Found a 1957 wheat penny and want to know what it’s worth?
“Is my 1957 wheat penny rare?”
“How much are 1957 pennies worth today?”
Some 1957 wheat pennies are worth hundreds — even thousands — of dollars. Others are worth just a few cents.
To determine the value of your 1957 wheat penny, you first need to know a few things about the coin:
- The condition of your penny — including how much wear it has and whether it’s been cleaned or has other other signs of damage.
- Where your penny was minted — some were struck at the Philadelphia Mint and don’t have a mintmark and others were made at the Denver Mint and have a “D” mintmark.
- The presence of errors and varieties — including off-center strikes, a doubled die strike, repunched mintmark, and other oddities.
Read on to see how much your 1957 wheat pennies are worth…
What’s The Value Of A Worn (Circulated) 1957 Wheat Penny?
If you have a 1957 Lincoln cent that you found in pocket change or a roll of pennies, it likely has a lot of circulation wear. In other words, your 1957 penny probably looks old!
1957 pennies that have moderate wear but don’t exhibit any errors or other oddities are pretty common. If you have a 1957 wheat penny like that, what’s it worth?
There are 2 possibilities:
- A well-worn 1957 wheat penny from the Philadelphia Mint (which has no mintmark under the date) and a 1957-D wheat penny from Denver (with a “D” under the date) that has no errors and has not been cleaned is worth 3 to 5 cents apiece.
- A 1957 penny or 1957-D wheat penny that has been cleaned or exhibits other damage (including holes, bends, or other surface problems) is worth its copper value — or about 2 cents.
TIP: Let this be a reminder that you should never clean your coins! Cleaning coins permanently alters their appearance and virtually always diminishes their value.
How Much Are Uncirculated & Proof 1957 Pennies Worth?
1957 wheat pennies that have never been spent as money are highly collectible, and many of these mint condition pennies are quite valuable.
But what is your uncirculated 1957 or 1957-D wheat penny worth?
Again, there are 2 possibilities:
- If it’s a typical uncirculated specimen of a 1957 wheat penny, it’s worth between 15 cents and $10 — the fewer scratches and the more lustrous the surface, the more it’s worth.
- If it’s a proof 1957 penny that was minted for collectors and sold in 1957 proof sets, it’s worth between $1.50 and $5. Proof pennies with cameo devices, or frosted designs and lettering, are worth much more — perhaps $100 or more!
A List Of 1957 Error Pennies… And Their Values
How do you know if you have a 1957 error penny?
- Do you see doubling of any part of the design? It’s likely either a doubled die or machine doubling.
- Does the mintmark look weird? Maybe it’s a repunched mintmark!
- Do you see a raised straight or squiggly line anywhere on the coin? It’s probably a die crack.
- Is part of the coin missing from the coin? It’s either an off-center strike or strike-through error.
Here’s a list of some 1957 error pennies and how much they’re worth:
- 1957 doubled die pennies — $3 to $10+
- 1957 pennies with repunched mintmarks — $2.50+
- 1957 pennies with die cracks — from $1 to $20+ (depending on size and location)
- 1957 off-center pennies — $3 to $5+
- 1957 strike-through penny errors — $5 to $50+
1957 Wheat Penny Facts & Trivia
Here are 3 fun facts about 1957 pennies:
- More than 1.3 billion Lincoln cents were struck in 1957 — including 282,540,000 pieces struck at the Philadelphia Mint, 1,051,342,000 from the Denver Mint, and an additional 1,247,952 proof 1957 pennies.
- The Lincoln cent was originally designed by sculptor Victor David Brenner in 1909 — his initials, “VDB,” appear at the base of Lincoln’s shoulder on 1957 pennies.
- The most valuable 1957 penny ever sold was a nearly perfect MS-67 Red specimen graded and certified by third-party coin authentication firm Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) — it crossed the auction block in 2007 for a whopping $12,075!
What Else Happened When 1957 Pennies Were Being Made?
Here are some of the headlines and events that were going on when the 1957 wheat penny was hot off the presses:
- The Soviet Union launched Sputnik-1, which became the first man-made satellite ever sent into orbit and ushered in the start of the Space Race.
- The Little Rock Nine, involving the admission of 9 African American students at formerly all-white Little Rock Central High School in Arkansas, touched off days of riots and violence and became one of the most important events in the 1950s Civil Rights Movement.
- An Asian flu pandemic swept the globe, killing more than 150,000 people around the world and 70,000 in the United States.
- Test pilot John Glenn set a new transcontinental speed record by traversing the United States, from Los Angeles to New York, in 3 hours and 23 minutes. Glenn soon became a NASA astronaut, becoming the first American to orbit the Earth in 1962 aboard the spacecraft known as Friendship 7.
- “American Bandstand,” produced by Dick Clark in Philadelphia, became a nationwide sensation. It aired on TV for more than 30 years.
- Other top TV shows in 1957 included the final season of “I Love Lucy,” “Gunsmoke,” “Perry Mason,” “Leave It To Beaver,” “The Ed Sullivan Show,” and “Father Knows Best.”
- Popular movies in 1957 were 12 Angry Men, The Incredible Shrinking Man, A Face In The Crowd, Paths Of Glory, Sweet Smell Of Success, and Jailhouse Rock.
- The big star in Jailhouse Rock was new music star Elvis Presley, who lit up the radio waves in 1957 with hits such as the titular “Jailhouse Rock” and “Teddy Bear.” Other top songs in 1957 were “That’ll Be The Day” by The Chirping Crickets, “Great Balls Of Fire” by Jerry Lee Lewis, “I Walk The Line” by Johnny Cash, and “Be-Bop Baby” by Ricky Nelson.
More Info About Valuable Old Pennies
- 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!