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Come across a 1932 penny in your pocket change?
Wow, you must be pretty lucky! Because 1932 pennies are somewhat scarce and very difficult to find outside of coin collections.
Wondering how much a 1932 wheat penny is worth?
Read on to find out…
How Much Is A 1932 Penny Worth?
There are several factors that go into determining the value of a 1932 penny, including:
- Where the coin was minted
- Its condition
- The presence of any errors or varieties
Values for the 1932 Lincoln cent range from $1 to more than $100 — but don’t let that wide range in values confuse you. (I’ll explain more specifics in a moment.)
In 1932, Lincoln wheat pennies were made at either the Philadelphia Mint or the Denver Mint. Lincoln pennies from the Denver Mint have a little “D” under the date, while 1932 pennies from the Philadelphia Mint have no mintmark at all.
Slightly fewer were struck in Philly than at Denver, but values aren’t drastically different between the two — at least not for examples of the 1932 penny in circulated grades.
- If you have a circulated 1932 Lincoln cent that has a lot of wear… it’s worth between $1 and $4. The value of your specific 1932 penny is somewhere in there — depending on the amount of wear the coin has and its overall condition.
- If you have an uncirculated 1932 Lincoln cent that has never been spent as money… that’s good! Relatively few were saved in this condition, and they’re scarce in Mint State grades. Values for uncirculated 1932 pennies start at around $25 apiece and go up drastically from there.
What Are The Most Valuable 1932 Pennies?
- A 1932 penny from the Philadelphia Mint graded MS-67 Red by Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) sold for $9,775 in 2006.
- A 1932-D penny graded by PCGS as an MS-67 Red sold for $13,800 in 2008.
Are 1932 Pennies Rare?
All told, 1932 pennies are much scarcer than many other old Lincoln wheat cents.
In part, this is due to the effects of the Great Depression — a period of terrible economic conditions that affected people throughout the United States and around the world.
The need or demand for new coinage was low, so therefore the U.S. Mint made smaller numbers of coins in the early 1930s.
In 1932, the Philadelphia Mint made just 9,062,000 Lincoln cents, whereas the Denver Mint struck only 10,500,000. Those are really small numbers as compared to the tens and hundreds of millions of pennies produced each year throughout most of the 1920s and later 1930s… and beyond.
Many of these 1932 Lincoln cents were damaged beyond recognition, destroyed, or otherwise lost to time. Still, there are several thousand examples of each surviving today — leaving plenty for many of the collectors who want them.
And while top-grade examples are indeed quite rare, well-worn 1932 Lincoln cents are way more common — common enough that neither the 1932 penny with no mintmark, nor the 1932-D penny is categorically rare.
1932 Penny Errors To Look For
So far we’ve covered the value of 1932 Lincoln cents based on their condition and mint origin. But we’ve yet to talk about the third factor that goes into what makes a coin valuable: errors and varieties.
These are the most likely types of errors and varieties to look for on your 1932 pennies…
Die Breaks & Die Cud Errors
When coin dies age or are overused, they often snap under pressure — literally! These cracks in the die generally show up as raised lines or squiggles on coins and are desirable to error coin collectors.
- Die cracks on 1932 pennies can range in value from as little as $10 or $20 to more than $250, depending on the size, location, and prominence of the die crack (usually, the larger the better).
- Die cuds (basically flattish die cracks attached to the rim of a coin) are usually worth $150 and up.
Off-center errors are a more common type of mishap, though pieces with drastic off-center strikes are considerably rare. This is especially so when the coin’s entire date and mintmark (when applicable) are still fully visible.
- 1932 off-center penny strikes that are only 5% or 10% off-center are worth $10 to $25.
- 1932 off-center pennies that are 50% or more off-center and still show their date and mintmark are usually worth more than $200.
Laminations & Other Errors
- Lamination errors happen due to impurities in the metal, causing pieces of metal flake off the coin. This type of error on a 1932 penny is generally worth $10 to $25 or more.
- Clipped planchets happen when part of the metal is cut off the coin in the minting process. They’re fairly common but neat errors and often trade for $10 to $20 apiece.
- Broadstrikes happen when coins aren’t struck in their retaining collars — which shape the rim and edge of a coin upon strike. These errors look flatter and wider than normal and don’t have a well-defined rim or edge. On a 1932 Lincoln cent, this type of error is worth $5 to $20.
Doubled Die Errors
A doubled die happens when a hub imprints an image twice at two different angles on a die (the device that strikes an image onto a blank coin).
There are no major 1932 doubled die pennies known — but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist! Listings for any verified minor varieties from 1932 are sketchy. However, if you happen to have a verified doubled die that can be seen with the naked eye, you may have struck it rich! Many doubled die Lincoln cents are worth $150 or more.
Here’s a list of the most valuable pennies — 43 U.S. Pennies Worth Holding Onto!
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!