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All 1975 pennies are worth more than face value. Some are worth thousands of dollars!
So, what’s the different between a 1975 penny that is worth a little more than face value and one that could help pay off your mortgage?
Well, there are many factors that make rare, valuable old pennies worth what they are. Today we’re going to talk about those factors and show you what you should be looking for on your 1975 pennies.
1975 Penny Value (With No Mintmark)
In 1975, the Philadelphia Mint did not put mint marks on Lincoln pennies. More than 5.4 billion of these pennies were struck that year. (Yep, that’s billion with a “B.”) In all, the Philly Mint struck 5,451,476,142 pennies in 1975 without a mintmark — so these old pennies are pretty common.
Yet, it seems to be getting a little harder to find 1975 Lincoln Memorial cents in our spare change these days. It might lead one to ask if these are becoming rare coins.
The answer is no — not exactly. There are still tens upon tens of millions of 1975 pennies out there. But people are saving them more often these days.
Why? Because they’re made from a bronze composition consisting of 95% copper and 5% zinc. That might not seem all that unusual until you realize that high-volume copper content makes a penny more valuable for its metal than for the face value of the coin.
That’s right… The 1975 penny contains approximately 2 to 3 cents’ worth of copper. That effectively means all 1975 pennies are worth saving for their copper content alone!
It’s presently illegal to melt Lincoln pennies, but these coins are still traded for their speculative value. They’re also valued by fans of elongated penny novelty coins — because flattening copper coins doesn’t leave silvery colored streaks like post-1981 zinc-based pennies do when rolled through a machine.
So, yes, be sure to save all 1975 pennies, because they’re worth about 2 to 3 cents each even in worn condition.
What about uncirculated 1975 pennies that were never spent as money? Most of these are worth 10 to 30 cents.
The most valuable 1975 penny with no mintmark was graded MS68RD by Professional Coin Grading Service sold for $9,000 in a 2018 auction.
1975-D Penny Value
Like their Philadelphia Mint counterparts, the 1975-D Lincoln penny is also worth more than its face value — even in worn condition. And, yes, these, too, are worth about 2 to 3 cents each as found in loose change.
It should be noted that while about a billion fewer 1975-D pennies were made versus 1975 no Philly pennies, these Denver-minted coins with their “D” mintmark under the date are still extremely common. The coin saw a total mintage of 4,505,275,300 pieces.
We’ve already covered that worn 1975-D pennies are worth about 2 cents each, but what we didn’t yet go over is how much uncirculated specimens are worth. A 1975-D penny that has never been used as money is worth an average of 10 to 30 cents.
And the most valuable 1975-D penny? It was graded MS67+RD by Professional Coin Grading Service and sold in 2014 for $4,112.50!
1975-S Penny Value
The United States Mint made a limited number of collectible proof Lincoln cents in 1975.
They were struck at the San Francisco Mint, and they bear an “S” mintmark. The San Francisco Mint produced a total of 2,845,450 proof 1975-S pennies, and these were all distributed in 1975 proof sets.
While the U.S. Mint didn’t release any 1975-S proof Lincoln cents into general circulation and you’re not likely to find one in pocket change, that doesn’t mean you can’t snag one out in the “wild.” Many proof coins have been broken from proof sets and spent as money!
A circulated 1975-S proof Lincoln penny is worth 25 to 50 cents.
A typical 1975-S proof penny straight from a proof set is usually worth closer to $2 to $3.
The most valuable 1975-S proof penny was graded PR69DCAM by Professional Coin Grading Service and realized $1,150 in a 2002 auction.
IMPORTANT: Do You Know The Grade Of Your Penny?
To determine the true value of your 1975 penny, you first need to know what condition (or grade) your coin is in.
1975 Penny Errors You Can Find In Pocket Change
There are many kinds of 1975 penny errors that are relatively rare and valuable. These can be found in circulation with enough searching. (…And maybe a little luck!)
Here are a few of the 1975 penny errors you’re most likely to find:
1975 Doubled Die Pennies
It seems just about everyone wants to know what their 1975 double die penny is worth. Before we go into 1975 double die values, let’s remember that there is really no such thing as a “double die.”
This is a common mistake that some collectors make — because double dies are actually called doubled dies. And they’re dubbed doubled dies be cause one of the dies that strike these error coins has a doubled image, which occurred as an error when the die was being impressed by the hub.
While there are no major doubled die errors known on 1975 pennies, there are minor ones that can be found! You should be looking in and among the inscriptions on the obverse (head’s side) and reverse (tail’s side), as well as in the details on Abraham Lincoln’s bust.
Such relatively obscure 1975 doubled die pennies can be worth anywhere from $25 to $100 — depending on the specific variety.
1975 Pennies With Repunched Mintmarks
One of the more obscure yet interesting varieties you can find on 1975 pennies is the repunched mintmark.
At the time, the U.S. Mint coiners were still hand-punching mintmarks onto the individual working dies — and this left plenty of room for errors to happen.
On 1975-D Lincoln pennies, you can find a variety of little mintmark issues — ranging from doubling to tilted mintmarks.
Values for repunched mintmarks range from $3 to $10 — and drastic repunched mintmark varieties can fetch even more than that!
1975 Pennies With Die Breaks
When dies age, as they strike thousands upon thousands of coins, they can begin showing signs of wear and tear. Often, this takes the form of cracks in the die — which appear as raised lines, squiggles, and bumps.
Depending on the size, location, prominence, and the shape of these die cracks (or die breaks), the value might range from only $3 to $5 to more than $150!
One of the most valuable types of die breaks is known as a die cud. These appear as broad, flattish bumps attached to the rim and can be worth $100 to $200… or even more.
One of the most common types of a die break (one that’s unique to Lincoln pennies) is known as the BIE error. They occur as little vertical raised lines between the “B” and “E” of “LIBERTY” behind Lincoln’s profile and look something like a capital letter “I.”
These highly collectible BIE Lincoln pennies typically trade for $5 to $10.
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!