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Did you know your 2016 penny may be worth more than face value?
A LOT more!
It’s true. Some 2016 pennies are worth more than $1,500 apiece!
How can you tell a valuable 2016 penny worth big money versus one that’s only worth face value?
In this article, you’ll see exactly what details you should be looking for on your 2016 pennies in order to determine if your coins are rare or not! And by the end of this article, you should be able to tell how much all of your 2016 pennies are worth.
Details To Look For On 2016 Pennies
Knowing what to look for on your Lincoln pennies can help you determine what they’re worth.
#1 – One of the first things you should look for when searching Lincoln cents in circulation is the mint letter underneath the date on the 2016 penny.
That little letter on coins is called a mintmark, and it tells you where your coin was made.
In the case of 2016 pennies… they were made at the United States Mint facilities in Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco.
The Philadelphia Mint did not place a mintmark on its 2016 pennies — so if you find a Lincoln cent without a mint letter under the date, it generally means that it was struck in Philly.
A “D” mint mark indicates the coin was made at the Denver Mint. And an “S” mintmark shows the coin was produced at the San Francisco Mint.
#2 – Another feature you should look for on Lincoln pennies is the presence or absence of “VDB“.
What do the letters “VDB” on a Lincoln cent mean?
Those letters are the initials of coin designer Victor David Brenner — who created the bust of Abraham Lincoln seen on the penny since 1909. His VDB initials can be found on 2016 pennies just below the bust of Lincoln on the obverse (head’s side) of the coin.
The reverse (tail’s side) of the 2016 penny has an image of a union shield — which has appeared on the Lincoln cent since 2010. The union shield, designed by Lyndall Bass, symbolizes Lincoln’s ability to keep the United States whole during the divisive and bloody Civil War — which unfolded from 1861 through 1865, during the virtual entirety of Lincoln’s presidency.
#3 – What about the copper in a 2016 penny? Aren’t 2016 pennies worth more than face value because of their metal content?
The answer is yes and no. Since 1982, the circulating Lincoln cent has been made from a composition consisting of a zinc core layered in copper and weighing 2.5 grams.
While it costs more than one cent for the U.S. Mint to make a penny these days, generally post-1982 pennies don’t trade for more than face value on this basis alone.
2016 Penny Value
The 2016 penny without a mint mark was struck at the Philadelphia Mint — to the tune of 4,698,000,000 pieces. These are very common pennies.
Here’s how much a 2016 Lincoln cent is worth:
- In circulated (worn) condition, a 2016 penny is typically worth 1 cent (unless it has errors… see below).
- A 2016 Lincoln penny in uncirculated condition (looks like it was minted just yesterday) is usually worth 10 to 30 cents.
- The most valuable 2016 penny was graded MS68RD by Professional Coin Grading Service and sold for $899.95 in a 2018 auction.
2016-D Penny Value
Wondering how much a 2016-D penny (the one with the “D” under the date) is worth?
As the Denver Mint struck 4,420,400,000 of these 2016-D pennies, it’s plain to see just how common these coins are.
Here’s how much a 2016-D Lincoln cent is worth:
- If you found your 2016-D penny in circulation, then it’s likely worth just 1 cent — as most modern pennies in worn condition are. That is, unless it happens to be a 2016-D penny with errors (mentioned below).
- Uncirculated 2016-D pennies are usually worth 10 to 30 cents apiece.
- The most valuable 2016-D penny was graded MS68RD by Numismatic Guaranty Company and sold for $1,550 in a 2018 auction.
2016-S Penny Value
Having trouble finding a 2016-S penny? If so, it’s probably because they were never minted for circulation. Rather, they were struck at the San Francisco specifically for coin collectors.
These 2016-S proof pennies aren’t like most pennies. They are made from highly polished blanks and struck twice by specially prepared dies on high-tonnage presses to help bring up even the most minute of details.
The San Francisco Mint struck 977,355 examples of the 2016-S penny and they were packaged in proof sets, which were sold to coin collectors.
Here’s how much a 2016-S Lincoln cent is worth:
- The typical 2016-S proof penny is worth $3 to $5, unless it happens to be a 2016-S penny with errors.
- However, the most valuable 2016-S penny known to exist was graded PR70DCAM by Professional Coin Grading Service and fetched $163.50 in a 2016 sale.
Valuable 2016 Penny Errors To Look For
Some of the rarest and most valuable 2016 pennies aren’t the ones that are “perfect” but rather the ones that aren’t. By that I mean 2016 penny errors and varieties — coins that weren’t necessarily made the way they were supposed to be.
Here are some of the most frequently encountered 2016 penny errors and how much they’re worth…
2016 Doubled Die Penny Error
There are few penny errors that are as well-known or valuable as the doubled die penny. There are actually several kinds of 2016 doubled die pennies worth looking for! Look for doubling that is visible in Lincoln’s eye, his bowtie, the union shield details, or the lettering on either side of the coin. The 2016 doubled die penny can be worth anywhere from $25 to $50 or more — depending on the location and magnitude of the doubling.
2016 Off-Center Penny Error
Here’s a drastic coin error! Off-center pennies are really popular collectibles! Their value depends on how much off-center the details appear to be. A 2016 off-center penny can be worth anywhere from $5 to more than $100. (The most valuable types of off-center pennies are those that are approximately 40% to 60% off-center yet still show a complete date.)
2016 BIE Penny Error
A variety that is unique to Lincoln cents is the BIE error — so called because of a minor vertical die crack that occurs between letters “B” and “E” of “LIBERTY” on the obverse. These are especially collectible when the die crack takes the form of a capital letter “I.” BIE pennies are actively sought after by collectors! A 2016 BIE penny error is worth between $5 and $15.
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!