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Have a 1952 penny and want to know what it’s worth?
You may be in luck, as some 1952 pennies have values ranging into the hundreds of dollars… even thousands! Other 1952 wheat pennies are worth only a few cents.
So how do you know if your 1952 wheat penny is rare and valuable or worth little more than face value?
Read on to find out:
- How much 1952 Lincoln cents are worth
- How many 1952 wheat pennies were made
- Valuable errors you should be looking for on 1952 pennies
How Much Are 1952 Pennies Worth?
The most valuable 1952 wheat penny sold to date is a Philadelphia (no-mintmark) issue certified by Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) and graded Mint State-67 Red — which is a nearly perfect penny with original color that looks about as new as the day the coin was made! The record price paid for this coin is $9,775.
Chances are your 1952 penny isn’t worth nearly as much — especially if it was found in your pocket change and has some wear from being in circulation. But you’ll be glad to know that even the most well-worn 1952 wheat pennies are worth more than face value!
Here’s how much 1952 wheat pennies are worth today:
- Any regular 1952 penny that has wear but does not exhibit errors or contain die varieties — 3 cents to 10 cents
- A 1952 no mintmark penny that is uncirculated, or in Mint State condition — 75 cents or more
- A 1952-D penny that is uncirculated, or Mint State — 75 cents or more
- A 1952-S penny in Mint State condition — $1.25+
- Proof 1952 pennies (which were made at the Philadelphia Mint for coin collectors) — $15 to $3,000
How Much Is A 1952 Wheat Penny With Errors Worth?
Doubled Die vs. Machine Doubling: You may have heard of doubled die pennies (some mistakenly call these double die pennies) and probably think you have one if any part of the coin appears doubled. In most cases doubling is caused not by a doubled die but machine doubling — which is a non-valuable strike defect and not an error.
The 1955 doubled die penny is one of the most valuable coin errors around — and many people are aware of it. But not all doubled die pennies are worth big bucks. Doubled die coin values largely depend on how scarce the variety is and how much demand there is for it by collectors.
In the case of 1952 doubled die pennies, they generally aren’t as much in demand as the 1955 error penny, but that doesn’t mean 1952 error pennies aren’t worth looking for! Many are rare coins that are much scarcer than the 1955 doubled die penny — it’s just that fewer collectors know about them.
Here are some of the more common 1952 error pennies you should be looking for:
- 1952 doubled die penny — $3 to $10 or more
- 1952-S doubled die penny — $3 to $10 or more
- 1952 off-center pennies (all mints) — $3 or more, with much greater potential value for a coin with less design but the date still showing
- 1952 repunched mintmarks (D and S mints) — $1 to $5
- 1952 pennies with die breaks (raised cracks or blobs of metal on the coin) — $3 to $5 or more
- Other 1952 penny errors that look unusual — value depends on the magnitude of the error and demand
There are always new errors and varieties being uncovered, even on old pennies. So, don’t give up on looking for cool error coins. You may just discover a new error on an old coin!
How Many 1952 Pennies Were Made?
More than 1 billion wheat pennies were made in 1952.
Here’s a list of the four 1952 penny issues and how many were made of each:
- 1952 no mintmark penny (Philadelphia mint) — 186,775,000 minted
- 1952-D penny (Denver mint) — 746,130,000 minted
- 1952-S penny (San Francisco mint) — 137,800,004 minted
- 1952 proof penny (Philadelphia mint) — 81,980 minted
NOTE: These numbers are official production numbers (or how many pennies were made). A great deal of the coins reflected in the numbers above — perhaps most of the circulation (non-proof) strikes — have been damaged, lost, melted, or otherwise no longer exist. Thus, the number of surviving 1952 pennies is actually much scarcer than the above mintage figures may suggest.
What Else Happened The Year Your 1952 Penny Was Struck?
- Elizabeth II became the Queen of England and United Kingdom on February 6, following the death of her father King George VI. Her coronation followed in June 1953, and her likeness has since appeared on billions of coins struck for Great Britain and other Commonwealth nations.
- Smog in London killed more than 4,000 people during a 4-day period — leading to effective anti-pollution laws in Great Britain and inspiring other big cities around the world to adopt similar measures.
- The polio epidemic soared, killing 3,000 and disabling more than 55,000 others. In a few short years, Jonas Salk developed the polio vaccine with funds raised by the March of Dimes organization.
- The Today show debuted on NBC and became one of the most popular morning news and entertainment programs.
- Mr. Potato Head, a toy figurine with comical interchangeable faces, arms, and legs, was released to the delight of millions of children.
- Holiday Inn, one of the world’s most popular hotel chains today, opened its first location in Memphis, Tennessee.
- Among the top TV shows in 1952 were I Love Lucy, The Colgate Comedy Hour, The Jack Benny Program, The Milton Berle Show, What’s My Line, and The Adventures Of Ozzie & Harriet.
- The most popular movies in 1952 included Singin’ In The Rain, High Noon, Monkey Business, The Greatest Show On Earth, The Quiet Man, and The Big Sky.
- Top-charting songs in 1952 were “Blue Tango” by Leroy Anderson, “Wheel Of Fortune” by Kay Starr, “Cry” by Johnnie Ray, “You Belong To Me” by Jo Stafford, and “Auf Wiederseh’n, Sweetheart” by Very Lynn.
More Info About Valuable Old Pennies
In addition to the links I’ve included above, here are some of our other articles about wheat pennies, including the 1952 wheat penny:
- Old Lincoln Cents You Can Still Find In Pocket Change
- 5 Popular Wheat Penny Error Coins
- Old Copper Pennies: Which Ones To Save & What They’re Worth
- 43 Most Valuable Pennies Worth Holding Onto
- Which Old Pennies Are The Most Valuable?
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!