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.
• 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.
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 CDN Publishing (a trusted source for the price of U.S. rare coins), 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 also authored nearly 1,000 articles here at The Fun Times Guide to Coins — and I welcome your coin questions in the comments below!