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Why are some 2001 pennies worth more than their face value of one cent?
Some 2001 Lincoln pennies are rare.
There are even some valuable 2001 error pennies worth looking for in your loose change!
You just need to know specifically which features to look for on your 2001 pennies. Otherwise, you could drive yourself batty trying to determine what a rare and valuable 2001 penny looks like versus one that’s worth just 1 cent.
So today, we’re going to show you what the rare 2001 pennies look like — to help increase your odds of bagging some awesome finds right from pocket change!
2001 Penny Value
The 2001 Lincoln penny was struck at the Philadelphia Mint. It does not contain any mint stamp under the date. These mint stamps, known as mintmarks, are placed on some U.S. coins to indicate which mint produced the coin.
However, Philadelphia was the location of the original United States Mint — which did not place its mintmark on many coins. Such is the case with most Lincoln cents from the Philadelphia Mint.
So, if you come across a 2001 penny with no mint mark, it’s a common coin from the Philly mint. It is not necessarily special or valuable, in and of itself.
The reason the 2001 no-mintmark penny is considered a common coin is because the Philadelphia Mint made a lot of 2001 pennies — nearly 5 billion! To be exact, the Philly Mint struck 4,959,600,000 pennies in 2001, and there are still plenty to go around.
Since the 2001 penny without a mintmark is so common, worn examples like you might find in your spare change or coin jar are worth only face value — just 1 cent.
But that doesn’t mean there aren’t some rare and valuable 2001 pennies worth looking for…
As you’ll see below, there are some serious 2001 penny errors out there.
There are also uncirculated (never used as money) 2001 pennies that are worth more than face value:
- A typical uncirculated no-mintmark 2001 penny is worth about 10 to 30 cents.
- One of the nicest 2001 pennies without a mintmark ever sold fetched an outstanding $329 in 2016. That was for a specimen graded MS69RD by Professional Coin Grading Service.
2001-D Penny Value
The 2001-D penny was struck at the Denver Mint and, therefore, it carries a little “D” mintmark below the date on the coin. If you find any 2001 pennies with the “D,” you’ll know right away where it was struck — thanks to the presence of the mintmark indicating it was made in Denver.
While a lot of people might think that the 2001 penny with the D mint stamp is a rare coin worth a lot of money because of the mintmark, unfortunately they generally aren’t worth that much at all. The reason is because so many of these 2001-D pennies were made.
The Denver Mint struck a total of 5,374,990,000 pennies in 2001. So, these coins are extremely common. That means if you find a worn 2001-D penny in loose change, it’s safe to spend it if you wish — because circulated 2001-D pennies are usually worth only their face value of 1 cent.
Now, even though 2001-D pennies are worth only 1 cent if worn, this doesn’t mean that all 2001 pennies with a D mint stamp trade at just their face value. In fact, there are many 2001-D pennies worth much more than the value of just 1 cent.
For starters, there are some rare 2001-D error pennies out there. (We’ll cover these in greater detail below.)
There are also uncirculated 2001-D pennies — many of which are worth much more than just a cent:
- The typical uncirculated 2001-D penny is worth 10 to 30 cents.
- The all-time record price for a 2001-D penny is $1,150, which is the amount paid in 2008 for an especially nice specimen graded MS69RD by Professional Coin Grading Service.
2001-S Penny Value
The U.S. Mint produced a small number of special Lincoln cents just for collectors.
These pennies were made using polished blanks that were struck twice by specially prepared dies on high-tonnage presses — to help clarify even the most minute of details on the coin.
Known as proofs, these beautiful 2001 pennies were struck at the San Francisco Mint, and they bear an “S” mint mark indicating where they were made.
The 2001-S pennies were offered only in proof sets that were sold directly to collectors by the United States Mint.
You can buy 2001-S pennies today from coin dealers for about $2 to $5 apiece.
Some proofs are nicer than others. One of the most pristine examples was graded PC70DCAM by Professional Coin Grading Service and sold for $863 in 2007.
IMPORTANT: Do You Know The Grade Of Your Penny?
To determine the true value of your 2001 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:
Valuable 2001 Penny Errors To Look For In Your Change
While most 2001 pennies were made more or less uneventfully, many are less than perfect. Unfortunately, the majority of the weird-looking 2001 pennies that may appear to have errors are merely exhibiting varying forms of post-mint damage. But there are some real errors and varieties to be found on some 2001 pennies. Let’s take a brief look at what these 2001 penny errors are and how much they’re worth…
2001 Doubled Die Penny
One of the most popular coin errors is the doubled die. While there are currently no known dramatic 2001 doubled die penny errors that are worth hundreds or thousands of dollars, there are some 2001 pennies with more obscure doubled dies. These usually show minor hub doubling in the lettering on the coin, in Lincoln’s eye or bowtie, or in the details of the Lincoln Memorial. Such 2001 penny errors are generally worth $20 to $50.
2001 BIE Penny
There’s a type of error variety coin known as a BIE penny. It involves the appearance of a small, vertical die crack shaped something like a capital letter “I” between the letters of “B” and “E” in the inscription “LIBERTY” on the coin. These varieties are unique to Lincoln cents and are highly collectible. Depending on the magnitude of the die crack, 2001 BIE pennies can trade for anywhere between $5 and $15.
2001 Off-Center Penny
Off-center errors are extremely desirable. However, not all 2001 off-center penny errors are valuable. In fact, most are not — because they’re only 1% to 3% off-center, which is pretty common. But if you find one that’s 10% or more off-center, then you’ve got a valuable find on your hands! Most of these dramatic 2001 off-center penny errors are worth about $10 to $20 or more. The most valuable kinds show about 50% of the design missing, yet still have a full date present on the coin. These are worth about $100… or even higher amounts!
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!