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Did you know many 2004 pennies are worth more than face value?
Some are worth $100, $500, $1,000 — or even more!
It’s true… Some 2004 penny values will blow your mind — like the specimen that sold for upward of $4,000 several years ago.
So, how do you know which 2004 pennies are safe to spend and which ones you should be keeping?
Here are the features you should be looking for on your 2004 pennies…
Fast Facts About The 2004 Lincoln Cent
- 2004 Lincoln pennies carry the same design that’s been seen on the one-cent coin for decades.
- The heads-side (obverse) depiction of 16th United States President Abraham Lincoln debuted in 1909 and was designed by Victor David Brenner. His initials “VDB” appear in tiny letters just under the shoulder of Lincoln on the penny.
- On the tails (reverse) is the motif of the Lincoln Memorial — the famous landmark in Washington, D.C. If you look closely, you can see a tiny statue of Lincoln between the middle columns of the building on the coin replicating the much bigger statue of Lincoln that sits in the real Lincoln Memorial! The Lincoln Memorial feature was designed by Frank Gasparro in 1959 and remained on the U.S. penny until 2008.
- All 2004 Lincoln pennies are made from a copper-plated zinc format, and they weigh around 2.5 grams.
2004 (No Mintmark) Penny Value
The 2004 Lincoln penny with no mintmark is a highly common coin.
These 2004 pennies were made by the billions at the Philadelphia Mint. In fact, a total of 3,379,600,000 were struck there and a great many are still circulating today. You’re bound to find many of these Lincoln cents in pocket change, so they’re certainly not rare coins.
While circulated 2004 pennies are worth only their face value, typical uncirculated specimens fetch 10 to 30 cents apiece. The most valuable 2004 penny without a mintmark was set in 2011 when a specimen that was graded a nearly “perfect” MS69RD by Professional Coin Grading Service took $604 at auction.
2004-D Penny Value
The 2004 penny with a “D” mint mark was struck at the Denver Mint.
Like its Philly-born counterpart, the 2004-D penny is another extremely common coin. This one boasts a mintage of 3,456,400,000 pieces — or more than 3.4 billion (with a “B”)!
So, if 2004-D pennies are so common, how much are they worth?
Not much, if they’re worn. Circulated specimens are worth just their face value. However, uncirculated examples take 10 to 30 cents apiece. And the all-time record price for the 2004-D penny was set in 2008, when a specimen graded MS69RD commanded a whopping $4,198!
2004-S Penny Value
The United States Mint doesn’t strike coins just for circulation. They also produce coins meant specifically for collectors.
In 2004, the San Francisco Mint made 2,965,422 pennies for this very purpose.
These 2004-S pennies are known as proofs, and they were sold to collectors in special proof sets. They were made with polished planchets (the round blanks) and struck twice by specially prepared dies on high-tonnage presses — to ensure that each and every detail, even the most minute, appears on the finished coin.
Even though 2004-S pennies were not distributed into circulation by the U.S. Mint, that doesn’t mean that some didn’t get cracked out of their holders and spent as regular money by others who bought these sets or inherited them later on.
A typical 2004-S penny is worth $3 to $5. The most expensive 2004-S penny, graded PR70DCAM by Professional Coin Grading Service, sold for $374 in 2005.
IMPORTANT: Do You Know The Grade Of Your Penny?
To determine the true value of your penny, you first need to know what condition (or grade) your coin is in.
A List Of 2004 Penny Errors
Some of the most valuable 2004 pennies aren’t the ones in superior condition but rather those that aren’t quite, well… “perfect.”
You see, the U.S. Mint occasionally creates errors and other oddities.
There is no exception to this when it comes to the 2004 Lincoln cent!
There are many kinds of valuable errors and varieties you should be looking for on the 2004 penny:
2004 Doubled Die Penny
Some 2004 pennies show doubling of letters, numbers, and other design elements (like Lincoln’s eye or columns in the Lincoln Memorial) due to the working die receiving two impressions by the hub at different positions. There really aren’t any drastic or super-valuable 2004 doubled die penny errors to note at this time — but even the most obscure 2004 doubled die pennies are worth $20 to $50.
2004 Broadstrike Penny
You know how the rim on a penny is nice and sharp? The rims are formed when the coin is struck by the retaining collar, which holds the coin in place while being struck and helps build up the rim on a coin. When the retaining collar fails to deploy, the coin is smashed flatter and wider by the obverse and reverse dies and thus a broadstrike is born. These weird 2004 penny broadstrike errors are generally worth $5 to $10.
2004 Off-Center Penny
When a 2004 penny isn’t seated perfectly upon strike or the dies are misaligned, an off-center error can occur. The degree of the off-center strike ranges from 1% to 99%, but the coin’s value starts to climb when a coin is at least 5% to 10% off center. A 2004 penny that’s 5% to 10% off center is worth around $10 or so. However, a 2004 penny that is approximately 50% off center yet still shows its complete date can be worth $50 to $100!
2004 BIE Penny
There’s a kind of anomaly known as a die crack — which is a form of damage that can occur on coin dies as they age. These little cracks or splits in the die reveal themselves on finished coins as a raised lines or bumps. These die cracks can occur anywhere on any coin. There’s a popular type of error that is specific to Lincoln pennies that involves a small vertical die crack between the letters “B” and “E” in the inscription “LIBERTY.” This little crack can resemble a blobby-looking capital letter “I” and gives rise to the “BIE” nickname of this variety. A 2004 BIE Lincoln penny is worth between $5 to $15 — depending on the appearance of the die crack and condition of the coin.
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!