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Most 2003 pennies are worth just a penny, but many have values of hundreds of dollars!
Crazy, right? But it’s true!
So, how do you know if your 2003 penny is worth keeping or if it’s safe to spend?
Here are the specific features that you should be looking for on your 2003 pennies…
2003 Penny Value (No Mintmark)
The 2003 Lincoln penny was made at the Philadelphia Mint to the tune of 3,300,000,000 pieces. Yes, that’s 3.3 billion with a “B!” That’s a lot of pennies, isn’t it?
That’s probably why you’re here looking for info about 2003 penny values — because there are many 2003 pennies in circulation, and they’re fairly easy to find these days.
You may have noticed something else about your 2003 penny…
Is it a 2003 penny with no mint stamp (or mintmark)?
Well, that’s perfectly normal. Any 2003 pennies with no mintmark signify that they were made at the Philadelphia Mint.
Here’s how much a no-mintmark 2003 penny is worth:
- Since 2003 pennies are so common and they don’t contain enough copper to bolster their value above 1 cent, any that you find in circulation and in worn condition are worth just 1 cent at this time. Such pennies are totally safe to spend as money.
- However, uncirculated 2003 pennies without a mintmark (those that have never been spent as money) are worth 10 to 30 cents, depending on their grade. Those in the finest grades sell for much more than that.
- The record price for a 2003 no mintmark penny is $174.99. That’s the amount that was paid in 2021 for an example graded MS69RD by Professional Coin Grading Service.
2003-D Penny Value
The 2003-D Lincoln cent was struck at the Denver Mint and bears a small “D” mintmark under the date on the coin.
The 2003-D penny saw a mintage of 3,548,000,000 pieces. Like its Philly Mint counterpart, this is also a highly common coin. There are certainly tens of millions of them circulating at any given moment — so you should have little difficulty finding a 2003-D penny these days.
Here’s how much a 2003-D penny is worth:
- Since a 2003-D penny contains only small amounts of the valuable metal copper, these coins are worth only face value in circulated condition. So, if you find a worn 2003-D penny in your spare change or coin jar, it’s safe to spend for its face value of 1 cent.
- Uncirculated specimens showing no signs of wear are worth 10 to 30 cents.
- The most valuable 2003-D penny is one that was graded by Professional Coin Grading Service as MS69RD and sold for $595 in 2019.
2003-S Penny Value
The 2003-S penny is a special proof coin that was intended only for coin collectors.
It was struck at the San Francisco Mint and therefore carries an “S” mintmark. A total of 3,298,439 were made.
2003-S proof pennies have a really shiny, reflective surface — which was achieved by the way they were struck.
Proof coins are made using highly polished blanks that are struck twice by specially prepared dies on high-tonnage coin presses. Proof coins aren’t distributed into circulation, but rather they are sold directly to collectors and usually in special sets of proof coins.
Sometimes proof coins are broken out of their special mint packaging and spent as money, and these so-called impaired proofs show up from time to time in circulation!
Here’s how much a 2003-S penny is worth:
- A typical 2003-S penny untouched by circulation is worth $3 to $5.
- The record price for a 2003-S penny goes to one that was graded PR70DCAM by Professional Coin Grading Service in 2004 and sold for $661.
Valuable 2003 Error Pennies To Look For
Most 2003 pennies look just as they should — they were struck correctly and contain no errors or other oddities that shouldn’t be in the design.
But there are many 2003 pennies that aren’t quite right, and these errors and varieties are highly sought after and valuable!
There are many kinds of 2003 penny errors worth a lot of money, including these:
2003 Doubled Die Penny Error
The 2003 doubled die penny is a coin that many collectors are looking for. Of course, as rare errors go, this isn’t the type of piece you’re bound to find after only a few days of searching through pocket change or bank rolls. Some collectors go many years before finding a bona fide doubled die in circulation. Even then, not all doubled dies are worth hundreds or thousands of dollars.
Many doubled dies are relatively obscure — these are generally worth $25 to $50, sometimes more depending on the desirability of a particular variety.
The best places to look for doubled dies on a 2003 Lincoln penny is in the eye, ear, date, and lettering on the obverse (heads side) of the coin. Reverse (tails side) doubled dies are typically most evident in the lettering, Lincoln Memorial columns, or the tiny statue of Abraham Lincoln.
2003 Off-Center Penny Error
A 2003 off-center penny is a drastic-looking error penny.
Not all of them are worth big bucks, though.
It takes a pretty magnificent off-center error in order for it to be worth anything more than the typical $5 to $10 — which is the price for most coins that are 10% or 20% off center.
The most valuable 2003 off-center error pennies are approximately 50% to 60% off center and still show a complete date and, if applicable, mintmark.
2003 BIE Penny Error
The so-called BIE variety is unique to Lincoln pennies — yep, including 2003 pennies.
This type of error involves an interesting anomaly on the obverse of the coin next to the portrait of Lincoln.
Some Lincoln pennies show the appearance of what looks like the capital letter “I” between the letters “B” and “E” in the inscription “LIBERTY.”
Why is this? Because the coins struck with this error were made by an obverse die that was aging to the point that a crack developed on it. These cracks, known as die breaks, can occur anywhere on the die and create raised defects on the struck coin.
If any cracks happened to form on your 2003 penny in between the letters “B” and “E” in the word “LIBERTY,” then you have a highly collectible type of variety.
A 2003 BIE penny can be worth anywhere from $7 to $15.
2003 Broadstrike Penny Error
A 2003 penny that looks wider than it should is known as a broadstrike error.
These were struck while the planchet was not held inside its retaining collar, which helps form the coin’s rim and ensures it is struck to the correct diameter.
If you find a 2003 broadstrike penny error, you’ll notice that the coin is wider than normal and appears to have no raised rim — but the entire design will otherwise be visible.
A 2003 penny with a broadstrike error can be worth $10 to $25.
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!