:
- If you see a “D” on a Lincoln cent, that means the coin was made at the Denver Mint. Except… the Denver Mint didn’t make any 1923 Lincoln cents. So you won’t find a 1923-D penny.
- If you see an “S” on your 1923 penny, then it was made at the San Francisco. Mint.
- If you don’t see any mintmark at all, that means your 1923 wheat penny was made at the Philadelphia Mint (which did not place mintmarks on its coins for the first time until 1942).
Many folks think a coin without no mintmark letter is an error coin.
Yes, it’s true that some Lincoln cents without a mintmark are rare pennies with errors (and they’re worth a lot of money) — like these:
But 1923 Lincoln cents without a mintmark letter are made in Philadelphia — and they are generally quite common.
So now you know… there are 2 types of 1923 Lincoln cents:
- Those with no mintmark, made in Philadelphia.
- Those with an “S” mintmark, made in San Francisco.
How Much Is A 1923 Penny Worth?
If you have a circulated 1923 penny (one that was used as money), the value can ranges:
- 1923 Lincoln cent with no mintmark — 75 cents to $1.50+
- 1923-S penny made in San Francisco — $3 to $5+
*These values are for coins that are well worn (in average circulated grades, like coins found in pocket change) and have no holes, signs of cleaning, or other forms of damage. Coins that are cleaned or otherwise damaged are worth significantly less.
If you happen to have an uncirculated 1923 penny (one that was never used as money), it’s worth more:
- A typical uncirculated 1923 Lincoln cent with no mintmark and chocolate-brown surfaces is worth about $15 and up.
- An uncirculated 1923-S penny in the same condition is worth around $200… or more!
What’s The Most Valuable 1923 Penny?
Are you curious how much the most valuable 1923 wheat penny sold for?
Hang on to your hat — because it probably cost more than your car!
A 1923-S penny graded MS-65 Red by Professional Coin Grading Service and given a quality seal of approval by the Certified Acceptance Corporation sold in 2018 for a whopping $66,000!
Talk about a pretty penny…
How Much Are 1923 Wheat Penny Errors Worth?
The answer to this question depends on the specific error and the individual coin itself.
Typical 1923 Error Pennies… And Their Values
Here are values for the 1923 error pennies you’re most likely to come across:
- A 1923 off-center Lincoln cent — $10 to $50+
- 1923 pennies with die cracks — $3+
- The 1923 wheat penny with “BIE” error in “LIBERTY” — $15+
1923 Doubled Die Penny Error Value
There’s at least one known type of 1923 Lincoln cent with a doubled die.
On the 1923 doubled die penny, Lincoln has a doubled eyelid.
Here’s approximately how much a 1923 doubled die penny error is worth:
Since these doubled die error coins don’t trade often, market data is scarce — but similar doubled die pennies are worth anywhere between $25 and $100… or more.
1923 Penny Error With Missing Letters
OK, so as you now know… a 1923 wheat penny with no mintmark was made at the Philadelphia Mint and is totally common. But what about a 1923 penny where part of an inscription or date is missing?
Here are the approximate values of 1923 Lincoln cents with missing letters:
- If the penny just has excessive wear that obliterated the lettering, then that penny with missing letters isn’t worth much at all — at least less than the values listed above.
- If the penny was struck by a die with grease, or something happened with the die when it struck the coin causing it to have less pressure at the strike… that 1923 penny with missing letters is worth much more. A grease-filled error may be worth anywhere from $50 to $150, whereas a die-adjustment strike (which struck the coin with less pressure than normal) could be worth as much as $500.
When we’re talking this kind of money, it’s best to have the coin evaluated in-hand by a qualified numismatic professional (like a coin dealer) — to make sure you have a real error coin and not one that simply has post-mint damage.
Fun Facts About Old Pennies
I love sharing random knowledge about old coins.
Here are a few things about Lincoln cents you may find interesting:
- The U.S. Mint struck more than 83 million pennies in 1923. The mintages for 1923 Lincoln cents break down to 74,723,000 from the Philly Mint and 8,700,000 from San Francisco.
- In all, the United States Mint has made nearly 200 billion Lincoln pennies since 1909.
- Who designed the Lincoln cent? That’s none other than Victor David Brenner, whose “VDB” initials appear on the lower reverse (“tails side”) side of the 1909 penny and under Lincoln’s shoulder on the obverse (“heads side”) of all pennies made since 1918.
What Else Happened When Your 1923 Penny Was Made?
I love history and hope you do, too. So, here’s a look at what was going on when your old penny was made:
- King Tut’s burial chamber was opened by explorer and anthropologist Howard Carter.
- The original Yankee Stadium in New York hosted its first official game between the Yankees and the Boston Red Sox.
- Warner Brothers movie studio was established in Hollywood, California.
- Time magazine debuted on March 3.
- Top movies in 1923 were The Hunchback Of Notre Dame, The Ten Commandments, Safety Last!, and A Woman Of Paris.
- The most popular songs in 1923 were “Down Hearted Blues” by Bessie Smith, “Yes, We Have No Bananas” by Billy Jones, “Parade Of Wooden Soldiers” by Paul Whiteman, “Carolina In The Morning” by Van & Schenck, and “Dippermouth Blues” by Louis Armstrong.
More About Valuable Old U.S. Pennies
In addition to the links I’ve included above, here are some of our other articles about Lincoln cents — to help you find the value of other pennies in your collection:
- List Of The Most Valuable U.S. Pennies
- 7 Penny Facts You Probably Don’t Know
- Historical Values Of Lincoln Cents
- 9 Cool Ways To Collect Pennies
My love for coins began when I was 11 years old. I primarily collect and study U.S. coins produced during the 20th century. I'm a member of the American Numismatic Association (ANA) and the Numismatic Literary Guild (NLG) and have won multiple awards from the NLG for my work as a coin journalist. I'm also the editor at CDN Publishing (a trusted source for the price of U.S. rare coins), editor at the Florida United Numismatists Club (FUN Topics magazine), and author of Images of America: The United States Mint in Philadelphia (a book that explores the colorful history of the Philadelphia Mint). I've contributed hundreds of articles for various coin publications including COINage, The Numismatist, Numismatic News, Coin Dealer Newsletter, Coin Values, and CoinWeek. I've also authored nearly 1,000 articles here at The Fun Times Guide to Coins — and I welcome your coin questions in the comments below!