Rare Lincoln Cent Varieties And Their Values (These Rare Lincoln Pennies Don’t Always Have A Place In The Typical Coin Album)



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As most Lincoln cent coin collectors know, collecting the entire series of pennies is not as easy as you may think.

The one-cent coin may be the lowliest of all currently circulating U.S. coinage as far as denominations go, and there may be tens of billions of Lincoln pennies in existence – but collecting one example of every Lincoln cent ever made certainly isn’t cheap, nor is it easy.

There are some 300 different regular-issue date-and-mintmark combinations, and many of the coins made in the first decade after the series started in 1909 are considered rare or semi-key coins and are fairly pricey.

And then, there is of course the elusive 1909-S VDB penny, which will set you back a minimum of $1,000 — if you can find it.

But instead of talking about the regular-issue Lincoln cents, let’s focus on pieces that tend to get less attention. I’m talking about the coins that don’t always have a predetermined place in the conventional Lincoln cent coin folder or album.

Over the course of more than 100 years, there have been several varieties that have arisen in the Lincoln cent series. Many of these varieties have attracted little attention outside of the circle of Lincoln cent enthusiasts, though some are highly popular and are even quite scarce.

Here’s a look at several of these Lincoln cent varieties and their approximate values:

•    1909 S Over Horizontal S (1909 S/S) Good-4: $110
•    1917 Doubled Die Obverse Fine-12: $200
•    1922 No D Good-4: $625
•    1922 Weak D Good-4: $30
•    1936 Doubled Die Obverse Fine-12: $25
•    1943 Boldly Doubled Mintmark Fine-12: $10
•    1944D D Over S Very Fine-20: $125
•    1946 S Over D Very Fine-20: $35
•    1955 Doubled Die Obverse Very Fine-20: $1,300
•    1956 D Above Shadow D Very Fine-20: $10
•    1960 Large Date: 20 cents
•    1960 Small Date: $3
•    1960-D Large Date: 20 cents
•    1960-D Small Date: 20 cents
•    1960 D Over D Large Over Small Date: $200
•    1969-S Doubled Die Obverse: $50,000
•    1970-S Small Date: $65
•    1971-S Doubled Die Obverse Proof: $650
•    1972 Doubled Die Obverse: $700
•    1979-S Filled S: $5
•    1979-S Clear S: $6
•    1981-S Filled S: $3
•    1981-S Clear S: $50
•    1982 Large Date (Copper): $1
•    1982 Small Date (Copper): $1.25
•    1982 Large Date (Zinc): $1
•    1982 Small Date (Zinc) $1.25
•    1982-D Large Date (Zinc): 25 cents
•    1982-D Small Date (Zinc): 15 cents
•    1983 Doubled Die Obverse: $300
•    1984 Doubled Ear: $250
•    1990 No S Proof: $3,000
•    1992-D Close AM: $500
•    1995 Doubled Die Obverse: $45
•    1999 Wide AM: $500
•    2000 Wide AM: $5

*Values are for coins in Mint State grade, unless otherwise indicated.

Joshua

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!

26 thoughts on “Rare Lincoln Cent Varieties And Their Values (These Rare Lincoln Pennies Don’t Always Have A Place In The Typical Coin Album)

    1. Hi, Tim –

      Thanks for your question! You have a 1969 Roosevelt dime that was made in Philadelphia, which did not put mintmarks on its coins on a regular basis until 1980.

  1. Joshua: When I tilt and magnify these two quarters to see them better, I see the letters ‘JF’ on my 1953 and 1964. Location is in the neckline slightly to the right of the last number in each date. what is the significance of ‘JF’, if any at all? Thank-You, Joshua!

    1. Hello, Biff –

      The “JF” are the initials of John Flanagan, the designer of the Washington quarter.

      Thank you for your question!

  2. Joshua: My sister just sent me a 2009 Lincoln D penny. The front side looks like any Lincoln penny, but on the back it depicts a man sitting on a log reading a book with a tool (maybe an axe) on his right side. She asked me to check if this is a rare coin (her computer just went down). Any assistance would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

    1. The US Mint changed the reverse of he 2009 penny to celebrate the bicentennial of President Abraham Lincoln’s birth, as well as the 100th anniversary of the production of the Lincoln cent!

      The obverse (front) of the 2009 penny will still remain as the VDB likeness of President Lincoln. Each reverse (back) depicts the four major aspects of Lincoln’s personal and professional life.

      Although they are always fun to see if you can find them in your change, I don’t think they are actually worth anything more than $.08 right now…I think Josh would know more about value.

    2. Hello,

      That neat-looking 2009 Lincoln cent shows 1 of 4 special designs honoring Abraham Lincoln during what would have been his 200th birthday. The man sitting on the log is Lincoln as a young person reading a book.

      Circulated versions of these 2009 Lincoln cents are worth 1 cent each, though uncirculated versions are worth around 20 cents and proof varieties have a value of about $3.

      Here’s some more info about 2009 pennies: https://coins.thefuntimesguide.com/2009_lincoln_cent/

  3. Hey Josh.

    I have a VERY thin 1941 Wheat Penny. It is paper thin, and it looks as the designs on both sides are perfectly printed, except it’s a little bit light, considering the thickness (or lack of!). Is there any value to this error? I haven’t been able to find any information on it.

    Thanks!

    1. Hi, Brinny –

      Without seeing your coin I can’t say for sure, but I suspect it was dropped in acid — a very common fate for many coins. What results is a very thin version of the original coin, usually with some semblance of the design still intact.

  4. Hi Josh
    I have a 1991 Lincoln penny D mint.
    it was struck 3 or 4 times, the face side shows stamping from obverse side.just below date on the lip of coin it has eno (one from obverse) across His forehead it shows urt below and to the right of trust. more erros on obvers. what might a coin like this be worth.

    1. Hello, Rhiannun —

      It sounds like this may be a multiply struck brockage error, but without seeing the coin I’m unfortunately not sure and don’t want to misinform. I’ll be looking for your photo (which should load as a JPEG file after clicking the image icon).

      Best,
      Josh

        1. Hello, Rhiannun,

          My apologies, but I can’t seem to enlarge the images enough to really take a good look a your coins. Would you mind uploading these again please if you could in a larger size?

          Thank you,
          Josh

          1. Hello Josh, Hopefully these work better for you, I played with the color a little so the marks were easier to see. I can take more pictures if needed. Thank you, Rhiannun

          2. Hello, Rhiannun —

            Your revised photos are fantastic. Thanks for taking the time to upgrade them. I’ve looked at each of the photos, obverse and reverse, very carefully and have consulted both my die variety and error resources to ensure that this is not some type of attributed piece.

            I’d have been inclined to suggest this *may* be an indent or strike-through error, but I’m not finding any other signs of another coin having been on top of this coin during striking (I see the IN GOD WE TRUST motto on the rim and across Lincoln’s face on the obverse).

            Also, both sides of your coin appear to have damage in the same places, suggesting to me it’s post-mint damage from some type of vicing/clamping activity involving two or three lincoln cents stacked on top of the 1991-D penny.

            While I would definitely hang onto this coin in case another can view the coin in-hand and inspect it for further clues that I may not see in the photo, I’m going to say at this point that it’s not a mint error and is worth face value.

  5. Hi. Joshua. Im having trouble telling the different between the small date an large .and low and high seven .could you tell me witch one this is ? Thank you .

    1. Hi, David —

      This is a 1970-S Large Date cent. I can tell because the “7” in the date is out of alignment with the heights of the other digits in the date.

      Still, your 1970-S Large Date cent is worth around 5 cents for its collector value.

      Best,
      Josh

  6. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/52cdc018a93ccdc941af70e43de31e759f366b3b956d17bb382f8572c493211b.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f8d9962ad4bf494f6f8eeb94d69ffa2545d09fb8b167316019ba46c6ba33e41b.jpg Hi
    I am Ajin and I am having a U.S coin

    One cent with Lincoln face on it, it’s made on 1990 without S mark.

    Please contact me in the email address given below if interested.

    [email protected]

    1. Hello, Ajin —

      This is a 1990 Philadelphia Lincoln cent; given the fact that it is worn it is worth face value; in places outside the United State where Lincoln cents are relatively scarce and viewed more as novel collectibles, they’re likely worth more than their foreign exchange monetary value.

      Best,
      Josh

  7. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/33d514942080ba050fb633d0f9cd9e0abb0226cdb7f36d0181d648f038f6b3cb.jpg

    1. Hi, Valerie —

      From what I see here these are all common bronze Lincoln cents, though they are worth more than face value due to their copper content. The Lincoln wheat pennies here dated before 1959 are worth 3 to 5 cents each while the ones minted from 1959 on are worth about 2 cents each.

      Thank you for reaching out,
      Josh

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