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There are a number of 2012 Lincoln pennies that are worth more than face value.
Do you know which ones?
Distinguishing the rare and valuable 2012 pennies apart from the common ones that are worth just one cent can be a little tricky.
In this post you will learn:
- Which features to look for on your 2012 pennies
- Exactly how much a rare 2012 penny is worth
- Tips for finding valuable 2012 pennies in your spare change
Fun Facts About 2012 Pennies
The 2012 Lincoln Shield penny is a circulating coin that depicts 16th United States President Abraham Lincoln on the obverse (head’s side) and a Union shield on the reverse (tail’s side).
The significance of the Union shield is the fact that it symbolizes Lincoln’s successful efforts to keep the United States whole despite the fractious Civil War, when southern rebels tried to permanently secede from the Union.
The 2012 Lincoln penny is made from a mostly zinc composition, which forms the inner core of the coin. A thin layer of pure copper coats the outside of the coin.
Victor David Brenner designed the profile of Abraham Lincoln that has appeared on the U.S. penny since 1909.
The Union shield motif was contributed by Lyndall Bass and has appeared on the Lincoln cent since 2010.
2012 No Mintmark Penny Value
The 2012 Lincoln penny with no mintmark under the date was made at the Philadelphia Mint and is quite common. A total of 3,132,000,000 were struck, and these turn up in pocket change with great frequency.
Here’s how much they’re worth:
- All 2012 pennies without a mint mark are worth only their face value if found in circulated or worn condition.
- In uncirculated condition, they typically have a value of about 10 to 30 cents.
- The most valuable 2012 no mintmark penny was graded MS68+RD by Professional Coin Grading Service and sold for $1,495 in 2018.
2012-D Penny Value
If you find a 2012 with a “D” mintmark under the date, that means it was struck at the Denver Mint.
The 2012-D penny is a very common coin, with 2,883,200,000 having been minted for circulation. They remain prevalent in circulation and can be readily found in pocket change.
Here’s how much they’re worth:
- Worn 2012-D pennies are worth only face value and are safe to spend if you wish.
- Uncirculated 2012-D Lincoln pennies are usually worth 10 to 30 cents.
- The most valuable 2012-D penny is worth a pretty penny indeed! A specimen graded MS68RD by Professional Coin Grading Service fetched $451.75 in a 2018 sale.
2012-S Penny Value
The 2012-S penny bears its “S” mintmark from the San Francisco Mint, where it was struck specifically for coin collectors and included in 2012 proof sets.
Most modern proof coins are struck using highly polished blanks (or planchets) by specially prepared dies on high-tonnage presses that impress the coin twice to ensure that every tiny detail is fully struck. They are made for collectors and usually sold directly to them by the U.S. Mint.
While the 2012-S proof pennies were not distributed by the mint into circulation, the San Francisco Mint struck 1,239,148 for collectors — so they are relatively easy to find at coin shops.
Here’s how much they’re worth:
- Many coin dealers sell single 2012-S pennies for an average of $2 to $5 apiece.
- The most valuable 2012-S proof penny was graded PR70DCAM by Professional Coin Grading Service and took $202.50 in a 2020 auction.
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 2012 Penny Errors To Look For
There are many rare and valuable 2012 penny errors and varieties worth big bucks. The problem is trying to figure out which coins are the errors or varieties versus which are just showing signs of post-mint damage.
It seems that many people who report finding errors or varieties have simply found variations of coins with damage or post-mint alterations, which don’t add value to the coin — and, in fact, usually deduct from the coin’s original collectible value.
So, what are some of the 2012 penny errors and varieties you should be looking for and what are they worth?
Here’s a list of the most popular 2012 Lincoln cent varieties and errors and their values:
2012 Doubled Die Penny Error
It seems just about everyone wants to find a 2012 double die penny worth money, as some might say. Of course, there’s no such coin as a double die — the term is actually doubled die.
Still, whether you’re looking for a rare 2012 doubled die or a valuable 2012 “double die” penny, you probably know what we’re talking about. It’s a coin with doubling of the image, lettering, or some other element of the coin. While the most frequently encountered type of doubling isn’t a doubled die (more on this here), the rare and valuable 2012 doubled die pennies are definitely worth looking for!
This doubling, on the rare occasion it occurs on 2012 pennies, is usually spotted in Lincoln’s eye, tie, and lettering on the coin. Values vary for 2012 doubled dies, but they are typically north of $25 to $50.
2012 Off-Center Penny Error
Off-center errors are pretty drastic-looking oddities, missing sometimes substantial swaths of their design. This occurs when the dies are misaligned, or the coin isn’t properly seated within its collar on the press.
Many off-center coins are missing somewhere in the neighborhood of 10% to 20% of their design, and when you find a 2012 penny with this percentage of off-center strike you’ve got a coin that’s easily worth $5 to $10.
However, the most valuable type of 2012 off-center penny would be one that is missing about 50% of its design yet still revealing a full date (and mintmark, if applicable). Such a piece could bring $100 to $125… or more.
2012 BIE Penny Error
A 2012 Lincoln penny with a small, vertical die crack between the letters “B” and “E” in the inscription “LIBERTY” is known as a BIE penny.
Because the magnitude and nuance of these small die cracks varies (even between coins struck from the same damaged die), the values will differ depending on how the little “I” die crack appears on the coin.
BIE pennies are highly collectible, and there are plenty of collectors looking for them! There are some who even collect these so-called BIE pennies by date. A 2012 BIE penny will generally fetch $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!