1972 Penny Value: What Are 1972 Pennies Worth Today? (Including The Rare 1972 Doubled Die Penny!)

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By Joshua

Have a 1972 penny?

If you enjoy collecting Lincoln pennies, then chances are you have at least a few 1972 pennies laying around.

What is a 1972 penny worth? How do you know if you have the rare 1972 doubled die penny? What is the value of 1972 doubled die pennies?

Here are the answers to those questions and more info about 1972 pennies…

Interesting 1972 Penny Facts

1972 pennies are made from a 95% copper, 5% zinc composition. They weigh 3.11 grams.

They’re similar to other old pennies from the 1970s in that the obverse (“heads” side) bears a portrait of 16th United States president Abraham Lincoln, and the reverse (“tails” side) has a design of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Lincoln has appeared on the penny since 1909. The Lincoln Memorial design on U.S. pennies was produced from 1959 through 2008. Lincoln Memorial pennies are generally very common — even though they’re no longer produced.

The 1972 penny is one of the most common dates for the 1-cent coin. More than 5.5 billion 1972 pennies were made. And most have entered circulation — meaning they’re worn, and thus those pieces are generally not very collectible.

However, this doesn’t mean a 1972 penny isn’t worth saving!

In addition to making circulation-strike Lincoln pennies, the San Francisco Mint (which produces coins with an “S” mintmark) made 1972 proof Lincoln Memorial pennies — which are usually worth $1 or so. Coin collectors especially enjoy finding these.

Here are some tips for collecting proof Lincoln Memorial cents.

And there’s at least one type of 1972 penny that’s definitely collectible and worth lots of money!

How Much Is A 1972 Penny Worth Today?

A 1972 penny is definitely a keeper!

Why’s that?

Even though they’re generally common, 1972 pennies are worth at least 2 cents each for their copper value.

While it’s presently illegal to melt copper pennies for their bullion value, they are no less trading hands at prices slightly above face value — because some collectors and coin hoarders anticipate the day when it’s OK to melt old pennies.

Uncirculated and proof 1972 pennies are worth well more than face value. However, unless you find a 1972 doubled die penny or another type of error penny from that year, your 1972 penny is worth 2 cents.

Here are values for uncirculated, proof, and 1972 penny error coins, along with mintage info for each issue:

  • 1972 Philadelphia (No Mintmark) penny — 2,933,255,000 (2.93 billion) minted; 20 to 40+ cents
  • 1972-D (Denver) penny — 2,665,071,400 minted (2.66 billion) minted; 20 to 40+ cents
  • 1972-S (San Francisco) penny — 376,939,108 minted; 50 to 75+ cents
  • 1972-S proof penny — 3,260,996 minted; $1+
  • 1972 doubled die penny — 20,000 minted (estimated); $150+

*Values are for problem-free coins (no cleanings, holes, porosity, etc.) in uncirculated condition or proof. Circulated pieces are generally worth about 2 cents, with the exception of the 1972 double die penny. 

The Rare 1972 Double Die Penny

One of the most rare pennies is the 1972 doubled die penny.

There are actually 10 different types of 1972 doubled die pennies, but there’s only one variety that’s really sought after by coin collectors. It’s the one that has easily visible doubling, which is seen in the following obverse inscriptions:

  • 1972 (the coin’s date)

Experts believe about 20,000 examples of the 1972 double die penny were accidentally made, and many of these are still circulating. So, it’s possible that you could find a 1972 doubled die penny in pocket change if you look carefully — and if you’re persistent.

What’s the 1972 doubled die penny worth? Anywhere from $75 and up in circulated condition and easily into the hundreds of dollars if you find a well-preserved, uncirculated specimen in an old estate coin collection or bank roll.

IMPORTANT What Is The Grade Of Your 1972 Penny?

To determine the true value of your 1972 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: