1964 Penny Value Guide (There’s A 1964 Penny Worth $5,000… The 1964 SMS Penny!)

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By Joshua

What Is A 1964 Penny Worth?

Do you have a 1964 penny and want to know how much it’s worth?

It’s possible that yours might be a type of rare 1964 penny — worth more than $5,000.

Or you might just have a regular, worn 1964 penny — worth 2 to 3 cents.

But you won’t know for sure unless you:

  • Find out more about 1964 pennies — the rare ones and the common ones.
  • See how much all types of 1964 pennies are worth — and what makes some more valuable than others.
  • Learn which 1964 pennies are especially rare and valuable — and where you might find one!

In this article, you will find out how to accurately determine the value of your 1964 penny…

Current 1964 Penny Values

Like other copper-based Lincoln Memorial pennies struck from 1959 through 1982, most worn 1964 pennies are worth the value of their copper content — currently, 2 to 3 cents.

These coins weigh approximately 3.11 grams.

But some 1964 penny values are much higher.

I’ll talk more about this in a minute and explain why some rare 1964 pennies are worth much more.

But for now, these are the basic 1964 penny values that most people are interested in:

1964 No-Mintmark Penny Value

MINT: Philadelphia Mint

MINTAGE NUMBER: 2,648,575,000 of the 1964 no-mintmark pennies were made (2.6 billion)

CURRENT VALUE: 10 to 25+ cents

1964-D Penny Value

MINT: Denver Mint

MINTAGE NUMBER: 3,799,071,500 of the 1964-D pennies were made (approximately 3.8 billion)

CURRENT VALUE: 10 to 25+ cents

1964 Proof Penny Value


MINTAGE NUMBER: 3,950,762 of the 1964 proof pennies were made (almost 4 million)


1964 SMS Penny Value

INCLUDED IN: Special Mint Sets

MINTAGE NUMBER: approximately 30 of the 1964 SMS pennies are estimated to have been made


*Values are for coins in uncirculated grade, proof finish, and special mint set finish. Circulated 1964 pennies with no errors or special varieties are worth approximately 2 to 3 cents. 

Summary Of 1964 Penny Values

As you can see, the 1964 Lincoln penny was struck by the billions upon billions.

Both the 1964 no-mintmark penny and the 1964-D penny are quite common. In fact, the 1964 Lincoln cent is one of the most common pre-1982 Lincoln Memorial pennies you’ll find in circulation today!

There are still plenty of these coins around for collectors to pluck from circulation and save. Virtually all of these pennies went into circulation and can still be found in pocket change today.

The current value of 1964 pennies with no mintmark and 1964-D pennies reflects these facts.

As in most other years, the United States Mint also struck a limited number of 1964 proof pennies — for collectors. Their values reflect the smaller mintages and finer details that appear on these coins.

Then there are the 1964 SMS pennies.

What exactly are those rare and valuable SMS pennies all about?…

The Story Behind The Rare 1964 SMS Penny

Yes, the 1964 SMS penny really is rare. And yes, it really is worth $5,000… or more.

So now you’re probably wondering what exactly a 1964 SMS penny is and how you can find one!

It’s a long story, but I’ll zip right to the main points:

  1. There was a major coin shortage in the early 1960s — due to silver hoarders removing 90% silver dimes, quarters, and half dollars from circulation.
  2. Some U.S. Mint officials blamed coin collectors for the coin shortage.
  3. To focus efforts on making more circulating coinage, the U.S. Mint temporarily stopped producing the long-popular annual uncirculated sets and proof sets. Instead, the Mint streamlined the production of coin sets to just a single collector product known as a Special Mint Set (SMS).
  4. The Special Mint Sets of the 1960s include one coin of each denomination in a satin-like (sometimes proof-like) finish.

Why they were made is unknown for sure.

1964 SMS pennies and other 1964 SMS coins may have been made as prototype coins for the 1965 Special Mint Sets.

Or, perhaps they were intended for a 1964 Special Mint Set possibly including the 1964 Peace dollar.

We’ll probably never know the true origin of 1964 SMS pennies with 100% certainty. But we do know that they’re rare, they’re valuable, and they’re highly sought after!

How To Identify A 1964 SMS Penny

Wondering how you can tell a rare 1964 SMS penny from a regular 1964 penny?

First, it should be noted that 1964 SMS pennies have normally appeared only in 1964 SMS sets. Therefore, 1964 SMS pennies aren’t the types of coins you will find in ordinary pocket change.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t find these rare 1964 pennies — if you’re lucky, of course!

Some 1964 SMS pennies have turned up before in estates and in other seemingly ordinary situations. In some cases, they were removed from the coin set packaging that they came in, and then they were spent as money.

Here’s how to tell SMS pennies from regular 1964 pennies and 1964 proof pennies:

  • A 1964 SMS penny has a satin finish and is not reflective (or mirror-like) as a 1964 proof penny is.
  • The overall strike and details on a 1964 SMS penny are much sharper than on a circulation strike 1964 penny.
  • One of the areas where the strong details show really well on the 1964 SMS penny is its rim. The rim of a 1964 SMS penny is more square in profile — similar to a 1964 proof penny.

Summary Of The Rare 1964 SMS Penny Value

So now you know…

A 1964 SMS penny isn’t really the type of coin that you just find one day in your grandmother’s attic drawer and then flip at your local coin dealer for $5,000 in cash.

It’s a rare find for sure.

  • On the low end, 1964 SMS pennies are worth $1,500 or $3,000.
  • On the high end, 1964 SMS pennies are worth much more than the $5,000 average value listed here.
  • The record price for a 1964 SMS penny is $11,500 — paid at an auction in 2005 for a “Red” specimen in MS-67. (Talk about a pretty penny!)

If you think you have a 1964 SMS penny, you should have it certified by a reputable 3rd-party coin grading firm such as PCGS, NGC, ICG, or ANACS.

Then, if you wish to sell it, you should either enter it in a coin auction OR offer it to a coin dealer who can pay you what it’s really worth.

What Is The Grade Of Your 1964 Penny?

To determine the true value of your 1964 penny, you first need to know what condition (or grade) your coin is in.

Grab a coin magnifier and a copy of the U.S. Coin Grading Standards book. Then, watch this video to see how to grade coins yourself at home:

More Info About 1964 Penny Values

In addition to the links I’ve included above, here are some of our other articles to help you learn more about your 1964 pennies: