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Have you found a 1968 coin in your spare change and want to know what it’s worth?
You might be surprised to find out that some pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, and half dollars from 1968 are quite valuable!
Some of these old coins are worth hundreds or even thousands of dollars — depending on their condition and the presence of any errors or varieties.
Fun Facts About Coins From 1968
The year 1968 marked an important chapter in the history of the United States Mint. It was when the U.S. Mint resumed placing mint letter stamps, or mintmarks, on its coins — after 3 years of non-mintmarked coinage.
What was the reason for no mintmarks on coins?
A major coin shortage in the early 1960s — amid rising silver prices and increasing demand for new coins — led the U.S. Mint to abandon striking 90% silver coins for circulation in 1965. The mint switched to a copper-nickel clad composition for the dime and quarter and debased the half dollar to a 40% silver-clad profile. Mint officials also removed the mintmarks from coins to reduce collecting activity.
Furthermore, the U.S. Mint began focusing its efforts on stemming the coin shortage by abandoning production of proof sets and mint sets, instead offering only one product known as a special mint set (SMS). Special mint sets were in production from 1965 through 1967 — which is the same timeframe during which the mintmark moratorium was in place.
As the calendars turned to 1968, the U.S. Mint returned to striking coins with mintmarks, and they also brought back regular proof sets and mint sets. But all of this news was even bigger than just marking the return of mintmarks and traditional collector sets:
- In the case of the mintmarks, beginning in 1968 they were all moved from the reverse (“tails side”) to the obverse (“heads side”) of the coin. Until then, of the coins in circulation during the 1960s, only the Lincoln penny had its mintmark on the obverse.
- With the proof sets, production of proof coinage moved from the Philadelphia Mint to the San Francisco Mint. What’s more, proof sets were now being packaged in hard plastic display cases. (That’s a real divergence from the pliable cellophane plastic packaging the U.S. Mint had used from the debut of modern proof sets in 1936 until 1964, when proof set sales were suspended.)
Still, despite all the changes going on, there were many things that remained the same…
The designs of the Lincoln cent, Jefferson nickel, Roosevelt dime, Washington quarter, and Kennedy half dollar were virtually unchanged from previous years — with the exception of the new obverse mintmarks on the nickel, dime, quarter, and half dollar. Also, the half dollar retained its 40% silver composition that was adopted for the coin in 1965. (The 40% silver composition would continue through 1970.)
While many of these coins remain common today, some are worth a ton of money — especially those that are in pristine condition!
Most Valuable Coins From The Year 1968
Let’s dive into 1968 coin values now…
1968 Penny Value
The 1968 Lincoln pennies are all worth more than face value because they’re made from a bronze composition, which is 95% copper — a metal that has seen rising values in recent years. The amount of copper that’s in the 1968 penny means this coin is automatically worth more than face value.
In fact, a 1968 penny with a typical amount of wear contains about 2 cents of copper. The only caveat? It’s currently illegal to melt pennies in the United States. Still, they trade on a speculative basis for prices over face value — meaning it’s worth looking for and keeping any 1968 pennies you find due to their intrinsic value. The bottom line is that pretty much any 1968 penny you find in pocket change is worth at least 2 cents.
The most commonly encountered 1968 pennies are those from the Philadelphia Mint (no mintmark) or Denver Mint (“D” mintmark). The mintmark for Denver minted 1968 nickels can be found just below the date on the obverse. Uncirculated examples of the 1968 no-mintmark and 1968-D pennies go for around 10 to 25 cents each.
Then there is the San Francisco-minted 1968-S business-strike penny — which is scarcer and less-frequently encountered in pocket change. Still, circulated specimens are usually worth 2 cents.
And what about 1968-S proof pennies? They are usually worth around $1.
These are the most valuable 1968 pennies on record:
- The highest price ever paid for a 1968 penny with no mintmark was $2,880 for a specimen grading Mint State-67 Red in 2018.
- The highest price ever paid for a 1968-D penny was $2,300. It was also graded Mint State-67 Red and sold in a 2008 auction.
- The most valuable 1968-S penny ever sold was certified Mint State-66+ Red and fetched $5,000 in 2021.
- The most valuable proof 1968-S penny was graded Proof-69 Deep Cameo and sold for $3,795 in 2002.
1968 Nickel Value
The 1968 Jefferson nickel comes in 3 issues:
- 1968-D nickel
- 1969-S business strike nickel
- 1968-S proof nickel
There were no 1968 nickels struck at the Philadelphia Mint.
The mintmark is found just below the date on the obverse.
The 1968 nickels are generally pretty common across the board, and they’re worth their face value of 5 cents in worn condition.
Uncirculated 1968-D and 1968-S nickels trade for 20 to 40 cents each, while proof 1968-S nickels sell for around $1 to $2.
These are the most valuable 1968 nickels on record:
- The most valuable 1968-D nickel was graded Mint State-66 and sold for $1,140 in 2022.
- The most valuable 1968-S nickel was graded Mint State-66 Full Steps and sold for $4,140 in 2004.
- And one of the most valuable 1968-S proof nickels is graded Proof-69 Cameo and took $49 in 2018.
1968 Dime Value
The 1968 Roosevelt dime is a common coin that was struck for circulation at the Philadelphia and Denver Mints, while proofs were produced in San Francisco.
The mintmarks on 1968 dimes are found on the obverse just above the date and to the right of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s head.
The 1968 and 1968-D dimes, if worn, are worth their face value of 10 cents. Uncirculated specimens usually sell for 40 cents to $1.
These are the most valuable 1968 dimes on record:
- The most valuable 1968 dime with no mintmark was graded Mint State-67 Full Bands and sold for $1,250 in a 2022 auction.
- The most valuable 1968-D dime was graded Mint State-68 Full Bands and took $1,495 in 2021.
- The 1968-S proof dime from San Francisco is worth around $1 to $2. The most valuable regular-issue proof 1968-S dime was graded Proof-70 Cameo and sold for $2,650.
- There’s also an incredible no-S 1968 proof dime error. This is among the most important errors and varieties you can find on 1968 coins. Only a few 1968 no-S dimes exist — making this a very rare and valuable 1968 dime. These 1968 dimes are generally worth $30,000 to $40,000 apiece! Unfortunately, this is NOT a dime that you’re going to find in your spare change! It’s a proof dime, and if you’re going to land one it will most certainly be from an old, unsearched 1968 proof set. The most valuable 1968 no-S proof dime was graded Proof-68 Cameo and sold for a stunning $48,875.
1968 Quarter Value
The 1968 Washington quarter is a common coin that was struck for circulation at the Philadelphia Mint and the Denver Mint.
You will find the mintmark on the obverse — just to the right of George Washington.
If you find any 1968 quarters in circulation, they’re worth their face value of 25 cents if worn.
The 1968-S proof quarter is worth an average of $1.50 to $5.
These are the most valuable 1968 quarters on record:
- The most valuable 1968 quarter with no mintmark graded Mint State-68 sold for $9,400 in 2013.
- The most valuable 1968-D quarter was graded Mint State-68 and traded hands for $8,812.50 in 2016.
- The most valuable 1968-S proof quarter was graded Proof-69 Deep Cameo and sold for $2,875 in 2007.
1968 Half Dollar Value
We’ve come at long last to the 1968 Kennedy half dollar, which is the only type of silver coin listed here in this article.
Again, the 1968 half dollars are 40% silver coins, and as such are worth looking for because they trade for prices above face value! (If you’re lucky, you might find some while searching through rolls of half dollars from the bank.)
Only the Denver and San Francisco Mints struck half dollars in 1968, and their mintmarks are found just below the bust of John F. Kennedy on the obverse. Denver struck circulating half dollars, while San Francisco struck proofs. The value of either is dependent on the current price of silver.
These are the most valuable 1968 half dollars on record:
- The most valuable 1968-D half dollar was graded Mint State-67+ and got $7,500 in 2019.
- The most valuable 1968-S proof half dollar was graded Proof-70 Deep Cameo and sold for $21,600 in 2017.
I’m the Coin Editor here at TheFunTimesGuide. 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 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 authored nearly 1,000 articles here at The Fun Times Guide to Coins (many of them with over 50K shares), and I welcome your coin questions in the comments below!