2021 Penny Value Guide (Some 2021 Pennies Are Worth $1,200!)

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Did you know there’s a 2021 penny that is worth more than $1,200?

Some 2021 pennies have a value of $1,200... or more. Find out what makes a 2021 penny worth so much money!

What makes some 2021 pennies worth so much?

Would you know whether or not you were holding a rare and valuable 2021 penny if one landed right in your hands?

In this article, you will find the value of your 2021 pennies and learn what makes a 2021 penny worth so much money!

Fun Facts About The 2021 Penny

The 2021 Lincoln penny was designed by Victor David Brenner and Lyndall Bass:

  • Brenner designed the portrait of 16th United States President Abraham Lincoln as seen on the obverse (“heads side”) of the coin.
  • Bass created the shield motif that appears on the reverse (“tails side”).

The Lincoln cent has been in production since 1909 — when Brenner designed both the Lincoln portrait and its accompanying wheat ears design that debuted that year on the coin and remained on the penny until 1959. The Lincoln Memorial design by Frank Gasparro reigned on the Lincoln penny until 2008. That was followed by a one-year series of commemorative designs featuring Lincoln’s life in 2009, the bicentennial year of his birth in 1809. The shield design has been in production since 2010. You can still find Brenner’s VDB initials on the coin just below Lincoln’s shoulder, where they’ve been since 1918.

Many people understand the penny to be made from copper, but since the early 1980s that hasn’t been 100% true. In 1982, the United States Mint began striking Lincoln cents with a copper-plated zinc composition that is both lighter and less expensive than the traditional bronze that had been used (with few exceptions) for more than a century.

A typical 2021 penny weighs 2.5 grams — notably less than the 3.1 grams of a standard pre-1982 bronze penny. (Here are the best scales for weighing U.S. coins.)

Three different facilities of the United States Mint struck the 2021 penny:

  • Philadelphia Mint
  • Denver Mint
  • San Francisco Mint

While there is no mint letter stamp (or mintmark) on the 2021 pennies that were produced at the Philadelphia Mint, the pennies from Denver and San Francisco do have mintmarks. Those from Denver have a “D” mintmark, while the 2021 San Francisco Lincoln cents have an “S” mintmark.

2021 Penny Value (No Mintmark – Philadelphia Mint)

Do you have a 2021 penny with no mint mark and want to know its value? You’ve got a 2021 Philly penny, and billions of these were struck. These are very common coins.

Unless it has an error or variety worth money (see below), a typical 2021 penny with wear (aka “circulated”) fetches just face value of 1 cent. Therefore, it is safe to spend.

There is some good news though. Not all 2021 pennies are worth only face value!

If your 2021 no-mintmark penny appears to have been just minted yesterday and shows no signs of wear (aka “uncirculated”), then it’s worth more like 10 to 30 cents.

The most valuable 2021 penny with no mint mark was graded MS70RD by Numismatic Guaranty Company and sold for $299.99 in a 2021 sale.

Valuable Pennies: How To Tell If Yo...
Valuable Pennies: How To Tell If You Have A Penny Worth A Lot Of Money

2021-D Penny Value (Denver Mint)

The 2021 pennies with a “D” mint letter stamp were made at the Denver Mint by the billions. These are considered to be generally common coins.

A typical 2021-D penny with wear is worth face value of 1 cent.

However, if you find an uncirculated 2021-D penny, it’s worth 10 to 30 cents.

The most valuable 2021-D penny was certified MS68RD by Numismatic Guaranty Company and sold for $1,299.99 in 2021.

2021-S Penny Value (San Francisco Mint)

You probably won’t find any 2021-S pennies in your pocket change. Why not? Because the U.S. Mint didn’t strike them for circulation. Rather, they were produced entirely for collectors and were sold in proof sets.

Modern proof coins like the 2021-S penny are made with polished blanks and struck by specially prepared dies on high-tonnage presses.

All 2021-S pennies have a special finish — with the design, lettering, and other raised elements carrying a frosted appearance, and the background or fields offering a deep mirrorlike or reflective surface.

The San Francisco Mint struck a limited number of 2021-S pennies, and these normally sell for $3 to $5 apiece.

The most valuable 2021-S penny was graded PR70DCAM by Numismatic Guaranty Company and fetched $275 in a 2021 sale.

Valuable 2021 Penny Errors To Look For!

Did you know you can make big money from the mistakes made by the U.S. Mint?

Error and variety pennies are worth a lot of money, and 2021 penny errors and varieties can be rare and valuable finds!

You just need to know what a legitimate error penny looks like — because there are a lot of coins with post-mint damage that can (to the untrained eye) appear to be errors, but they are actually worthless beyond their face value.

Here are some of the most frequently encountered types of 2021 penny errors and their values…

2021 Doubled Die Penny Error

Finding a real, honest-to-goodness 2021 doubled die penny with actual hub doubling and not just machine doubling can be a challenge, but it’s not an impossible feat. A lot of collectors have reported finding Lincoln Shield pennies with doubling evident in the lettering and other aspects of the design. Although there haven’t been reports of major 2021 doubled die pennies worth many hundreds or thousands of dollars above face value, a 2021 penny with minor doubling can bring as much as $25 to $50… or more!

2021 Off-Center Penny Error

Off-center pennies are pretty cool errors that are missing part of their design — due to the penny not being perfectly centered between the dies, or the dies themselves being misaligned on the presses. The 2021 off-center penny values depend largely on how far off-center the design is and whether or not the date is fully visible. A 2021 penny that’s missing 5% to 10% of its design may be worth $10 to $15. However, a 2021 penny that is about 50% off-center yet still exhibiting a complete date can trade for as much as $100 or more!

2021 BIE Penny Error

There’s a special kind of die break variety that is unique to Lincoln cents, and it’s known as the BIE. The valuable BIE pennies are those that show a small vertical die crack taking the approximate form of a capital letter “I” between the “B” and “E” of “LIBERTY” on the obverse. A 2021 BIE penny is a highly collectible coin that can take between $5 and $15, depending on the magnitude and shape of the BIE die crack (as well as the condition of the coin).


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