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The 1977 penny hit the streets during a very eventful year…
Saturday Night Fever and the Star Wars saga hit the silver screen, Voyager 1 and 2 opened a new era for NASA’s space exploration, and Atari 2600 launched the industry of home gaming as we know it today.
And about those 1977 pennies… they are all worth more than face value!
See how much more!
1977 No Mintmark Penny Value
The 1977 Lincoln cent with no mint mark is pretty common. Nearly 4.5 billion (with a big, ol’ “b”) were made at the Philadelphia Mint — or 4,469,930,000 to be exact.
But this old penny is nothing to turn your nose up at if you find one in your pocket change! These old pennies are worth some good money — certainly more than a mere penny.
Yep, even circulated 1977 Lincoln Memorial cents that you find in circulation are worth more than just one cent.
Worn 1977 pennies without a mintmark are worth about 2 cents — due to the extra value of the copper metal in the coin’s bronze alloy.
Since the 1977 penny contains copper, a semi-precious metal, many folks are squirreling these coins away from circulation and stacking them for their bullion value. As a result, these copper pennies are becoming scarcer in circulation.
Uncirculated 1977 pennies (a.k.a. those that were never spent as money) are worth even more.
A typical 1977 uncirculated Lincoln cent is worth somewhere in the neighborhood of 10 to 25 cents — but some are worth way more than that!
The record price for a 1977 no mintmark penny graded MS66RD by Professional Coin Grading Service, was an astonishing $2,645. Now, there’s a pretty penny, huh?
1977-D Penny Value
Have you found any 1977 pennies with a little “D” under the date?
If so, you’ve landed a 1977-D penny from the Denver Mint — which produced 4,194,062,300 pennies that year.
1977-D Lincoln pennies aren’t rare. They aren’t even scarce. Yet, like their counterpart 1977 Lincoln pennies from the Philly Mint (which don’t contain a mintmark), the 1977-D Lincoln penny is getting hard to find in circulation today.
If you find any in circulation, be sure to hang onto them because 1977-D pennies are worth more than face value — 2 cents apiece in worn condition.
Uncirculated 1977-D pennies are worth many more times their face value — an average of 10 to 25 cents.
The most valuable 1977-D penny was graded MS68RD by Professional Coin Grading Service and took $7,050 in a 2016 auction.
1977-S Proof Penny Value
The 1977-S proof penny is a special type of limited-edition issue that the United States Mint produced for collectors.
These proof pennies have mirrorlike surfaces and finely struck details — and they look far superior to just about any 1977 penny you’ve likely seen. They were produced using polished coin blanks and dies. And they were struck on high-tonnage presses multiple times to bring up even the most minute of details.
1977 proof pennies were struck at the San Francisco Mint and bear that mint’s “S” mintmark under the date. The San Francisco Mint struck a total of 3,251,152 of 1977-S Lincoln pennies.
While that may seem much rarer than either the 1977 penny with no mintmark or the 1977-D penny that saw more than 4 billion each, the 1977-S penny really isn’t all that scarce. These 1977 proof pennies were sold directly to collectors in proof sets and saved in huge numbers — so there are plenty of 1977-S pennies to satisfy collector demand!
Most 1977-S pennies are worth $1 to $2 — though a handful of especially nice examples are worth much more.
The most valuable 1977-S penny was graded PR70RD by Professional Coin Grading Service and sold for $7,050 in 2013!
A List Of 1977 Penny Errors To Look For
Nobody’s perfect, and that certainly goes for the folks at the United States Mint! Despite having an outstanding quality-control team, the U.S. Mint has inadvertently produced handfuls of error coins that manage to get out and excite the coin-collecting world.
Additionally, there are some varieties that were created through errors in manufacturing the dies that strike designs onto blank coins. Sometimes the dies begin showing obvious signs of wear and tear, resulting in further abnormal artifacts on the struck coins.
Here’s a look at some of the errors and varieties you’re likely to find on 1977 Lincoln pennies and what they’re worth…
1977 Doubled Die Error Pennies
Arguably the most popular and exciting type of error collectors can find on their 1977 pennies is the doubled die — or as some erroneously call them, “double dies.” These doubled dies can get pretty interesting, with some examples showing drastic doubling of the lettering, date, or other design features.
At this time, there are no known major doubled dies among the 1977 penny — which means no mega-valuable 1977 doubled die penny errors worth hundreds or thousands of dollars.
Yet, there are some really cool minor 1977 doubled die pennies out there! They can be identified by the minor doubling in and around the lettering and date on the coin. Many of these more obscure 1977 doubled die pennies are worth $25 to $100, depending on the magnitude of the doubling and popularity among die variety collectors.
1977 Off-Center Pennies
These bizarre-looking error coins are created when either the coins aren’t properly centered under the dies or the die pairing itself isn’t properly aligned with the coins they’re striking. Either way, the off-center error is a doozy of an oddity — showing at least 1% of the design missing and usually exhibiting a crescent-shaped blank region.
Many people rightfully assume that all off-center errors are valuable. But because those that are roughly 1% to 3% off center are so common and visually underwhelming, they don’t really carry any special value.
Values for off-center errors start climbing as 10% or more of the design is missing. Such pieces can be worth $15 to $25.
The most valuable off-center error pennies those that are missing about half of the design, yet still show a complete date and mintmark (when applicable). These can be worth upwards of $100!
1977 Pennies With Repunched Mintmarks
Back in the 1970s, mintmarks were individually handpunched onto working dies. This sometimes meant the mintmark would get punched onto the die incorrectly.
For example, the mintmark would be placed upside down, sideways, crooked, in not quite the right spot — or something else would go wrong with the mintmark placement.
What to do? Well, the Mint employee responsible for stamping mintmarks onto the die would repunch the mintmark! Repunched mintmark varieties range from minor to major, and all are collectible.
Most 1977-D repunched mintmark varieties trade for $3 to $15.
1977 Pennies With BIE Errors & Other Die Cracks
We’ve covered enough about dies at this point — so, you know that their role in the coin-minting process is to strike the design onto a blank coin.
But when these dies start aging to the point that the dies crack, this can create an entirely unique set of error varieties known as die breaks, or die cracks.
A simple die crack appearing as minor raised lines on a coin may not bring any extra value at all. But those that create interesting shapes or patterns on coins can be worth tons of money!
Large, flattish blank spots of metal attached to the rim are known as die cuds and are among the rarer types of die cracks. These can be worth $150 or more, depending on the size and shape of the die cud.
A less-valuable but similarly interesting die break unique to Lincoln cents is the BIE error penny — which entails a small, vertical die break taking the approximate form of a capital letter “I” between the “B” and “E” of “LIBERTY” inscribed just to the left of Lincoln’s bust on the obverse (heads side) of the coin. Most 1977 BIE pennies are worth around $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!