Most Expensive Coins

Top 11 Valuable Lincoln Memorial Penny

Top 11 Valuable Lincoln Memorial Penny

Do you want to know about the most valuable Lincoln Memorial pennies?  Do you have any of these coins in your penny collection? It may be worth taking because many of the most valuable pennies on this list were made in the 20th century. These coins may be hiding in the basement, inside an attic box, or even inside your penny collection.

The United States Mint produced Lincoln Memorial, Lincoln Bicentennial, and Lincoln Union Shield pennies from 1959 to the today. From 1959 until 2008, the bottom of the coin showed the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC. In 2009, to honor Lincoln’s 200th birthday, four various designs were utilized on the reversal.

Finally, in 2010, the reversal was modified to feature a representation of the Union Shield in the center of the coin. While these pennies are even generally found in circulation, some of them can bring a pretty penny in value.

History of the Lincoln Memorial Penny

The United States Mint presented the Lincoln penny in 1909 to mark President Abraham Lincoln’s 100th birthday, with the feature of a reverse design with two ears of wheat. In 1959, for the penny’s 50th anniversary and Lincoln’s 150th birthday, the design changed to show the Lincoln Memorial, prepared by Mint engraver Frank Gasparro. 

Until 1982, pennies were made with 95% copper and 5% tin and zinc, weighing 3.11 grams with a diameter of 19 mm. Due to copper costs, in 1982, the Mint moved to an especially zinc core with copper plating. In 2009, the Mint presented the Lincoln Bicentennial coins, replacing the reverse design.

Lincoln Memorial Penny Market Analysis

Lincoln Memorial pennies are great in circulation, with most dates still generally seen today. However, some Lincoln cents have more copper than their face value, though melting them down is banned. From 1959 to 1982, these pennies were made of 95% copper, including about 2.5 cents worth of copper each.

Starting in 1982, the U.S. Mint switched to zinc planchets with copper plating, having less than half a cent’s worth of zinc and copper. To hinder hoarding, half of the 1982 pennies were made of solid copper, while the other half were made of zinc.

In 1982, due to a crack in the expert die, the Mint made small design modifications, resulting in two mixtures for this date. One type has a large “8” in the date, while the other has a small one. This guide to a total of seven varieties for 1982. Although mint records form there’s no 1982-D small date, copper, one was just found and sold for over $20,000.

A List of the Top 11 Valuable Lincoln Memorial Penny

1.1873 doubled Liberty “closed 3” Indian Head penny, $2,400 – 

The word “Liberty” is doubled in this 1873 Liberty die cent piece. Any double-die coin from any era is typically extremely rare, but an Indian Head cent is much rarer. Only slightly more than 1 million 1873 cents of the closed 3 form were produced, compared with over 11 million “open 3” cents, making the closed 3 extremely rare.

2.1909-S Indian Cent: $300 to $1,000+

Only 309,000 pieces of the 1909-S Indian cent series were produced, making it the lowest-mintage circulation strike in history. Even heavily damaged examples have values that begin at about $300, and uncirculated pieces can cost more than $1,000.

3.1909-S VDB Lincoln Cent: $600 to $1,300+

The 1909-S VDB Lincoln cent is maybe the most famous 20th-century coin, highly coveted by collectors and Lincoln enthusiasts alike. The “VDB” initials indicate the designer, Victor David Brenner, but were controversially extracted the next year. With just 484,000 coins minted, and even rarer surviving today, prices begin at $600 for modeled examples and exceed $1,300 for uncirculated models.

4.1914-D Lincoln Cent: $150 to $2,200+

With the famous 1909-S VDB penny, this early mint-marked Lincoln cent is an extremely rare find that has been raised to the level of being essential. Only 1,193,000 coins were made, and the current number of survivors represents a small portion of that low mintage value.

Among the most precious Wheat pennies are the 1914-D Lincoln cents, which have wheat ears on the back (tail side). In well-worn grades, it goes for about $150, while in uncirculated grades, it sells for quite over $2,200.

5.1922 Plain Lincoln Cent: $500 to $10,500+

Many in the numismatic community originally believed that a 1922 Lincoln penny without a mintmark was a Philadelphia strike. However, mint records reveal that all pennies were minted in Denver in 1922 and that no Lincoln cents were made at the Philadelphia Mint.

A tiny number of 1922 pennies have the “D” mintmark on their obverse completely removed due to extensive die cleaning; even in worn condition, these coins are valued at $500 and over. A single rare uncirculated example can cost more than $10,500.

6.1931-S Lincoln Cent: $65 to $100+

The United States Mint created strict manufacturing restrictions on several coins, such as the Lincoln Cent, during the most difficult years of the Great Depression. The United States Mint produced a significant decrease in Lincoln cents in 1931. In that particular year, the San Francisco Mint made only 866,000 pieces of the penny.

Although many collectors preserved their 1931-S Lincoln cents from the first day of issue, the coin remains regarded as rare and semi-key, valued at about $65 in circulated condition and $100 and more for uncirculated grades.

7.1943 Bronze Lincoln Cent: $125,000+

In 1943, the United States Mint started hitting Lincoln cents out of zinc-coated steel to support saving copper for World War II ammunition. Though some 1943 steel cents were accidentally manufactured from bronze planchets, over one billion steel cents were struck. The exact amount of coins is uncertain, but it amounts to about twenty from the total Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco Mints.

1943 bronze pennies, in any condition, usually fetch $125,000 and more. One went through Heritage Auctions in 2010 for an amazing $1.7 million, however, this high price was for a rare coin made by the Denver Mint.

8.1944 Steel Lincoln Cent ($75,000 to $125,000+)

Officially, the mint produced only one year’s value of steel pennies in 1943 before changing to a bronze alloy in 1944 that was made of 95% copper and 5% tin. However, 1944-dates Lincoln cent dies designed for bronze production were inadvertently stamped on a few surplus steel planchets from the previous year’s production. These usually traded for between $75,000 and $125,000 each, making them nearly as rare as the 1943 bronze pennies.

9.1955 Doubled Die Lincoln Cent: $1,000 to $2,000+

The 1955 double-die Lincoln cent was one of the most widely used kinds ever. When the coins first came into circulation, they made a stir and supported the 1950s and early 1960s collecting of coins boom. It continues to be considered by many coin collectors as the “Holy Grail” mistake coin.

The words LIBERTY and the year are among the inscriptions on the reverse side of the 1955 doubled die penny that exhibit severe duplicating. Even in well-worn condition, it is worth $1,000 and higher; uncirculated examples cost $2,000 or more.

10.1969-S Doubled Die Lincoln Cent: $30,000+

This 1969-S penny error is one of the most valuable doubled die types ever produced. Only a few situations of this issue are believed to exist according to experts, and it has been estimated at over $30,000.

The date and text on the obverse show doubling, while the mintmark does not. After the die was hubbed—a procedure used to create a working die on which the doubling on this coin could have taken place—the mintmark was manually punched onto it.

11.1972 Doubled Die Lincoln Cent: $200 to $300+

Another unique addition to the list of valuable pennies is the 1972 doubled-die Lincoln cent. Its positively sought-after variety offers a considerable doubling on the front, particularly noticeable in the date and the word “LIBERTY.” Classified as “Class I” or similar, the rarest and most desirable specimens bring around $200 in circulated shapes and $300 or higher in uncirculated grades.

Also Read – Top 10 Most Valuable Buffalo Indian Nickel 


If you want to collect Lincoln pennies, you will discover that the market for rare pennies is quite active buy coins that are in the best state you can afford, and always focus on buying coins that show original color and are in good shape overall. In the rare coin market, quality matters.

Coins that are perfect and have not been changed usually offer better returns than coins that have been cleaned, and have marks, scratches, or holes in them. Better investment results are guaranteed by high-quality coins, which provide stability in an unpredictable marketplace.

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